In December 1992, the following article appeared in the Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church Messenger:
Send a Kid (Goat) to Indonesia
Buy an “Alternative Giving Christmas Card” card for $5 to honor a friend, teacher, or relative. For each card purchased, a goat kid will be given by World Relief, an international Christian Agency, to a family in the Purwomartani region of Indonesia. Female goats give one-half a gallon of milk daily, providing children with a rich source of protein and calcium. The villagers will not only benefit from the immediate gift of the small animal, but will also receive training to breed their livestock. This is another opportunity provided by the Hunger Task Force.
That was 25 years ago, and today our Advent Gift Market - an opportunity to give “alternative” gifts - is still going strong.
The following Christmas, in 1993, BMPC expanded the offerings for alternative gifts extensively and invited 15 Councils and Task Forces to host tables with information about their specific representative items. That tradition continues today.
This year, as we celebrate 25 years of alternative giving for our congregation, we are also highlighting and celebrating both our commitment to long-standing partners and the possibilities that come with new partnerships.
For example, one item this year is to purchase a dinner for a student in our Tutoring Program for $5.00. The BMPC Tutoring Program has been around for more than 50 years. Another long-term partner we are working with through the AGM is theVillage, an organization that has been partnering with BMPC for 57 years. You may purchase a gift of clothing for either $5.00 or $15.00 for a child who receives trauma-informed services through this worthy organization.
On the flip side, there are opportunities to give to some of our newer partners like Beacon Presbyterian Church, a new church development in the Kensington neighborhood of Philadelphia with a focus on outreach to their community through art. You may purchase $15.00 worth of art supplies to support their work. Another recent partner is Urban Mosaic (formerly Conexion Mosaico) working in Mexico City. A $1.00 gift of Vacation Bible School supplies through AGM will help support our High School Mission Trip there next summer.
This Sunday at 11:00 a.m. we will gather for our opening market as we celebrate our many valued partners and continue our tradition of thoughtful giving. You are invited to make purchases online at our brand new AGM shopping site, and your order will be ready for pickup at the market. You may also make purchases in person this Sunday, and every Sunday in the Ministries Center Court leading up to Christmas.