Archive for January, 2009

Sustainable Conspiracy

We’ve completed one full cycle of the Advent Conspiracy – from beginning to end. When my wife Katie and I first heard about AC, we were excited about the idea of taking back Christmas for the name of Christ. Then we began to explore how we were going to be creative with our gifts this year. With immediate family, we followed the AC suggestion to give “one less gift.” In our interpretation of AC, we decided to make homemade gifts rather than buy something from a store. My sister made placemats. My brother made soup. And I made blueberry coffee cake.

While that was our direct application of the Advent Conspiracy, Katie and I still wanted to make creative gifts for the stocking-stuffers that we always include in our Christmas giving. This year we were blessed by the arrival of our firstborn son, Sorin, in August. So it was almost effortless to take six different pictures of Sorin and put them into simple frames for our stocking-stuffers. Advent Conspiracy isn’t just a challenge to give “one less gift.” I believe it’s a challenge to change the way we view Christmas and even year-round giving.

One cycle of Advent Conspiracy. From an exciting idea to a strategy of meaningful giving. From the labor of making homemade gifts to the joy of family enjoying the fruits of that labor. We explored the idea that true giving shouldn’t be valued against the dollar. It was wonderful to step up to the challenge of creative giving. At the same time, we gave what we normally would have spent on our “one less gift” to Blackhawk’s Advent Conspiracy and joined the rest of the church in gathering $175,000 for three excellent causes. Needless to say this is a very satisfying season.

We heard about Advent Conspiracy, we participated, we were challenged, we grew, and we experience the joy of true giving. Is that it? Was this a one-hit-wonder? Is this like other Christian practices that have the best of intentions but don’t sustain themselves? Like the book I read which is great from page to page but I forget about when I finish, the conference that introduces me to new ideas that I can’t quite put into practice the next week, or even the message on a Sunday morning that should challenge me starting Monday morning, but I let it fade away. Is that what Advent Conspiracy will amount to – a one-time campaign that doesn’t change who I am? I should hope not. But that’s the challenge: to make the Advent Conspiracy a sustainable attitude and practice.


Written by Hans Scheifelbein


Love All

Act Local: Share gifts of time and resources with those in our community. At the Impact Tree in the Atrium, find opportunities available for individuals, families and life groups. All the information you need will be on the cards by the Tree. Take a card – put an ornament on the tree.

Give Global: On Sunday, December 13 during services, we'll take up an Advent Conspiracy offering (a direct result of spending less) to give towards clean water projects and wheelchair needs in Honduras, Kenya and Romania. If you won’t be able to join us at services on that day but still want to participate, just write "Advent" in the memo of your check and drop it in any of the offering boxes.