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Monday, November 25, 2013
HOUSING FOR HOPE: OUR ADVENT CONSPIRACY CAMPAIGN KICKS OFF
Why is there furniture all over the foyer of the church? Is someone moving in?
As Christians moving toward the season of Advent, we hope that it is God who is moving into our midst. The furniture is placed in the foyer to help prepare FBC Austin for Advent and the arrival of Emmanuel! God with us! Advent is about making room in our lives, preparing a space for God to arrive and live, and projecting that Advent hope back into our world.
Last year, our collective imaginations were captured by the "Water for Hope" campaign when we raised enough money to build seven water wells in Ethiopia, that's $42,000! Wow! That's truly a Christmas worth remembering!
This year, in the spirit of conspiring to create a Christmas movement of returning to Christ out of our consumer holiday rush, FBC is asking you to again "spend less, and give more." This year, we will give more locally in our own neighborhood. Literally.
"Housing for Hope" is our focus for Advent this year.
Right across the street from FBC Austin at 11th and Trinity, Foundation Communities is building the first affordable housing in downtown in 45 years. The new property, Capital Studios, will house 135 single adults with incomes under $35,000 a year- low wageworkers, people with disabilities, and seniors and veterans. Twenty-seven of the apartments will be reserved for the chronically homeless. Look for the grand opening to come in the fall of 2014.
In the spirit of Advent and openness, FBC Austin is partnering with many of the downtown churches to help Foundation Communities raise $200,000 in order to completely furnish Capital Studios with quality furniture. This amount furnishes all the rooms, common areas, and the community kitchen as well as the on-site support staff offices.
This is your Advent challenge. Spend less on those things that will likely be forgotten by next Christmas, and give more to those who don't have a bed or dresser...or a home.
Over the course of the next four weeks during Advent, the furniture will be moved into the Sanctuary to symbolically represent how much we've raised. The furniture and mock apartment are a physical reminder that we are making a real, physical difference in the lives of our Austin neighbors. What a better way to live out Advent then helping to make a home!
Each piece of furniture represents one apartment. So if we move all of the furniture into the mock apartment, we will have furnished 5 apartments at $1,000 each. That's a goal of $5,000. 100% of the donations for the Housing for Hope campaign will go toward the furnishing of Capital Studios.
Conspire with your faith community and our faith neighbors to prepare a place for God in our midst and our neighbors across the street. Let's make this Advent one to always remember!