Advent Opportunities

published November 19, 2020

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Advent Devotional – the Jesse Tree

Advent begins on Sunday, November 29, 2020. We welcome this opportunity to prepare our hearts for the coming of Christ. To guide us on our journey together through Advent this year, we are using the great tradition of the Jesse Tree created by Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (PTS). The Jesse Tree is Jesus’ family tree that is outlined in Matthew 1.

We invite you to watch this introductory video with Helen Blier, Ph.D., Director of Continuing Education at PTS. The video details how to use the curriculum and create a Jesse tree in your own home.

Look for this email every Wednesday throughout Advent (Dec. 2, 9, 16, and 23) with important elements of the Jesse Tree Study Guide and Activities. Pastor Rob will also be focusing on the Jesse Tree during his weekly Bible Study, beginning Wednesday, December 2. We invite you to join us on our Advent journey through these weekly emails, Bible Study, daily through the written curriculum or one time per week via video and the written curriculum, which is attached!

4 Mission Opportunities for Advent Donations Requested!

The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. The Offering distributes gifts equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. The Assistance Program provides critical financial support to church workers and their families. Presbyterian related schools and colleges provide education and leadership development while nurturing racial and ethnic heritage. This has been a Presbyterian commitment for nearly 140 years. Make sure to put “Christmas Joy Offering” on your check or online donation.


Misión Peniel Christmas Toy Drive

Many of the farm worker families in Immokalee have been impacted by COVID-19. Vanderbilt is running a Christmas toy drive for the children of the farm workers in Immokalee – specifically for boys and girls ages 1-5. The item(s) can be anything you desire as long as it does not promote violence (like toy guns or toys/games promoting fights, etc.). Please bring your unwrapped toy(s) to the church no later than Tuesday December 15th in a bag marked “Peniel Christmas”. They will be delivered to Immokalee and distributed prior to Christmas Day. If you’d rather just donate money, simply write a check to the church or donate online by Sunday December 13th and put “Peniel Christmas” in the memo. If you have any questions email Pete Rodino at [email protected]. Thank you for your ongoing support of the Misión Peniel farm worker mission.


Be a blessing! Donate to the Salvation Army Angel Tree and adopt an angel boy or girl during the Christmas season. Our Missions Team is committed to sponsoring 200 children in the Angel Tree Program this Christmas. VPC has received a $5000 matching gift for the “Angel Tree,” so we are halfway to our goal to raise $10,000 to spread Christmas cheer to children and families in need! We are not able to collect toys this year. All donations, whether online or by check, must be delivered to VPC by November 30, 2020 with “Angel Tree” in the memo. No child should be without Christmas joy, cheer, and gifts. This is an excellent opportunity to spread our love!


VPC has a long tradition of alternative giving to Heifer International. Instead of purchasing another unneeded thing for a family member or friend, make a contribution to Heifer International in their honor. Heifer works to alleviate hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to needy small-scale farmers and by educating young girls in developing countries. Donations may be made before or after services on December 6th, 13th, and 20th OR online the VPC website. Please put Heifer in the donation line of your check or online gift. For more information, contact Leslie Loughran at [email protected].