Be cheerful with joyous celebration in every season of life. Let joy overflow, for you are united with the Anointed One!
– Philippians 4:4 TPT
Christmas is just around the corner, and there’s no better way to spread Christmas cheer than through singing, giving, and changing lives in our communities together!
This is what we did as a church last weekend, as each service across the Bay Area hosted their own Holiday Celebration. Thousands of friends and families came together to celebrate in response to the amazing ways God has moved in our lives and church this year.
Spreading Christmas cheer at Holiday Celebration Services
“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”
– Buddy the Elf
Last Sunday, our Holiday Celebration Services were filled with Christmas cheer. We were stirred by caroling and performances; refreshed by hot chocolate bars, holiday brunches, and Christmas treats; and brought closer to God with faith-building sermons and personal sharing.
Kids and parents alike enjoyed the North Pole-themed festivities and pictures with Mr. and Mrs. Claus, and those in San Francisco were treated with a holiday orchestra ensemble that spread plenty of holiday cheer.
We heard stories of families walking in the neighborhood on Sunday morning, seeing the festive signs and Santa’s Workshop craft stations for kids, deciding to invite themselves in to join in, and having a blast. We always love seeing the ways God works through each of us to put a smile on the faces of our friends, families, and neighbors.
Spreading hope through our annual Toy Drive
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Hebrews 13:16 ESV
One of the biggest highlights of our holiday celebrations is our annual Toy Drive, and this year was no exception! Your generosity was incredible. We partnered with ten local community organizations and agencies to provide toys and gift cards to local families and youth in need.
Here are some highlights of ways God moved through this year’s Toy Drive:
In Silicon Valley and Santa Clara, over 650 toys and over $4600 in gift cards were given to our newest community partner this year, Pacific Clinics, and to our long-time partners, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula and in East Palo Alto. The Boys and Girls Club was overwhelmed and grateful for the support because they got toys for their “Santa Day” coming up this weekend, and members of the BACC in Silicon Valley also decided to volunteer to serve at that event.
In the Contra Costa North and South, well over 200 toys and $2100 in gift cards were donated to A Better Way (which provides foster care and services for children) and to Peace Keepers in Stockton. Peace Keepers, a community effort to reduce group and gun violence, reaches out to high-risk individuals to train and prepare them to build thriving careers. The Toy Drive donations they receive will go to children and teenagers who have lost a parent due to gun violence or incarceration.
In San Francisco, we partnered with two local community organizations: Horizons Unlimited SF and Real Options for City Kids (R.O.C.K.). Horizons Unlimited serves minority communities and families in the Mission District of San Francisco. Their program director joined us for church service last Sunday and he shared how inspired he was by the generosity and heart our church has to bring hope and healing to those left out or left behind in our communities.
Our other community partner, Real Options for City Kids (R.O.C.K.), is the largest provider of academic and social support for at-risk youth in Visitacion Valley District in San Francisco, working with primary with middle school students. We collected over 150 toys and more than $2000 in gift cards. Upon delivering these to the students and parents, they sent back a note this week with great gratitude, saying “We have so many happy kids and parents who are blown away by the generosity! Thanks so much!”
This coming weekend, the Alameda South ministry will continue spreading Christmas cheer as they partner with the Oakland Firefighters Association to host a coat drive to help keep those in need stay warm.
Amy and I are so grateful for the many hearts in our church passionately committed to being together, caring about others, and renewing hope in every neighborhood by changing lives!
Spreading faith through live stream church services
We’ve already seen God move in amazing ways this holiday season, but we still believe that this is only the beginning. On Christmas day, December 25th at 11:00 am, be sure to tune in at bacc.cc/live or on our YouTube Channel with your friends and family for our Bay Area Christian Church live stream service entitled, “The Best Is Yet to Come”!
On the following weekend, Sunday, January 1st, we will be kicking off the New Year together online for the first live stream Sunday service of 2023! You can watch in the living room with your family or plan a fun gathering to watch together with friends.
No matter where you are in the world, we’re so grateful you can enjoy these services with us.
We can’t wait to see even greater miracles happen and dreams come true in 2023!
I can assure you that whoever believes in me will do the same things I have done. And they will do even greater things than I have done, because I am going to the Father.
– John 14:12 ERV
Ray & Amy Kim
Lead Ministers, San Francisco