Advent Village 2020 is open for the entire month of December!
2020 has been quite a year. Different, to say the least. A year full of unexpected redirections, of disappointments, of loss; but also a year of new opportunities as we were forced to slow down and receive unexpected gifts like time and deeper connections. Perhaps God was giving us a collective “time out.” Time to relax and reflect. Time to look outward rather than inward. Time to take stock of our needs rather than our wants. Perhaps, even more so, to become aware of and to understand the needs of others.
For ten years, Advent Village has been providing opportunities to become aware of and meet the needs of others; serving our neighbors near and far in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, the ultimate Servant.
This year, Advent Village will be different. While we are unable to gather in person, we can still make a difference in the lives of many. Our goal is to provide you with opportunities to help people in need all around the world with a gift of any size. Advent Village provides a creative, “alternative” shopping experience. Alternate to what? Alternatives to candles, ugly sweaters, and ties. Alternatives to candy, video games, and mugs. Life giving gifts such as food baskets, paid electric bills, diapers, immunizations, Bibles, stoves, and goats…gifts that will truly change and bless the lives of those in severe need.
Is this the year God is calling you to think about one more thing differently? An unusual, unexpected way to think about giving at Christmas. To share and support the idea of selfless giving through which we receive an unexpected and different type of gift…the blessing that comes from helping others.
We invite you to “visit the stores” or missions of APC via the brief videos below. Shopping options are located just below the videos. Spending just a few minutes with our missions will provide you with insight into the enormous amount of powerful and meaningful works being done for the least in God’s kingdom near and far.
“I assure you that when you have done it for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you have done it for me.” Matthew 25: 35-40
Wishing you a different and blessed Christmas…
Advent Village Coordinator
Visit The Stores
Shopping List & Check Out
Click on “Download PDF” for a complete list of the items available in the store. To order online with your credit card click on “Check Out”. If you prefer to pay by check please print out the PDF and mail it in.
The History of Advent Village:
What is Advent Village? An opportunity for the greater Allentown community to participate in an alternative experience to commercial Christmas shopping which creates awareness of and benefits the missions of the Allentown Presbyterian Church.
Who benefits? Purchasing a gift at Advent Village benefits the lives of people who are in need, in the name of a loved one, fulfilling our call to care for the members of the family of Jesus Christ. Mission team representatives determine creative ways to sell products or services which directly benefit those whom the mission team serves. Buyers receive Advent Village Christmas gift cards which explain the purchase made and the beneficiary of the gift. Through Advent Village, not only are we raising awareness of the works of the missions of our church family, but in 2019 we raised $25,377 in support of the missions of APC. Our ten year total for giving through Advent Village is $222,398.
Missions: The Allentown Presbyterian Church missions represented at Advent Village 2020 are our local missions: The Allentown Food Pantry, The Allentown Good Neighbor Fund, Crossroads Youth and Young Adult Ministry, and HomeFront, and our international missions in Guatemala and Africa (Villages in Partnership).
Environment: In a typical year, the hallway of the Education building is transformed into a Victorian village complete with Dickensian storefronts. The patrons visit six stores filled with friendly and knowledgeable “owners” who offer explanations and creative displays of their work in the various mission fields.
The Potter Room is home to Ye Olde Book Shoppe (supported by the Elementary Sunday School) and the Little Tree Bakery (supported by Little Tree Preschool). Ye Olde Book Shoppe is filled with books donated by the Sunday School families. The children usually make various ornaments for sale on the Sunday School Mission Christmas Tree. Little Tree Bakery provides a cookie decorating table. The book sale proceeds from 2010-2019 allowed us to purchase over 300 Spanish Children’s Bibles for the Guatemala mission and the Little Tree cookie sales and the Sunday School ornament sales have benefited the preschool missions in both Guatemala and Africa.
Entertainment: We enjoy presenting a potpourri of entertainment including the ROCK and Stepping Stones Choirs of APC, local talent, strolling minstrels, and APC adult choirs, and the smooth Christmas Jazz of Enoch Smith, Jr. Special guests often include The Allentown High School select choir: Half and Half! These musical and dramatic talents provide lively entertainment while our patrons enjoy a wide selection of food at the APC Café!
Ye Olde APC Café: The Café is fabulous! Usually, we are enjoying many delicious and varied homemade breakfast, lunch, and dessert options. All food is donated and prepared by volunteers allowing the APC Café to donate 100% of sales to the missions.
The bottom line: Advent Village has been a success on so many levels. We have increased awareness of the missions of APC. We have contributed to a change in the way we think about “giving” at Christmas. We provide a day of fun and fellowship evidenced by our “lingering” shoppers. New friendships are formed and old ones strengthened. And, in the first ten years of the event, we have raised over $222,000 to help people in need locally and around the world. What a beautiful experience. Praise God!