By in Holidays

Love Lives In Hope

The Spirit of Christmas is alive and well and dwells in the hearts of many in the congregation at Hope United Methodist Church in Canal Winchester, Ohio. I and my dog, Valentino, know this as fact.

One Sunday morning in December, the church ladies of HOPE presented me and V with gifts galore for opening on Christmas morning! But of course, the kid in me opened a few of these presents early though I did save the bulk of the bountiful gifts for unwrapping this Christmas morning. (Mind you, throughout the week, even more gifts were dropped off at my workplace that are not seen in this original Sunday morning photo.)

Our presents from Hope UMC consisted of needful things and fun things as well. All of the gifts represent the true spirit of the season and confirm that the spirit of Christmas is abundant in my neighborhood church family. LOVE lives in HOPE!

Wrapped inside this pretty pile of presents is the story of a church reaching out to a new member of the community. When my dog and I arrived in town a few months ago, the church ladies adopted us. They reached out to fill our hearts and new home with care and compassion. We are lucky, Me and V, being welcomed into the Hope fold with such heartwarming generosity.

I am ever so grateful for the ladies and I feel honored that Valentino and I have become a part of the history of Hope United Methodist Church . THANK YOU!

Image Credit » Photo of Christmas Presents from Hope UMC is mine.

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cheri wrote on December 25, 2015, 11:00 AM

It feels wonderful to be a part of that kind of group. Merry Christmas to you.

lookatdesktop wrote on December 25, 2015, 11:26 AM

Merry Christmas to you. It's warm here in Dallas, but I am still a bit chilly. We don't know how many will arrive today but I will move the car a bit forward to give room in the driveway.

RuthCox wrote on December 25, 2015, 11:33 AM

It is indeed wonderful! Merry Christmas, cheri

RuthCox wrote on December 25, 2015, 11:35 AM

Warm here too, at 54 degrees at the moment, with clouds and a light drizzle of rain. Merry Christmas!

MegL wrote on December 25, 2015, 12:22 PM

Now that is the kind of Church spirit that shows people the true meaning of Christianity.

LeaPea2417 wrote on December 25, 2015, 12:47 PM

That is very kind of that Church to give you so many nice and needed Christmas presents. The spirit of giving is alive and well.

CoralLevang wrote on December 25, 2015, 12:55 PM

how wonderful it is to hear this story. And also to see your photograph. Just beautiful

wolfgirl569 wrote on December 25, 2015, 1:10 PM

That is wonderful of them. Merry Christmas

RuthCox wrote on December 25, 2015, 1:33 PM

Amen! to that, MegL Hope UMC has been amazing when I needed them most. These church ladies practice what is preached, and from my personal experiences along life's way, that is not always the case.

RuthCox wrote on December 25, 2015, 1:58 PM

We are appreciative of this giving spirit for sure and hope to be able to pass this on in the near future.

RuthCox wrote on December 25, 2015, 2:11 PM

Too funny, CoralLevang , the gifts were piled atop Valentino's crate... a safe place for him not to chew them open, ha!

BarbRad wrote on December 25, 2015, 2:34 PM

I feel for people who do not have a loving church family. I'm glad you found one in your new home. Sometimes the siblings squabble, but they come together to help when anyone is in need. When my son died, people in three different churches we were associated with came together to help us through it with their love and moral support and participation in the service. It took three churches because our pastor, whose negligence was partly responsible for the death, was in no shape emotionally to give the sermon. We had to call upon the pastor of our former church in another town to do that. Our close Christian friends from other churches were also there for us. One's Christian family extends beyond the walls of one's own church. We have seen this in our travels.

markgraham wrote on December 25, 2015, 4:35 PM

Merry Christmas from Louisiana and any HOPE is good to feel apart of something.

RuthCox wrote on December 25, 2015, 4:57 PM

It is truly wonderful to feel so cared about by so many others. Merry Christmas to you, too!

bestwriter wrote on December 25, 2015, 6:43 PM

What a welcome indeed. You must be feeling so much at home with this attitude that the church is showing towards you and Valentino.

RuthCox wrote on December 25, 2015, 8:06 PM

I have not had a church family in years and it is good to have this in my life again. Your experience is a tough one but it seems hearts were in the right places when you needed them most.

RuthCox wrote on December 26, 2015, 1:46 PM

Yes, feeling a part of the Hope church family is a good thing. We humans tend to need to belong and we always need hope in our lives. Merry Christmas from Ohio! emoticon :smile:

RuthCox wrote on December 26, 2015, 2:27 PM

You bet I am feeling right at home at Hope UMC.

markgraham wrote on December 27, 2015, 7:54 PM

My cousins live near Niles Ohio.

RuthCox wrote on December 27, 2015, 8:42 PM

Niles is a ways northeast of here, near the Pennsylvania border.

markgraham wrote on December 27, 2015, 9:47 PM

Are you near to Cincinnati or more in the direction of Canton/Akron.

RuthCox wrote on December 30, 2015, 6:18 PM

@markgraham I am right outside of Columbus, about 15 minutes southeast.