PAXINOS -- Ash Grove United Methodist Church believes that Christmas can still change the world.

This Christmas, the church, located at, 198 Lilac Road, Paxinos, will focus on the true gift of the season ...a rich, meaningful life. Beginning Nov. 28, Advent Conspiracy will meet A Life-giving Christmas at Ash Grove.

Begun as a grassroots movement, Advent Conspiracy (www.AdventConspiracy.org) has grown to include more than 1,000 churches in 17 countries, and has raised $3 million for relief projects around the world.

An inspiring program for people of all ages, A Life-giving Christmas (www.gbgm-umc.org) is about finding a more meaningful way to celebrate Christmas, and it is about finding hope for the New Year.

This year, Ash Grove will celebrate the season by encouraging people to make small changes in their habits of spending, giving, worshiping and loving. Opportunities to help people in need will be provided through giving to the Pregnancy Care Center in Shamokin, and to the UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Clean Water Project in Kenya, Africa during the four-week Advent Season.

A twofold program will begin at 8:15 a.m. Nov. 28 in the fellowship hall, with light refreshments, video, and discussion time. Then at 9 a.m., Advent Conspiracy will meet for A Life-giving Christmas in the sanctuary during the worship hour where special Advent messages will challenge the community to experience Christmas anew by entering into the nativity story as participants. Co-conspirators will learn that hope, peace, joy and love are more than just candles to be lit around an advent wreath.

A Christmas Eve service of song and worship will wrap up the Advent story when the church gathers to celebrate Christ's birth at 7 p.m. Dec. 24 with "The Story," a live nativity scene, and congregational candle lighting ceremony.

For more information about the program, call 847-5746.

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