Category

2018 Tour

Phoenix, Arizona

Service. Advent is a time to serve one another, that’s what the abundance of volunteers from the Desert Southwest Conference showed the world tonight.

 

We setup shop in Kierland Commons in Scottsdale, AZ where hundreds of folks were getting their Christmas shopping out of the way and double-checked lists completed.

 

A song was in the air all night from Pastor Andrew Devereaux, who shared the story of Christmas through his gift of music with the strangers passing by. By the time he’d wrapped up, an 8-member bell choir from North Scottsdale UMC rang in the advent season with glorious music anyone could hear all across the mall. To say our event was a showcase of talent is an understatement!

 

Big shout out to our host church – North Scottsdale UMC, our partner churches – Desert Mission UMC, Red Mountain UMC, Cross in The Desert UMC, Velda Rose UMC. And last but certainly not least, a sincere thank you to Christina Dillabough, Desert Southwest Conference Communicator who made this entire event a major success.

 

I’m not sure if the entire valley was changed because of this event, but I do know that Scottsdale was a better place on Monday night.

 

Blessings to all,

 

Paul

Shreveport, Louisiana

The meaning of Christmas was spread far and wide at the Boardwalk Outlets this evening. Our ambassadors practiced a special tradition of bringing gifts from door to door by visiting each storefront and offering cocoa to the employees who wouldn’t be off work until after our truck had left.

 

To top it all of we even had a light dusting of snow in the mall which drew all of us even closer together.

 

Thanks for being amazing hosts on December 6th, Bossier City and Shreveport!

 

Blessings,

 

Paul

 

Columbus, Mississippi

After 4-hour drive from our last stop, we found ourselves in a town right near the Mississippi – Alabama state line: Columbus, Mississippi. The tour team was met with a very warm welcome in “The Friendly City”. Something about small towns always makes me feel so loved and welcomed.

Since the weather was nearing the 30’s this evening, our hot cocoa hosts decided to go full postal, and deliver cocoa to each and every storefront on Main Street. It was a beautiful sight to see folks who weren’t quite off work yet able to partake in the fellowship outside.

In the Bible, we know that Jesus’ life was centered fellowship. As a newborn baby He was already gathering people from far away lands and diverse backgrounds to a single place where they could all partake in the miracle of His birth. He invited people to the Kingdom of God, a space where (and when) all are truly equal and experiencing grace. The Kingdom of God can definitely be experienced in Columbus, MS. So many genuinely kind people call this town their home, and our team was sad to say “goodbye.” Our volunteers were a blessing because they demonstrated intentional kindness to extend a season’s greeting in the Leadership Plaza. Even if the air was chilly, the hearts of our volunteers and guests were warmed with love and acceptance.

Thank you so much to everyone at First Columbus United Methodist Church who made this event the talk of the town.

Peace,

Paul

Baltimore, Maryland

Christmas was not given to us to be a burden. The advent of Christ’s birth was initially proclaimed using words like joy and peace. That Christmas has become something that makes many of us tense up in the shoulders is a relatively modern development.

I thought about that first Christmas night quite a bit while we handed out cocoa and joy in Baltimore on November 29.  Continue Reading

Columbus Ohio

We’ve been conditioned to be skeptical of free. That’s conditioning is probably the biggest barrier we face in dong events on the True Meaning of Christmas Tour. Nobody really seems bothered by our Christmas imagery or music. They aren’t turned off by our blessings of “merry Christmas!” People are simply weirded out that we want to give them hot cocoa.

There has to be a catch, right? Continue Reading

Fairview Heights, IL

When does Christmastime start for you? We’ve all experienced that in the commercial world, the Christmas season starts the day after Halloween. In the music universe, the Christmas season starts the day after Thanksgiving–when some radio stations switch to Christmas programming.

When does it start for you? When does the Christmas spirit become real for you? When do you allow yourself to get in the Christmas mood?

Continue Reading