Silver and Gold: The Inside Scoop

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It is SO CHRISTMAS in my office this week!   The “Silver and Gold” REAL Women’s Christmas Dinner is just days away and I’m very excited.  Anyone who knows me knows I love holiday decorations so all of the twinkling lights, pretty ornaments, stars and bells geek me out a little.  Which is only one of many, many reasons I love our annual Christmas dinner celebration.  All of the pretty tables decorated so uniquely and the smiles and the laughter just get me all warm inside.  And it’s one of the few times we gather with our sisters from Nueva Vida and celebrate as one big family.  Not to mention all of the friends, neighbors and co-workers who come along for the fun.  In short, it’s a big party.  And I love parties.

Silver and Gold ornaments for our stage at the REAL Women's Christmas Dinner

Silver and Gold ornaments for our stage at the REAL Women’s Christmas Dinner

Allow me to let you in on a few of the insider tidbits on what’s going on this Friday evening here at FEFC.  We’ll open the doors of the Christian Life Center at 5pm for some “missional shopping” supporting FEFC Missions and other great causes.  We’ll have two hours to peruse, ooh and ahh over all the goodies and put a dent in that gift list.  I’ve got a complete list of our vendors below so you can pre-shop at their websites and plan your purchases.

At 7pm, we’ll have a catered holiday dinner from Southerns Fine Dining including sage roasted pork loin, smoked turkey and gravy, salad with blue cheese and toasted pistachios, homemade mac-n-cheese, stuffing, green beans with onions and bacon, and fresh cranberry sauce (several of these items are gluten free).  We’ll follow that up with beautiful chocolate and vanilla cupcakes and coffee served by our volunteer waitstaff of FEFC gentlemen.  Oh, and keep an eye on the fellas’ Christmas ties – the most festive one wins a prize!

Probably my favorite thing about this season is the music, though, and we are blessed with an unbelievable amount of talent within our own FEFC family.  Several women will bring their favorite Christmas songs to us in a wide range of styles from instrumental and classic to contemporary. We’ll have some familiar faces from our worship teams along with other ladies who are sharing their gifts with us for the first time.  And we’ll cap the whole thing off with a devotional from our very own Bev Bishop.

I’m looking forward to this….can you tell?

So, I’m obnoxiously festive this week and my colleagues are shaking their heads and smiling as they walk by my office with my tunes blaring and metallic ribbon all over the floor. I can’t wait to get this party started and I hope to see you there.  We’ve got just about 25 tickets left before we sell out, so if you’ve been on the fence about coming, there’s still room and we’d love to have you.  You can sign up online at www.fefc.org or email me.  I’m looking forward to seeing you there.

Let’s celebrate this wonderful season with all the joy we can muster!  I’ve got my “fa-la-la” on – do you?

Vendors for Missional Shopping – 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Friday, December 6

H.O.P.E. (Helping Overcome Poverty Everywhere)  exists to raise support for mission work thru Fair trade booths and speaking engagements.  We have unique crafts from about 25 countries. We pay the artisans more per hour than they used to make per day, thereby enabling families to lift themselves out of poverty. Any profits we make are invested into more ministries like water well drilling and imagine no malaria.

Shop fair trade for Christmas this year! Ten Thousand Villages is proud to provide artisans in underdeveloped countries a living wage by selling their product and telling their stories here in Austin. Our vision for the future: One day all artisans in the developing countries will earn a fair wage, be treated with dignity and respect and be able to live a life of quality. During the holidays we feature ornaments and nativities from around the world.

Noonday Collection offers distinctive accessories handmade by vulnerable groups of people from around the world. Our aim is to style you while creating a pathway out of poverty for artisans and their families through dignified job creation. When you shop, share, and advocate, you join our story of transformation one purchase at a time.

Sak Saum is a Christian ministry in Cambodia that offers rescue, rehabilitation and restoration to vulnerable and exploited women who have experienced firsthand the devastation of trafficking. Sak Saum, meaning “for freedom”, is solely sustained by the sales of their handmade bags, purses, jewelry, and more.

Stella & Dot is an irresistible line of fashion jewelry and fashion accessories that can be purchased exclusively at private parties or online. Featured in Lucky, InStyle, Elle, Vogue, Marie Claire and a favorite company among celebrities, Stella & Dot boasts modern designs and excellent quality. (supporting FEFC Missions)

TouchGlobal is a missions organization of FEFC extending compassionate care to people in need around the world.  TouchGlobal will have  several items for sale including crocheted afghans, small quilts, crocheted dish rags, crocheted pillows, knitted hats, hand embroidered flour sack kitchen towels, crocheted cross bookmarks, gift bags, handmade cards, crocheted baby dresses, fleece blankets, napkins and more.

Precious Designs by Alejandra Ortega. Creative Hand Crafted Greeting cards for all occasions, made from my heart with precious and inspirational quotes for that special person. One of a kind Fine Jewelry Designs made with Semiprecious beads.

Beads from Village of Hope Uganda. Village of Hope  is a provision of home, school, family, medical aid, counseling, skills training and—most importantly—God’s love for formerly abducted children in Uganda. Here children can live with their siblings in safety and go to school to learn how to help themselves and their communities. The orphans make these beads during their “craft time” at school. It is a fun activity but also a way for them to help sustain the Village. Child Mothers (young girls abducted and raped during the war and now left alone to fend for themselves) make these as a way of providing an income for themselves and their children.

Jewelry by Rebecca Smykla. I’m a stay-at-home mom who enjoys worshiping by creating fun beaded jewelry and also really likes it that the stuff she makes won’t get “undone” within hours (minutes?) by my children! (supporting FEFC Missions)

Art by Stephanie Cherry – Supporting Gomer’s House. Stephanie a painter and will be bringing some gallery featured work along with some hand lettered signs. She bought a 100 year old Antebellum style mansion to offer respite to missionaries, pastors, or anyone looking for Jesus. The home is named after the prophet Hosea’s wife because of the lengths he went to in order to redeem her.

BeadsforLife creates sustainable opportunities for women in Uganda to lift their families out of extreme poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone. We are a non profit organization, which means that 100% or our net assets are reinvested into our poverty programs, and a member of the Fair Trade Federation and a provisional member of the World Fair Trade Organization. We measure the success of our programs by the impact they make in the lives of our members through sustainable income, assets, and school sponsorships.

Tomi Mills – Kids Inspiring Kids. Hand-made crafts from Africa – jewelry, pictures, carved animals, angels. Tomi is  a missionary in Uganda, E. Africa.  She started her own ministry and work with displaced people of Northern Uganda working them currently in the slums where they reside and we are working towards a self-sustaining village to relocate them from the slums.  She has been over in Uganda for almost 9 years and based out of Austin, Texas.