What is Pure Religion? 

by Dan Bracken, Communications Director

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

Hey Ginghamsburg Church Family,

This Sunday, we observe a national movement called Pure Religion Sunday. It's an opportunity for us to extend our support to the orphan and foster community.

Understanding the Heart of Pure Religion Sunday

Pure Religion Sunday is a global movement dedicated to raising awareness about the needs of vulnerable children and encouraging people to get involved in their lives through adoption, fostering, sponsorship, and other forms of support.

Originally known as Orphan Sunday, created by the Christian Alliance for Orphans (CAFO), Pure Religion Sunday serves as a platform for churches, organizations, and individuals to unite in addressing this unique global crisis. Participants are encouraged to pray for vulnerable children, advocate on their behalf, and take practical steps to make a difference in their lives.

The message is clear: “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (James 1:27).

Falling on the second Sunday of November each year, Pure Religion Sunday inspires us to live out our faith. During Pure Religion Sunday events, churches often host special gatherings, invite guest speakers, share testimonies, and organize fundraisers to support orphan and foster care initiatives.

Oliver Leembruggen, chair of the Ginghamsburg Church lay leadership board, is a late discovery adoptee and a passionate advocate for adoptee care, “As a late discovery adoptee (LDA) that was raised in a multi-ethnic home, I believe that this Sunday offers all of us to the opportunity to have deeper conversations on raising strong children rather than fixing broken adults. With a disproportionate rate of attempted suicides and incarceration, the need to provide physical, mental, and emotional stability to foster children, orphans, and adoptees becomes critical.”

This Sunday, we are honored to welcome representatives from Isaiah 117 House, a non-profit organization dedicated to serving children in the foster care system by providing a safe and welcoming environment for them during the initial stages of their removal from their homes. The organization operates as a fully furnished and equipped home, offering a temporary space for children to stay while awaiting placement with a foster family. The goal is to ease the transition for children entering foster care, providing them with comfort, stability, and a sense of security during a challenging time.Isaiah 117 House was founded by Ronda Paulson in Tennessee in 2018. The name "Isaiah 117" is inspired by the Bible verse Isaiah 1:17, which encourages taking care of the vulnerable and seeking justice for the oppressed.

The organization operates through community volunteers, donations, and partnerships with local agencies and businesses. Volunteers provide nurturing care, meals, clothing, and basic necessities.

Isaiah 117 House not only benefits the children but also supports caseworkers by giving them additional time to focus on finding the best possible placement for each child. By addressing the immediate needs of children entering foster care, the organization plays a vital role in improving the overall well-being of these young individuals during a critical period in their lives.

Our Connection to Isaiah 117 and the Christmas Miracle Offering

The first $200,000 raised for the 2023 Christmas Miracle Offering will support Ginghamsburg Church's network of local non-profits (New Path, New Creation, and Clubhouse). Inspired by the work of Isaiah 117, any funds raised above and beyond $200,000 will contribute to building Isaiah 117’s new transitional home in Montgomery County, Ohio. This connection reflects our dedication to providing immediate, tangible assistance to vulnerable children.

As we gather for worship this Sunday, let’s pay attention. Let’s learn, advocate, and take practical steps to make a difference. Introduce yourselves to our new friends from Isaiah 117, learn more about their mission, and discover how you can get involved.

For a comprehensive overview of our Christmas Miracle Offering, including detailed information on how your contributions support organizations like Isaiah 117, visit christmasmiracleoffering.com. Your generosity will transform lives!

Dan, Ginghamsburg Church Communication Team

Dan Bracken

Communications Director

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A Commitment Sunday Update from Pastor Dennis

We want to give you an update on our annual pledge drive for 2024. After two weeks, we have received 135 cards pledging a total of $956,616. This is a good start with around 20% of our congregation participating to date. Our annual budget is around $2.7 million. Our hope is that every person connected with Ginghamsburg Church will prayerfully make a financial pledge to the church for 2024. Special thanks to those who have already pledged. For those who have yet to pledge, please do so today at ginghamsburg.org/give/.


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