Give the Gift of Reading

One of my favorite holiday memories is the year I spent what seemed like hours pouring over the two small racks of books for sale in our local, small town, variety store to select just the right Christmas gift for each member of my family. I was so excited to choose a book, a brand-new book for each one of them; a book that connected with their interests and age and that I knew would last well beyond Christmas morning. I was eleven years old.

I also remember the very first book I ever received as a gift. I was in first grade and I got to invite a few friends to our house for my birthday party. Everyone brought me a gift, but the only gift I remember from that day is a hardcover (no dust jacket, but a hardcover!) of an early reader entitled The Monkey in the Rocket (this was the 1960s after all!) I also remember it was my friend Deeann who gave it to me. I was six years old.

It inspires me to know many new memories of the gift of reading—given and received—will be made on Sunday, December 4, 1:00-3:00pm when we once again fill our church building with our Holiday Book Fair featuring local publisher Barefoot Books, a story time, and a craft time and send each child home with a new book, cookies and milk.

Our Reading Changes Lives literacy initiative continues to be a powerful outreach ministry of our congregation. The library at “The Roosevelt” K-8 Boston Public School in Hyde Park is humming again with activity and class days twice a week thanks to so many volunteers from our congregation and some new friends too. Our Trick-or-Treat for Books event brought hundreds of children and their adult and canine companions to our church lawn on Saturday, October 29 and we gave away 200 brand new books that day. And our Little Free Library (one of the first two in Milton) gives the gift of reading every day.

Yes, we are “people of the book” in more ways than one at East Church!

Thanks be to God!

Pastor Shelly

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