Redeemer Covenant Church, Caledonia, Michigan


In response to the growing need during these difficult times, Redeemer Covenant Church in Caledonia has decided to forgo the usual poinsettias, trees, and lights this year in favor of food, blankets, coats, and other items for needy people in their community.  Members of the church family are being asked to bring canned goods and clothing donations each week to “decorate” the church with true symbols of the season.

Caledonia, MI, December 1, 2009 — Pastor Jack Brown loves Christmas decorations.  There is nothing he enjoys more this time of year than bright lights, colorful trees, and holiday greenery.  However, thanks to a suggestion from a member of Redeemer Covenant Church in Caledonia, his congregation will be forgoing all of these this year in favor of a more meaningful decorative theme.

“We were talking about the money that we would usually spend on poinsettias to fill our sanctuary, and in these tough times it seemed hard to justify that expense.”  Brown says.  “Then one of the families that helps decorate our sanctuary stumbled on a powerful idea that is transforming our understanding of what it means to reflect the Christmas spirit: instead of decorating the church with trees, lights, and flowers, we are asking our church family to spend the season of Advent bringing canned goods and clothing items to donate to folks in our community who are in need.”

In years past, Redeemer Covenant has filled their sanctuary with symbols of Christmas.  Multiple trees, bright lights, and colorful flowers heralded the season with traditional flair, but today the sanctuary lies bare in anticipation of the “decorations” to be brought throughout December.   Items brought on Sunday morning will be placed at the front of the church, and Pastor Brown is excited to see the sanctuary decorated with a spirit of giving. “We’ve already had a few items dropped off, even before the month began,” he remarks. “A strong sense of responsibility and compassion has already developed in our community since the food pantry began.”

Redeemer is part of the Dutton Community Food Pantry, an organization supported by local churches, schools, and businesses that is in its second year of helping needy families with donations of food and household goods.  The pantry is housed in Redeemer’s building on Hanna Lake Avenue, and each month it serves 40-50 families in the Dutton/Caledonia area.

In trying something new this year, Pastor Brown believes that Redeemer Covenant is actually continuing a cherished tradition, albeit with a bit of a twist.  “For a long time our church was known for the elaborate Christmas lights that covered our building each year.  People still refer to us as ‘the church with the lights.’  Now it seems, given the tough times in our world right now, we have an opportunity to shine some light into the darkness again, which is really what Christmas is all about.”

For additional information about this story, please contact:

Jack Brown, Pastor
Redeemer Covenant Church