No, we don’t usually include a B in that set of letters! But the day after Thanksgiving has become known as Black Friday, a day of shopping frenzy unlike any other the rest of the year. Several weeks ago, the Presbyterian News Service featured an article about Bless Friday, describing it as “an alternative to Black Friday madness.” The idea is to engage in acts of service rather than shopping, spending time and energy in helping others rather than money buying for others. A number of churches in the Houston, Texas area embraced the idea as a way of staying focused on the Christof Christmas.
The projects span a wide range: handyman services to the health-challenged, nursing home visits, feeding people experiencing homelessness, tying fleece blankets for wounded military members, sprucing up church grounds. And for some church members in the Houston area, this will be the tenth year of giving of themselves on Bless Friday. That’s a lot of people helped. It’s also many people strengthened in faith as they have resisted a culture of consumerism. College students home for the holidays find Bless Friday a meaningful way to prepare for the Advent season. And some families organize projects in their homes, inviting neighbors over to join them.
Bless Friday now engages almost a dozen churches of various denominations in the Houston area. It’s grown by word of mouth. And it has spread to at least one other area of the country. Could it come to Warren County, Pennsylvania? Check it out at blessfriday.org! Perhaps we could become part of a ministry that is giving many people reason to say TGIBF!!