This year has brought many surprises and unexpected changes, but it is also a year of jubilee for Christian Service Mission. CSM celebrated its 50th year of service to the Birmingham community in 2020. We are so thankful for the continued support from partners, volunteers, and friends of CSM, which has allowed us to spread the Lord’s love for the past 50 years. In celebration of our anniversary, we felt led to give back to our church partners to honor their commitment to CSM. Tracy Hipps, the executive director at CSM, stated that CSM wanted to focus on the message of Luke 6:38 for the celebration as we strive to be a good steward of our resources.
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” (Luke 6:38)
In accordance with this message, CSM gave our church partners’ staff the opportunity to “shop” various specialty items that we usually don’t receive that were donated from a corporate partner. These items ranged from household goods to outdoor gardening supplies and everything in between. Church staff were able to choose any items they wanted free of charge. Rhonda Marshall, the resource director at CSM, said, “Church staff are constantly giving time, money, and other resources to others but aren’t normally on the receiving end of gifts. We wanted to pour back into them what they are always pouring into others.” We had 25 church partners participate in the “shop.” We were able to share more than $100,000 of items among all the church partners. As expected, these givers spent most of their shopping on items for their women’s ministry, for Sunday school classrooms, for the AV team, and a few things to help brighten their day.
As we look forward to the Christmas season, we will distribute the remaining items (more than $500,000 in value) to church partners to set up Christmas shops for their community. CSM is very excited to see how these items will be a small blessing to those who are struggling in this challenging time and economy.