New Jersey based Liquid Church will provide toys, coats, and food for families in need this Christmas, with its second Operation Christmas Angel.
Occurring this Saturday, Operation Christmas Angel, as the project is called, invites struggling families to come to a first class brunch. "The first will be last just like it says in the Bible," Pastor Tim Lucas of Liquid Church told The Christian Post. "[It's] the way God sees them."
Once at the banquet guests will have brunch with a host family and share in the meal like a family.
When the families have finished eating, the children will be brought over to an area where they can they can participate in certain activities. Then the adults will be led over to a winter wonderland themed toy room where all the shelves are stocked with free toys that can be taken by the parents for their children.
According to Pastor Lucas, families are permitted to take two toys per child, a winter coat per child, and a number of stocking stuffers for each child.
The toys have been hand selected by group leaders and members of the church from stores like Kohl’s and Walmart, and picked for their quality and relevance to a whatever age or gender a child may be.
"They were the elves of our congregation," Pastor Lucas joked.
He said the most important thing to remember about the banquet is, "The key is it's not a handout. We are looking to establish relationships and show Christ through grace."
Brunch times are from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST at three locations: Hyatt Morristown, Morristown, NJ, at The Heldrich, New Brunswick, NJ, and John Walker Middle School, Nutley, NJ.
The event takes place in a giant ballroom, and the room will be split right down the middle; one side for the banquet, and the other for the toys.
Operation Christmas Angel is funded entirely by Liquid's budget. The church uses 10 percent of the year's budget to fund all of their outreach programs and events.
The approximate cost spent on all the items for this event was $45,000 over the three church campuses reaching families in three cities and providing Christmas gifts for at least 400 children and food for 200 families.
With this money they were able to purchase 1,700 toys, 2,100 eggs and 41 pounds of bacon, according to a press release by the church.
650 volunteers will serve the meals and help with the event that was held at the Hyatt Hotel who graciously donated the space for free.
"They were so moved by the impact it had on our community last year," Lucas said.
The event would not be possible if Liquid did not have the support of 15 organizations.
Women Aware (New Brunswick)
Puerto Rican Action Board (New Brunswick)
Sean Hanna Foundation (New Brunswick)
Elijah's Angel (New Brunswick)
Youth Consultation Services (New Brunswick)
Family Success (Nutley)
Interfaith Hospitality Network (Nutley)
Teaneck Women's Agency (Nutley)
Homeless Solutions (Morristown)
Children on the Green (Morristown)
Interfaith Council for Homeless Families (Morristown)
Mental Health Association of Morris County (Morristown)
Jersey Battered Women's Shelter (Morristown)
Interfaith Food Pantry of Morris County (Morristown)
Happening simultaneously are the submissions to participate in Liquid's Virtual Choir, which is open until Dec. 15.
Liquid Church is utilizing webcams to have would be singers record their vocals to "Silent Night" following a list of instructions and rules for the project.
Once submitted, the user's song will be synchronized with thousands of videos from other people. The church's engineering and tech team will create a virtual choir that will sing as part of a sermon preached by Liquid's pastor Tim Lucas.
“We’re creating a unique experience for singers across the globe to come together as one voice this Christmas,” wrote Liquid Church in a statement.
Pastor Lucas told The Christian Post his sermon would be about angels announcing the birth of Jesus. He revealed that the video of the virtual choir would represent the rejoicing angels.
"The more people that sing the better it sounds," he said. "I hope it becomes a tradition for years to come as more people become comfortable with the idea."