Black Friday 2011: Christians Urged to Reform Their Holidays With 'Bless Friday'

The shopping frenzy descending on Americans the day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, is getting a face-lift.

Bless Friday, founded in Houston, Texas in 2010, challenges Christians to alter the way they celebrate the holiday season.

To many, the holiday season is punctuated by shopping – almost a month of it. Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the most popular day of shopping for Christmas – arguably the most popular shopping day for the entire calendar year. Whereas Commonwealth countries shop on Boxing Day, the day after Christmas, Americans shop the day after Thanksgiving.

Bless Friday proposes a renewed community commitment to helping the needy the day after Thanksgiving. In their second year, the Houston based Bless Friday movement reports a tripling of activities as Christian organizations and Galveston area churches continue to flock to the cause of serving the needy the day after Thanksgiving.

Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, (MDPC) Beacon of Light Christian Center, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, St. John the Divine Episcopal Church, Moody Memorial First United Methodist Church, Holy Cross Lutheran Church, Fair Haven UMC and Mission Milby all have scheduled public service projects on Friday, Nov. 25.

MDPC congregants will volunteer at local ministry partners Star of Hope and SEARCH to paint homes damaged by Hurricane Ike.

St. Luke’s will hold a pot luck lunch at Gethsemane campus and distribute non-perishable foods to needy.

The Beacon of Light Christian Center will offer a day of fellowship, donating clothing. Representatives of St. John’s will be on hand to offer laundry services.

Pastor Anthony Gasery explains the spirit behind Bless Friday: “Our community is filled with people who financially overextend themselves at Christmas. We want to show them a more positive and more spiritual way to celebrate.”

The founder of Bless Friday, Chuck Fox, states, “We want to begin our Christmas celebration by serving others just as Jesus did.”

“Black Friday’s about bargains,” Mr. Fox reminds us. “Bless Friday’s about values.”

He urges people to inform themselves at