Originally posted on STLAmerican.com.
Christmas will be brighter for many families in the St. Louis and Metro East communities thanks to Christmas in November, a national cares initiative hosted by the Church of God in Christ, Inc.
“During the COGIC 110th Holy Convocation, Christmas in November will be one of many tremendous events to occur that will demonstrate the church’s love for community and for the whole man,” said Bishop Charles E. Blake Sr., presiding bishop of the Church of God in Christ, Inc. “We believe that we should reflect the love and compassion of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in all that we do.”
The Holy Convocation is a seven-day spiritual rejuvenation event for the denomination, where over 50,000 members converge on the city to pray, fellowship, minister and reflect on the previous year in order to prepare for the future. Christmas in November is held annually during the COGIC Holy Convocation. This year’s convocation is convening November 6-14 at St. Louis America’s Center and the Edwards Jones Dome.
Christmas in November will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, November 11 at Williams Temple COGIC, 5300 Dr. Martin Luther King Drive. It is a national COGIC Cares initiative that provides low-income community residents with goods and services through the work of evangelism in an effort to provide a quality Christmas for men, women and children who otherwise could not afford one.
Bishop Lawrence M. Wooten, Sr., pastor of Williams Temple COGIC and member of the COGIC General Board, has coordinated Christmas in November since 2010, when the COGIC Holy Convocation moved from Memphis, Tenn. to St. Louis.
“Last year we were able to help many low-income and needy families in the community”, Bishop Wooten said. “Again, this year, we will be able to bless the community with hygiene items, non-perishable food, new toys and clothes, free groceries, appliances, small household items, cosmetics, health screenings, hot lunches, haircuts, job referrals and free cell phones with minutes for those who qualify.”
International Evangelist Shirley Wooten, co-coordinator of the event, said about 1,000 families attended the giveaway last year. She said each of the 1000 families averaged about five people or more per household.
Evangelist Wooten said making the COGIC Cares event happen is a yearlong process, but it’s an effort that she feels is an important one in being able to help others, especially those who might be less fortunate.