Church Encourages “Small and Simple Acts” on Worldwide Day of Service
Contributed By Camille West, LDS.org Church News
- “Worldwide Day of Service” December 1 kicks off month-long service that shares light of Christ.
- Share your experiences using #LIGHTtheWORLD.
“Christ taught ‘Ye are the light of the world,” and we hope that through small and simple acts of service, we can spread the light of Christ—helping others to feel the love of the Savior through genuine kindness.” —Bruce Muir
“Serve anyone you want, any way you want” this December 1. That’s the message of the Church’s Worldwide Day of Service, which kicks off a month-long “Light the World” Christmas initiative encouraging members to share the light of Christ through small, but meaningful acts of service on each of the 25 days before Christmas.
“When people think of Christmas, they often think of lights,” said Bruce Muir, director of emergency response for the Church. “Christmas lights, lighted store windows, tree lights. Christ taught ‘Ye are the light of the world,” and we hope that through small and simple acts of service, we can spread the light of Christ—helping others to feel the love of the Savior through genuine kindness.”
Light the World. In 25 Ways. Over 25 Days
Detailed on Mormon.org/Christmas, this year’s Christmas message from the Church—“Light the world. In 25 ways. Over 25 days”—is all about service, especially serving the way Christ did.
Closer to December, a Christmas video will be shared on Mormon.org demonstrating how simple acts of service can emulate the many ways Jesus cared for others during His earthly ministry. In addition, a calendar of the first 25 days in December encourages various Christlike acts of service on each day. For example, day 5 features the message, “Jesus fed the hungry and so can you,” and provides simple suggestions for service like: donate to a food bank, or invite a neighbor over for dinner.
Watch and share the Light the World video released November 25 on Mormon.org.
80th anniversary of the Church welfare plan
This year’s Christmas theme happens to fall on the 80th anniversary of the Church Welfare plan. “Much of what Christ did to serve others, is what the welfare program is all about,” said Steven Peterson, managing director of the Welfare Department for the Church. “Jesus healed the blind, the lame, and ministered to the hungry, poor and the needy,” he said. Our efforts with vision care, wheelchairs, food banks, refugee efforts and more are all attempts to follow the example of the Savior and do what He did.”
Five years ago, to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Church welfare plan, a day of service was held where Church units around the world organized service projects for the poor and needy in their communities.
“As this year’s day of service falls in December, the Church is simply issuing an open ended invitation to serve,” said Sharon Eubank, director of LDS Charities. “We recognize that Christmas time is busy and we don’t want to overburden individuals with large-scale efforts. We hope that people will serve in small ways, close to home, then simply use #LIGHTtheWORLD to share their stories, either as a giver or a receiver of kindness.”
The Church’s goal to is to have more than 100,000 individuals provide service on December 1. “We’ve heard that 100,000 people serving across the world would represent the single largest service event in the world, said Sister Eubank. “We’re not looking for any record—but it’s our hope that a goal like this will help to motivate participation.”
To help with that goal, the Church is marshaling its worldwide force of 70,000 missionaries to provide service to someone in their community on December 1. “Some will be serving at local food pantries, community centers, parks, or at a single home. Missionaries provide service all the time, but it is exciting to think of such a large group of people all doing good at once,” said Brother Peterson.
“Christmas time is about celebrating the birth, the life and the ministry of Jesus Christ,” said Brother Muir. “What better way to do that, than to be a light in the lives of others.”