Prince of Peace Church starts Advent with an Alternative Gift Fair

By Ann Nash

We often despair how commercial Christmas has become. We also dread the pressure and expense of trying to make Christmas “perfect.” The Prince of Peace congregation in South Bend, Ind., has an answer to that. For more than two decades, we have started Advent with our Alternative Gift Fair.

Tim and Leann Kreps began this tradition while Tim was a Notre Dame student, and the congregation continued it after his graduation and move to Bridgewater (Va.) College.

We offer a relaxed and friendly (i.e., not at the mall or online) atmosphere to purchase beautiful, unique gifts and support nonprofits and local businesses supporting peace, social justice, and education. Participants this year included nonprofits empowering and training women such as Soup of Success, St. Margaret’s House, and Malawi Matters; fair trade retailer Ten Thousand Villages; and local community garden network Unity Gardens.

After a two-year pandemic hiatus, Prince of Peace member Faith Fleming organized the first post-COVID Alternative Gift Fair this year, wanting to continue this unique connection with our community. It worked. Many friends and neighbors were delighted to kick off their Christmas shopping in this special way, and to regain the joy of Advent.

— Ann Nash provided this report to Newsline on behalf of Prince of Peace Church of the Brethren.

Photos by Ken Rieman

Please pray… With thanks to God for the work of the Prince of Peace congregation to provide an Alternative Gift Fair to its community.


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