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Engaging with Special Offerings During COVID-19
Presbyterian Mission
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In the past few months, we have seen the Church challenged. The virus has prevented the "normal" ways we create community, which are some of the core practices of our faith. And yet, the Church has adapted, made shifts, and changed in order pursue the mission of building God’s house, together. And so, many have been creative in their engagement with Special Offerings, as well. Some are taking advantage of the fact that you can receive ANY of the Offerings and ANY time in the year. (Each Offering is situated in a liturgical season as an invitation, not a rule). Some congregations have moved their promotion online, using the many social media and digital resources produced to support our shared ministry. Others have used curriculum and activity ideas to make this time of physical distance also a time of education and formation in the faith we share. And so, as we approach Pentecost, we do so excited for the fire of faith glowing strong in times of great tragedy and stress. We pray that the whole Church will continue pointing to Jesus, during this pandemic and beyond, for the hope and healing. That is what the Church has always been about. And we are the Church. Together.

 

Blessings,
Bryce Wiebe
Director, Special Offerings

Engaging with the Pentecost Offering During a Pandemic

The Pentecost Offering unites us in a churchwide effort to support young people and inspire them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world. And during these uncertain times, this work is more important than ever! We have compiled a list of Pentecost Offering resources for congregations and individuals to use during this time - from a beautiful coloring page designed by Illustrated Ministry, LLC to recorded songs and testimonials you can incorporate into your online worship.

Access resources →
How will your congregation use its 40% of the Pentecost Offering?

Forty percent of the Pentecost Offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. We see congregations dedicate their 40% to everything from backpack feeding programs and building beds for vulnerable children to summer camp scholarships and resources for young adults aging out of foster care. We would love to hear how your congregation plans to use its 40% of the 2020 Pentecost Offering — you could be another congregation’s inspiration! If you’re looking for inspiration on what to do with your funds, take a look at the regional Minutes for Mission on our website, including a story from The Woodlands Community Presbyterian Church in Texas who last year dedicated their portion to providing hope and independence to children born deaf or hard of hearing (some of whom are pictured above).

Read this story →
The Offerings Can Be Taken at Any Time

Each of the four Special Offerings is connected with a liturgical season, but they are not restricted to be received then. Congregations might want to kick off their Pentecost Offering season on Pentecost Sunday (rather than conclude on Pentecost Sunday), and participate in the Offering throughout the summer months, lifting up the ministries that support our children, youth, and young adults. We support your congregation participating in the Special Offerings however they fit best in your context. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.

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Did you go Four for Four?

By receiving all four of the Special Offerings mandated by the General Assembly: One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost, Peace & Global Witness, and Christmas Joy, a Four for Four congregation declares its connection with the ministries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and joins in the efforts of Presbyterians around the corner and around the world to share God's grace and endless love. Our Four for Four map has recently been updated to reflect all congregations that went Four for Four in 2019. Can you find yours?

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Links of Love Continues to Celebrate Connection

It is important for us to recognize and celebrate the collective effort of Presbyterian generosity, and we continue to do so through Links of Love, an activity related to the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Our hope for this activity is to recognize how the power of each individual gift, when joined with others, makes a significant and lasting impact for people and communities around the world. We’re excited to see how you and your church embrace this activity and make it your own! Pictured above, you can see that the members of First Presbyterian Church in Charleston, Illinois, continued their Links of Love effort even while meeting virtually. Their goal was to create a paper chain as long as a "safe distance," and it looks like they accomplished that and more!

Download activity →
Giving Amid Change Resource

For many of us, talking about stewardship with our congregations can be tricky. During times of change and uncertainty, like what we are experiencing now, these conversations become even more difficult. We invite you to use this Minute for Mission, created by Bryce Wiebe, as you speak with your members about the importance of giving during these uncertain times. The resource is available in written form, as well as audio and video recordings, so that you can disseminate however works best for your community.

Read & download Minute for Mission →
Become a Matthew 25 Church

Matthew 25:31–46 calls all of us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities. Matthew 25 is a bold new vision and invitation from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) with over 460 congregations and mid councils that have already pledged to become a Matthew 25 church by working to build congregational vitality, dismantle structural racism and eradicate systemic poverty. We invite you to join us on this journey!

Find out how →
Now accepting applications for Katie Cannon scholarships.
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