Keep up with the exciting things happening through your gifts to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Special Offerings. We'll be posting about a wide range of topics, including: how your dollars are used around the world, promotion strategies for use in your local congregations, as well as stories about how Presbyterians are using Special Offerings gifts to make an impact in their own communities.
It’s time for another round of meet the Ambassadors - since it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, I’m going to introduce you to two for the price of one!
Anna Owens and T.J. Piccolo served with me as Young Adult Volunteers in Belfast, so suffice it to say I’m excited to have them on the team.
Anna began classes at Columbia Theological seminary just days after arriving back in the States from her year of service. I asked why she was interested in becoming an Ambassador:
Since much of the YAV Program's budget is supported by the Pentecost Offering, I think getting involved with the Special Offerings Leader Support Network is a great way to give back. For another reason, I believe in the mission of the PC(USA) and the Special Offerings Program. Also, as a student at a Presbyterian seminary, it will be a way to complement what I'm learning with practical experience about fundraising.
T.J. left Belfast to spend a second year as a Young Adult Volunteer in Nashville. He is currently living and working in Michigan, hoping for an opportunity to get involved with urban ministry in Detroit. I asked him about his vision for mission, and how it affects the often-tricky question about his approach to fundraising:
Through my missions in the PC(USA), I learned the values of listening, relationship-building, and action. I engaged with several different types of faith, personalities, lifestyles, race, heritages, backgrounds, and communities on a personal level. PC(USA) missions empower and provide tools for communities to speak for themselves.
I [am] enthusiastic and proud to raise funds for the PC(USA) because it is something I believe in. The PC(USA) has enriched and been a constant presence in my relationship with God since I was a child, and has supported me financially on multiple occasions that have given me life-changing experiences. I’m a different person because of this church, and for the better. It would be an honor to fundraise for the denomination that has given me so much, so that they can continue to give to others.
I am so excited to dive in to orientation next weekend with these folks, and the twenty-something others who will be a part of our first Ambassador team. Stay tuned for more information about an Ambassador that may be heading your way soon!
To learn more about the program, visit pcusa.org/SOLSN.
Yesterday, we learned about where 50% of offering receipts go for the Christmas Joy Offering: Racial Ethnic Schools and Colleges. The second half of this offering is dedicated to Assistance Grants of the Board of Pensions.
Rooted in a nearly 300-year-old tradition, the Assistance Program embodies the connectional Church at its best. As the Assistance Program relies on voluntary gifts, legacies, endowments, and one-half of the Christmas Joy Offering — not dues — for its funding, it provides a way for caring Presbyterians to support those who serve the Church during their times of need. Assistance is granted for needs that lie ...
Today my goal is to give you a bit more insight into the recipients of the Christmas Joy offering. Racial Ethnic Schools and Colleges receive 50% of the offering.
The importance of the racial ethnic schools and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is demonstrated in the continuing partnership between the two entities. The institutions have provided quality education to people who have contributed immeasurably to the church at large and to the world. Students are educated for the professions of their choice in an environment which supports and nurtures racial and ethnic heritage.
Many of the college ...
Gift giving has become a large part of the Christmas spirit we celebrate each year. We give our family and friends presents to show our love for them, following in the tradition of the wise men the very first Christmas. It is through these actions that we are reminded of those in need, especially during the Advent season.
The Christmas Joy Offering is a way for you to do more than simply give a gift; it’s a way to improve the lives of those who are struggling. 50% of all funds raised for this Offering are given to both ...
Several years ago there was a wonderful history of the Christmas Joy Offering. Where can I find that information?
What a great question, Wendy!
The Christmas Joy Offering has been received in Presbyterian churches for over 75 years! It has seen its share of changes in this time, but the heart of the offering has remained the same.
The Christmas Joy Offering dates back to the 1930s when the former Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) began an offering to supplement inadequate retirement income and provide supplemental medical insurance for former ministers, missionaries, church workers, and their families ...