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.
Passion and Mission – Two words that describe the volunteer Ambassadors of the Special Offerings Leader Support Network. Many of the volunteers are pastors. Many are ruling elders. Some are young. Some are retired. The two common threads among them are a passion for God’s work in the world; and a heart for local, national and global mission. The Office of Special Offerings partners with these volunteers, who are Presbyterians that support Special Offerings not only through giving to their church but also by giving of time and energy.
In this job, I get to hear from several leaders in our congregations about the ways they have used Special Offerings materials to reach out to their church families. I recently spoke with Beth Poole, Christian Education Director at Eaton First Presbyterian Church in Eaton, OH. She offered to write a bit about the programming at her church:
Our youth at Eaton FPC have had a lot of fun collecting items and money for PC(USA) Missions. The Youth from our Wednesday evenings LOGOS program, along with the supportive church members of Eaton First Presbyterian Church collected items for the ...
What's your favorite ornament? Chances are it's not the fanciest one, but one with great personal meaning: a macaroni star your child made, a tarnished wreath that belonged to your grandmother.
Ryan Moran is a volunteer ambassador with the Special Offerings Leader Support Network
I often find that people I speak to in the congregations don't know all of the ways our team can help make the offerings a success.
In addition to the materials that congregations receive in their standing order packets, materials such as leader's guides, worship planning and minutes for mission are available to download from our website. You can go to specialofferings.pcusa.org, click on the upcoming offering, then scroll down to "all offering resources" (One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost Offering, Peace & Global Witness Offering, Christmas Joy Offering).
If you want a more personal ...
We often hear great stories from congregations with innovative ways to make big differences in their giving.
“Thank you, Jesus, for this gift of everlasting life in Community. And thank you for new wineskins—the youngest adults in our midst. Equip them to be the leaders you need. And empower us through prayer and finances to make that happen.”
With its focus on children and youth, Pentecost is the perfect time to include the young people of your congregation in planning and execution of next week's service.
There are several ideas available here, but here are a few examples:
God gives freely and abundantly to us and our response is to give.
You've heard us talk a bit about the Special Offerings Leader Support Network, and even "met" a few of our Ambassadors along the way. Here's a look at our training in January.
We're always looking for people to add to our program. If you're interested or know someone else who might be, visit pcusa.org/solsn.
Krystal: I decided to become an Ambassador for Special Offerings because I truly believe in this program.
Beau: Generosity is a very important part of my discipleship and how I follow Christ.
Kate: I want to help the church ...
Once upon a time (when I first started working in the office of Special Offerings), someone asked me for a logo to use for a conference.
Sure, we had logos for One Great Hour of Sharing, for Pentecost... but not one that embodied all four as a cohesive unit. A coworker added the words "Special Offerings" to the PC(USA) Seal, and that served its purpose for awhile.
Since the Special Offerings have come together under one umbrella, we have been slowly working on making the style of each offering relate to the others. We want our correspondence ...
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 ...
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 ...
It's been awhile since I've featured a new Ambassador. Not because I don't have a bevy of interesting, dedicated volunteers to choose from...
Today we'll meet Allison Wehrung. She's a former Young Adult Volunteer, now a senior at Columbia Theological Seminary.
So, Allison. What does mission mean to you?
I think mission is the call we have to do ministry outside of our traditional churches. It's striving to live up to the example of Jesus, who ate with tax collectors, healed with mud, and helped those whom others ignored. One of my favorite things ...
You’ve heard of Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, but what about Giving Tuesday? As part of a global charitable giving effort, we’re inviting folks to take a breather from the spending frenzy and give back on Tuesday, December 2. Give to your congregation, presbytery, Special Offerings or a variety of national and international mission causes. Imagine the collective impact of 1.8 million Presbyterians working together on a single day to make a difference! Here’s how you can help us promote and support Giving Tuesday:
"Mission is our expression of faith in being sent to the world to share the Good News of the Gospel and in sharing work and witness. Mission is our calling; Mission is working together for the benefit of others. Mission is active, intentional, focused, work alongside partnership. We are all called to serve. Sent in service."
This weekend was a great opportunity for me to see our Activation Kit in action - it really works! Has your congregation considered hosting an Alternative Giving Fair, or setting up a Tree of Hope in your narthex or fellowship hall? Send us an email with any questions, refill requests, or better yet - pictures from your event!
This year, the Presbyterian Mission Agency is partnering with the Presbyterian Foundation to join the #GivingTuesday movement.
"That moment for me was a glimpse into God’s provision and abundance in this world, in this church and in my life."
Between staff, volunteers, and mission partners, we have a lot of friends involved with Special Offerings on a daily basis. In an effort to include you in our little world, we are beginning a series introducing you to the people behind the scenes who make these offerings possible.
Meet Kate Rascoe.
Kate is a member of our new Special Offerings Leader Support Network (SOLSN). One of the first brave members blazing the trail for our Ambassador program, which trains people like YOU (hint!) to network with churches in your area, to get feedback and offer resources. For our first profile ...
We have heard from several congregations who host alternative giving fairs, providing opportunities to purchase the kinds of gifts that don't clutter people's homes. The kinds of gifts that make a difference to someone else who really needs it. In response, we created the Presbyterian Giving Catalog Activation Kit.
I have been feeling a lot like the 1940s Uncle Sam poster that says, “I want you” with a big finger pointing at the reader. Except I was not alive in the 1940s, I’m not male and I’m not representing the government.
Though, I am looking for YOU to join the Ambassador program.
I want you to join me to increase support for, increase energy around and increase awareness of all the mission work funded by the 4 PCUSA Special Offerings.
Volunteers will meet with pastors in their area, present to congregations, tell stories of the way the ...
During one of the interviews for this position, I sat at dinner next to Rev. Sarah Lisherness as she was telling me about the type of work done by the programs under the Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA). And suddenly, I had this existential, out of body experience. I felt this overwhelming sense of deep awe and gratitude. “I get to be a part of the hands on work God is doing in the world,” I thought, “Wow!” (My deep psyche is not very articulate.)
“This is like the Oscars of the Presbyterian Church,” I found myself saying one day at General Assembly.
Being at the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church is none other than electrifying, energizing and all around Presby-nerdy. I met people who were “church-famous” and others who were “book-famous.” There were some that were so famous that I just watched them from afar (um, Jack Rogers). I saw friends from a long ago and friends from yesterday. I met so many amazing people, I could hardly keep track. Although, you can checkout #selfieswithsally on Facebook or Twitter to see some of the amazing folks I met (i included a couple of great examples after the break.)
It's an exciting day in the Special Offerings office, as we are finally ready to bring you something we've been working on for a little while (okay, a long while) now. So, we're going to take a quick break from promoting the Pentecost Offering to announce the brand-new Special Offerings website! Well, technically it's just five new landing pages (one general page and one for each of the individual offerings), that are still located under the PC(USA) web umbrella, but we really don't like speaking in technicalities :)
As more families flee the violence, the Záatari refugee camp grows. It’s already the second largest refugee camp in the world where more than 3 in 5 refugees are children.
Their futures are slipping away. You can help change that When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing, you help make the world a more loving, peaceful, place.
Southminster Presbyterian in Taylor, Michigan, started a program called ‘Change for Chickens’, collecting loose change with a set goal of raising $50 so they’d be able to purchase two families of chickens from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog.
Since, like me and my Louisville colleagues, many of you are still thawing-out from the historic low temperatures earlier this week, I wanted to end the week with something fun. I'll probably do this a lot.
So, without further a-do, here's a great video from PBS Studios starring one of our more famous PC(USA) pastors: the late and great Fred Rogers. Enjoy!
One of my favorite things about working for Special Offerings is helping Presbyterians connect their decision to give, regardless of the amount, with the impact their gift can have in the life of another, but it's also one of the most challenging. While we can share as many stories as we want (there are many) about how someone, somewhere, in the past benefited from one of the ministries supported by Special Offerings (don't get me wrong, because these are great), we think we've found an even better way.
This past autumn we launched the Presbyterian Giving Catalog ...
In light of the recent changes to the way we distribute certain resources for the Special Offerings, I thought it would be great to kick-off the first Tech Tip Tuesday with a tutorial on how to find and download resources directly from the Special Offerings website. For this demonstration we're going use the 2014 One Great Hour of Sharing Leaders Guide as our example.
If you're already comfortable navigating through the web, feel free to skip ahead -- otherwise you might find the first few instructions a bit basic. We just really want to make sure that even those ...
Greetings from a cold and (very) snowy Indianapolis!
I'd like to take a second to welcome you all to Daily Offerings, the brand-new Special Offerings blog! Although we've wandered into this environment in the past, we want to be more intentional in regards to regular posting in 2014 -- in fact, my personal goal is to post at least five times per-week.
If you're wondering how I could possibly have enough words, images, etc. to create a relevant post every weekday, don't worry because I'm right there with you ... just kidding!
A lot of what you ...