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April 16, 2014

A Special Offering

by Ida Smith

April 20, 2014 is special because it is the day when Christians all around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. For Presbyterians it is special for another reason as well. It is typically the Sunday a special offering is received: the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS).  The OGHS is one of the four churchwide special offerings the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) promotes in its congregations.  This offering helps support three ministry areas:  the Presbyterian Hunger program, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and Self-Development of People.  Funds from the OGHS provide food to the hungry, help provide relief to victims of natural disasters, and help the poor and oppressed. 

According to a Presbyterian Panel survey on special offerings, among the four churchwide offerings normally collected, the OGHS is the offering in which congregations are most likely to participate. The OGHS is also the offering to which household members are most likely to contribute[1] (most likely because more congregations are participating, giving everyone a greater opportunity to contribute).  Median giving is also slightly higher for the OGHS ($40) compared to the other offerings ($25).

Table 1:  Percent Reporting Their Congregation Participated in Each Offering

Offering

All

Members

Ruling

Elders

Pastors

Specialized

Clergy

Christmas Joy

74%

66%

78%

77%

73%

OGHS

87%

80%

91%

87%

87%

Peacemaking

50%

40%

52%

53%

58%

Pentecost

42%

36%

44%

42%

50%

 

Table 2:  Percent of Participants Contributing to Each Offering*

Offering

All

Members

Ruling

Elders

Pastors

Specialized

Clergy

Christmas Joy

74%

79%

75%

71%

70%

OGHS

76%

71%

76%

78%

81%

Peacemaking

68%

60%

68%

71%

70%

Pentecost

69%

64%

77%

68%

64%

*Percent is of those that said they participated in the offering

 

Of those that contributed to each offering, panelists were asked to share their motivations for giving. Out of eight options offered, eight in ten panelists chose they were motivated because the money received from the offering supported the work of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Panelists who gave to the OGHS offering were also asked what materials were used to promote it; nine out of ten panelists said they saw the OGHS information in a bulletin insert. 

Besides placing eggs and treats in a basket this Sunday, please consider placing an offering in the One Great Hour of Sharing “basket” as it passes down the pew.  To learn more, check out OGHS on the web.

 

 



[1] Because of the time of year the survey was administered, data for Christmas Joy, Peacemaking, and Pentecost offerings are for 2010.  Data for OGHS was 2011.


April 7, 2014

Remembering Rwanda

Today marks the beginning of an official time of mourning in Rwanda.  It commemorates the genocide which began 20 years ago on this date.    

Rwanda is a small country in east central Africa comprised mainly of two ethnic groups: the Hutu and the Tutsi.  Rwanda was largely ignored by the rest of the world until April 7, 1994.  On this day a civil war began between the Hutu and the Tutsi. The war lasted 100 days and an estimated 800,000 people in Rwanda were brutally murdered.  The impetus for the genocidal killings were the assassinations of two Hutu presidents ...

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April 2, 2014

What Presbyterians Knoweth about Noah

One of the first Bible stories children learn in Sunday school is the story of Noah (Genesis 6-9). Like most epic stories, Hollywood has found a way to make the story of Noah into a feature-length film. This weekend Noah opened up in theaters in many major cities throughout the country. New Zealand actor Russell Crowe (best known for the lead roles in Gladiator and A Beautiful Mind) plays Noah. There is controversy surrounding this movie: will it be Biblically accurate? How will Noah be portrayed? How will God be portrayed? Wasn’t the movie director an atheist?

The release ...

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September 10, 2012

Havoc in Haiti by Ida Smith

Over this past weekend it was reported that Tropical Storm Isaac hit Haiti with heavy winds and rains, killing at least 24 people. Haiti, as you may know, suffered major devastation in January of 2010 when it was hit by an earthquake.

With thoughts of Haiti looming heavy on my heart, I explored the newly-released results from the 2011 Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire, which contains data about the Presbyterian response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake. The Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire is a survey sent to all Presbyterian congregations from the denomination’s research office.  The 2011 questionnaire was filled out ...

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June 25, 2012

Latest Insights About the Fastest Growing Presbyterian Churches

By Cynthia Woolever

 

Rarely do we get the opportunity to dig deeper into the many factors fueling church growth. But recently more than one hundred of the fastest growing PC(USA) congregations invited all of their worshipers to complete a survey during worship services. We’ve compiled the results and a report is now available. The more than 8,000 Presbyterians who attend these churches and completed a survey have a lot to say! The research findings point to the strengths of growing churches, how they reach out to non-members, and their approaches to integrating and engaging new people. You ...

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