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May 2022

“Look ahead with joy,” God charges us through the prophet Isaiah. “Anticipate what I’m creating!” As the summer season approaches — and, with it, a history-making General Assembly — let’s celebrate God’s glorious new creation as we walk God’s path together. A wealth of new resources, events and programs awaits!

Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog

Pentecost Sunday is June 5. Join us in receiving and celebrating the Pentecost Offering, which supports children at risk; ministries with children and youth, including the Youth Triennium; and the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. Let’s join together to ensure that our younger siblings in Christ begin life with a solid foundation of faith.

Special Offerings is providing the opportunity to customize your own bulletin insert for the 2022 Pentecost Offering, sharing with your members how you will use your 40% of the offering to build a foundation of faith in children, youth and young adults in your community. Follow this link to provide Special Offerings staff with your congregation’s information, and someone from the team will follow up in 1–2 business days. If you have any questions, please reach out to special.offerings@pcusa.org.

Between Two Pulpits with the Special Offerings: Join us for a weekly conversation where guests discuss theology, mission, lectionary readings for the following Sunday and the churchwide Special Offerings. Each week features a special guest and includes ideas for promotion and engagement. The show takes place live on Mondays at 1 p.m. Eastern time in the Facebook group Special Offerings: Promoting Presbyterian Mission Together. Recent guests have included Destini Hodges from the Young Adult Volunteer Program, Edwin González-Castillo of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and Debbie Braaksma, co-coordinator of The Learning Hub at Beechmont Presbyterian Church in Louisville — a recipient of a grant from Educate a Child – Transform the World.

We Believe Video: It is easy to make a big difference in people’s lives through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. Our mission is to connect people as neighbors with others experiencing needs; to support projects and friendships that grow gardens and generations; bring water and watch for corruption; share education, tools and training; and link each of us, more closely, with one another and with God. Watch the video now!

Request a free Presbyterian Giving Catalog Starter Kit: Your kit includes catalogs, a display stand and additional resources — everything you need to share your passion for Presbyterian Mission with your family, friends and congregation! Order yours now by clicking here!

Professional student loan coaching to be available for PC(USA) employees

Temporary changes in Federal student loan programs provide employees of nonprofits with a second chance at loan forgiveness. This includes employees of PC(USA) agencies/entities and other PC(USA) organizations.

Financial Aid for Service has partnered with PeopleJoy student loan consultants to help PC(USA) employees learn about what might be available to them and take advantage of this opportunity. PeopleJoy provides coaching, advising and hands-on document preparation and submission for Federal student loan programs including Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-Driven Repayment Plans, Loan Consolidation, Default Recovery and more.

This service will be available free of charge to employees of PC(USA) congregations, mid councils, denominational agencies/entities and others. Communication about how to connect with PeopleJoy will begin in early May. Informational webinars about what PeopleJoy offers, which will be simulcast in Spanish and Korean, will be available monthly starting May 12. Register now for the first webinar, May 12, at 3 p.m. Eastern Time. Click here for more information.

Mission co-workers available for interpretation, Spring 2022

The next few months may be a perfect time for you to be inspired by what God is doing in the world. Please consider hosting virtually or in person one of our itinerating mission co-workers (MCWs). Click here for the online list of the MCWs who will be available in 2022–23. You can also reach our co-workers’ webpages through the links found on the Mission Connections homepage.

Please take a few minutes to watch a new video in which our MCWs tell the stories of PC(USA) mission partnerships in Latin America and the Caribbean. At the same time, we hope that you will consider supporting our global partners through our one fund, General Sending and Support, E132192 (or D500115 for congregational giving only). Gifts to the one fund may be made “in honor of” [name of mission co-worker(s)], who will then be notified of the gift and will gratefully acknowledge it just as they have in the past. Learn more here.

NEW Spring 2022 resource from the Presbyterian Hunger Program

How do ministries alleviating hunger, providing affordable housing, caring for the earth and building just societies help enliven congregations? Read about congregational vitality that comes through efforts to work on hunger and its root causes in the latest edition of the PHP Post.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) Annual Report now available

PDA recently released its Annual Report, “Mosaic: Year In Review 2021,” in English, Spanish and Korean. Read it online or order free copies from the PCUSA Store. For a brief summary of PDA’s work in 2021, download the one-page “2021 At A Glance.”

New daily devotional now available

1001 New Worshiping Communities is publishing a daily email devotional in celebration of Pentecost and marking the 10th anniversary of the 1001 movement. Each day’s devotion is written by a new worshiping community leader or a member of the 1001 staff and will be delivered to your inbox every weekday in June. To receive the devotions, you must subscribe using this link.

Mosaic of Peace Conference: A Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference in Israel/Palestine

Join us from Nov. 6–18 — with an optional pre-conference in Jordan, Nov. 1–5 — to experience this remarkable and troubled region, encounter its diverse people, explore its rich history and complex current situation and engage with those who seek its peace. Applications are due July 1, 2022. Detailed information can be found here.

The International Peacemakers Program is accepting applications for 2022 in-person visits

Since 1984, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been hosting International Peacemakers from partner denominations and organizations around the world to help us understand peace and justice concerns and provide insights that inspire us to greater faithfulness. Mid councils, clusters of congregations and educational institutions may learn more by visiting the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program website and apply to host a peacemaker in person for fall 2022. Applications are due June 1, 2022.

Companion Guide to the Commitment to Peacemaking

We’ve committed to peacemaking — now what? Check out the “Companion Guide to the Commitment to Peacemaking” here. It assists congregations, mid councils and theological institutions as they make, reaffirm and deepen their commitments to peacemaking. The Companion Guide provides an intentional development plan for your peacemaking work and witness. It offers a set of original and curated resources designed to help Presbyterians engage a peacemaking area of emphasis of their choosing: poverty, violence, racism, climate change or immigration/migration.

News from the Office of Mission Program Grants

Funding for 1001 New Worshiping Communities and Presbytery Level Congregational Transformation is available through the office of Mission Program Grants. Applications and resources may be obtained by visiting the Mission Program Grants website. The upcoming submission dates for proposals are June 14, July 28 and Sept. 1, for review on July 22, Aug. 30 and Oct. 20–21, respectively.

Continuing Education for leaders in Spanish/Educación Continua para líderes en Español

The Office of Hispanic/Latino-a Intercultural Congregational Support hosts weekly Continuing Education for leaders in Spanish.* Upcoming topics are “Advocacy within the Great Ends of the Church” in May and “Decolonizing the Pulpit: The Sermon as Artisanal Creation” in June. For more information, email Rosa Miranda.

*La Oficina Intercultural de Apoyo Congregacional Hispano Latina ofrece semanalmente Educación Continua para líderes en español. Los próximos temas serán: La Abogacía dentro del marco de los Grandes Fines de la Iglesia, en mayo y la Descolonización del Púlpito, el sermón como creación artesanal, en junio. Para más información escriba a rosa.miranda@pcusa.org.

Encuentro Educativo para líderes pastorales: La abogacía en el marco de los Grandes Fines de la Iglesia:

Martes 3 de mayo a las 12:00 p.m. Tiempo del Este (En la proclamación del evangelio); Martes 10 de mayo a las 12:00 p.m. Tiempo del Este (En el amparo, la educación y la confraternidad spiritual); Martes 17 de mayo a las 12:00 p.m. Tiempo del Este (En la adoración); Martes 24 de mayo a las 12:00 p.m. Tiempo del Este (En la preservación de la verdad); Martes 31 de mayo a las 12:00 p.m. Tiempo del Este (En la promoción de la justicia social y a manifestación del reino de los cielos al mundo)

Resources from the Office of Christian Formation

Three new resources are now available from the Office of Christian Formation:

  • Faith and Disability Inclusion Toolkit As you are working to engage people of all abilities in your congregation, the Quicksheets in this toolkit provide tools for expanding inclusiveness in your faith community as a whole, as well as resources targeted toward the particular ministries of Christian formation, fellowship and service, and worship.
  • As congregations are making plans for summer and fall, remember the Intergenerational Mission Toolkit, which is full of resources and ideas.
  • The PC(USA) Planning Calendar and Special Emphasis Days recognize Older Adults in May. Resources are available from POAMN (Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network), including a Planning Guide and a special online worship celebration on May 22 at 7 p.m. Eastern Time. 

Everyday God-talk

Everyday God-talk is a digital ministry of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Theology & Worship. We invite various groups of people — theologians, ministers and others — whom we address as God-talkers. The format has been flexible since the pandemic. Following a Pilot Season and Season 1, Season 2 launched on April 12. 

In Season 2, we encourage mid council leaders not only to watch these conversations, but also to join the God-talk as God-talkers. The door is open to all synod and presbytery leaders. For more information or to follow the conversations, feel free to email the associate for theology, So Jung Kim, and subscribe to the Theology & Worship YouTube channel.

Comprised of three parts (soul, body and heart), the first God-talk of Season 2 on April 12 featured Corey Schlosser-Hall, a former executive presbyter for Northwest Coast Presbytery who now serves the Presbyterian Mission Agency as deputy director for vision, rebuilding and innovation.

Have you heard about the Urban Presbyteries Network (UPN)?

The Urban Presbyteries Network includes presbytery leaders from over 30 “urban-centric” presbyteries. The goal of the UPN is to sustain, inspire and empower leaders of Christ’s church called to meet the needs in urban contexts. We hope to glean and learn from one another, to prayerfully see the needs and offer ourselves in service more and more to God’s mission. Finally, we hope it will be a joyous opportunity to gather with glad hearts as we spend time together.

Through monthly meetings and hybrid/in-person gatherings, we hope to contribute to the growth of each presbytery and its leadership according to God’s will for them.

For in-person gatherings, we hope to present speakers from civic organizations, religious leaders and secular community leaders to help give voice, history and context to the ministry being done in selected urban areas. Gatherings may include open panel dialogues, mission site visits, fellowship and more.

This year’s meeting will be our first in more than two years! It will be hybrid! If you believe you will benefit from being a part of the network or would like to hear more about the upcoming gathering in Charlotte, N.C., on July 28, join us for the next UPN meeting on the third Thursday of each month at 2:00 p.m. Eastern Time or email the Office of Vital Congregations.

Call to Worship Lectionary Aids for 2022–2023 (Year A)

Call to Worship 56.1 is available now through the PC(USA) Store in paperback ($48) and download ($40) formats. This issue provides lectionary-based liturgical resources, music suggestions and visual art for every Sunday and festival in Year A, from the First Sunday of Advent (Nov. 27, 2022) through the Reign of Christ (Nov. 27, 2023). View a free sample here. Three thematic issues, included with the price of an annual subscription, address current topics in liturgy, music, preaching and the arts. Thematic issues in this volume include Baptism (56.2; available August 2022), Eucharist (56.3; available November 2022) and Ministry (56.4; available February 2023).

Downloadable Excerpts on PC(USA) Store

Did you know that most books and curriculums on PC(USA) Store have downloadable excerpts so that you can preview the resource before purchasing? They’re really easy to find once you know where to look. Simply navigate to a resource you’re interested in and click through to the product page. You’ll see the product cover and title information at the top, then the product overview. Directly below that, if an excerpt is available, you’ll see a red button under the heading: Product Excerpts and Related Resources.

Try it for yourself! Click the following links to some of our new releases to check out the excerpts!

 

Resources from the Presbyterian Association of Musicians

Annual Worship & Music Conference this June: Worship planning and leadership are central to the work of both pastors and church musicians and are the arenas in which our work together has the most overlap. The Worship and Music Conference at Montreat is a conference for everyone who cares about the worship life and practice of the church. The 2022 conference has a particularly robust track for pastors. Learn more about the offerings here. First-call pastors are eligible for a free 2022 PAM membership and online conference registration (or discounted in-person registration). Please email us to share your contact information and receive discount codes to register. The conference is being offered in person and online.

Town Hall Forum Series (In partnership with the Office of Theology and Worship and the Call to Worship journal): On May 12th at 1 p.m. Eastern Time, join David Gambrell as he talks with Martha Moore-Keish about her recent Call to Worship article titled “Confessing Church: Why Do We Keep Doing These Prayers of Confession?” All Town Hall Forums are free and open to the public. Register here. You may learn about upcoming forums by clicking here.

Register today for Stewardship Kaleidoscope!

Join us Sept. 26–28 — either in person in Savannah, Ga., or online — for this exciting conference featuring best-selling author A.J. Jacobs, Rev. Dawn Hyde, Dr. Michael Bos, Rev. Kathryn Johnston and others. Scholarships are available. Get more information and register today with our early bird discount.

Special Emphasis Sundays
Listed below are the Sundays for which resources are currently available. Please visit the Special Days and Emphasis Sundays site for ongoing updates.

May

Mental Health Awareness Month begins (May 1, 2022) 

Foster Care Month begins (May 1, 2022)

Older Adult Week begins (May 1, 2022)

Legacy Giving Sunday (May 1, 2022)                                                                                                                      

National Day of Prayer (May 5, 2022)                                                                                                      

National Day of Awareness and Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People (May 5, 2022)

May Friendship Day (May 6, 2022)

Fair Trade Day (May 14, 2022)

Palestinian Nakba Remembrance Day (May 15, 2022)

Presbyterian Heritage Sunday (May 22, 2022) 

Intercultural Church Sunday (May 29, 2022)

Mission Worker Sunday (May 29, 2022) 

June

National Gun Violence Awareness Day (June 3, 2022)

Pentecost Offerings (June 5, 2022)

1001 New Worshiping Communities (June 6, 2022)

Juneteenth (June 19, 2022)

Presbyterian Men; Father’s Day (June 19, 2022)

World Refugee Day (June 20, 2022)

Season of Prayer and Reflection in the Korean Peninsula begins (June 25–Aug. 15, 2022)

PC(USA) World AIDS Sunday (June 27, 2022)

July

Independence Day  (July 4, 2022)

August

Hiroshima Day (Aug. 6, 2022)

College and Young Adult Sunday (Aug. 7, 2022)

Day of Prayer for the Peaceful Reunification of the Korean Peninsula (Aug. 14, 2022)

Youth in the Church and World (Aug. 14, 2022)

Public Education (Aug. 21, 2022)

Young Adult Volunteer Commissioning Sunday (Aug. 21, 2022)