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April 2021

Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia! Because Easter isn’t just a Sunday or even only a season, but rather a new way of life, your Mission Engagement and Support team continues to “walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4) by offering you the second volume of our new Quarterly Resource Preview. This resource is designed for you to share with appropriate mid council committees and with your congregations. I invite you to read on! As always, if you have questions, please direct them to your Mission Engagement Advisor.

Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog

Pentecost Sunday is May 23. Join us again in receiving and celebrating the Pentecost Offering, which supports ministries with children and youth, including the Youth Triennium, and the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. Let’s join together to ensure that our youth begin life with a solid foundation of faith.

This year, Special Offerings is providing the opportunity to customize your own bulletin insert for the 2021 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 one to two business days. If you have any questions, please reach out to special.offerings@pcusa.org.

Peace & Global Witness Offering: It’s not too early to encourage your constituents to sign up for the Peace & Global Witness Offering A Season of Peace daily devotionals beginning Sept. 5 and culminating on Oct. 3, World Communion Sunday. This year’s focus will be on the Various Forms of Peacemaking, such as the spoken/written word, song and music, visual arts and actions/advocacy/service.

Between Two Pulpits with the Special Offerings: Join Bryce Wiebe and Lauren Rogers for a weekly conversation where they discuss theology, mission and the 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. (ET) in the Facebook group Special Offerings: Promoting Presbyterian Mission Together. Upcoming guests include Destini Hodges from the Young Adult Volunteer Program; Gina Yeager-Buckley from the Office of Youth Ministries; and the Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III, director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism and author of our 2021 Pentecost sermon.

The Presbyterian Giving Catalog Offers VBS Resources: The Presbyterian Giving Catalog offers the Jerry Can Curriculum free to download or to order from the PC(USA) Store. Available in both one- and five-session units, this curriculum includes lessons on disaster response and activities that show how children can be involved with prayer and generosity to make a difference in the lives of people in need.

Links of Love: This activity — in which individuals, congregations and mid councils are invited to create paper chain links for every gift they make through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog — is helping the whole Church come together as a witness to the power of our shared ministry. People across the country are connecting their generous actions together and reaching out to join with one another and people in need all over the world. Each decision to give results in a paper link joining with others to create a visual reminder of how we are connected. And our paper chain is growing, made up of thousands of small actions to create more love in God’s world. Humbled and inspired, we’ve set a new, loftier goal: to encircle the globe with Links of Love. Visit presbyteriangifts.org/links-of-love to learn how presbyteries, churches and individuals can join the effort.

And, of course, any time is the right time to make a gift to the increasingly popular Presbyterian Giving Catalog, now also available for the first time in Spanish and Korean.

For answers to your general questions about making a gift to support Presbyterian Mission, click here.

Next Steps on Your Matthew 25 Journey

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, PMA president/executive director, has called us “to bathe the Matthew 25 vision for our church in prayer, penetrating, saturating and coloring everything so that people will know we are disciples of Jesus Christ who embody his concern to make those on the margins the center of our ministry, and through our actions, call others to join in sharing the liberating, salvific love and justice of Jesus.”

Toward that end, we offer you the following resources from the most recent, online Matthew 25 program on housing, which was held — and recorded — on March 24:

Click here to watch a recording of the entire March 24 program.

Click here to download the PowerPoint slides.

Click here to view the resources from this gathering.

Click here to review the Matthew 25 FAQs.

Sign on to the Matthew 25 invitation, if you have not already.

Join the Matthew 25 Facebook Group.

To follow up specifically on housing issues, look for organizing groups in your local area and/or contact Andrew Kang Bartlett or Margaret Mwale of the PMA, who would be glad to help you connect with current or past partners working in your area or support your exploration and action on the intersectional issues related to housing.

Looking for the next step of living out Matthew 25 as a response to the upcoming online program on hunger? Consider becoming a Hunger Action Congregation.

Save the Date for Future Matthew 25 Online Programs!

  • Program 2, June 23, 2 p.m. EDT (Topic: Hunger)
  • Program 3, Sept. 29, 2 p.m. EDT (Topic: Education)
  • Program 4, Nov. 17, 2 p.m. EST (Topic: Migration/Immigration)

The Justice Foundations Series is coming soon! Based on the Matthew 25 Pilot Courses developed by Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary and the Presbyterian Mission Agency in 2020, the series is an online, self-directed, justice-oriented theological education program for adults, youth groups and congregations. Look for information at jcsts.org

Other resources

World Mission has resources to equip you as you prepare for, engage in and reflect on God’s mission. Find mission resources at pcusa.org/missionresources.

Apply now for scholarship awards through the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Financial Aid for Service

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has collected resources from across the denomination for your congregations as they prepare for World Refugee Day on June 20. World Refugee Day is a time to remember the sacrifices made by refugees around the world and the gifts they bring to their communities. You can find worship and educational materials, stories, videos, ideas for action and advocacy tools here.

PDA is continuing to offer virtual Emotional and Spiritual Care programs that began a year ago when the COVID-19 pandemic set in. The content and discussions in PDA’s virtual offerings are shifting as most congregations are experiencing or planning for in-person worship and other gatherings. In all of the programs, PDA team members facilitate and offer materials on maintaining self-care and building personal resilience through relationships, storytelling and spiritual practices. Learn more about the offerings and how to request them here.

PDA’s annual report, Mission Mosaic: Year in Review 2020, is now available. Learn how your gifts to PDA and One Great Hour of Sharing made an impact in a universally challenging year here.

Gun Violence: In light of the recent murders in Atlanta, Boulder, Orange County and the mass shootings in other parts of the country, we offer our digital packet of gun violence information and additional resources that are available through the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month: The past year has taken a profound toll on mental health. Mental Health Ministry has compiled a curated collection of links to excellent resources for mid councils and congregations to use during May and beyond. You can find links to educational programming, virtual trainings, worship materials, stories, videos, networking opportunities and other ideas for action here.

Helpful Resources and Programs from Theology, Formation and Evangelism:

  • The Celebrating Longevity Around the World Webinar Series from the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) is April 22 at 7 p.m., April 27 at 3 p.m., and May 7 at noon (EDT). Learn more and register by clicking here.
  • The Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association Sabbath Day is May 27. Sign up at pywa.org.
  • Resources are posted daily to our Facebook page.
  • QuickSheets and Resources can be found at pcusa.org/formation. Several highlighted resources are:
  • Trauma-Informed Educational Ministry QuickSheet: This new resource written by the Rev. Dr. Rebecca Davis is based on her recent APCE Annual Event workshop. Trauma-informed pedagogy is not a packaged program or a step-by-step curriculum. Rather, it intentionally integrates the six principles of trauma-informed care into our educational ministries as we create and adapt in new environments.
  • Mental Health Matters QuickSheet: This is an overview of mental health issues that affect older adults.
  • Faith Practices Toolkit.

The Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP) invites you to:

  • Celebrate Earth Day Sunday or other Creation Care Worship Services: pcusa.org/earthday
  • Learn and lead a PHP conversation 

PHP has PowerPoint presentations that you can use to:

  • interpret to your congregation or small group the overall work of PHP 
  • learn about Earth Care Congregations and how to become one
  • learn about our International Hunger work and Joining Hands program and
  • learn about Hunger Action Congregations and how to become one. 

Choose between an already recorded narrated version (sit back and play for a group discussion or class) or download one with notes that you can rehearse and lead yourself. Download any and all of these here.

Special Emphasis Sundays

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

April

Earth Day (April 22)

Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day (April 24)

May

Older Adult Week and Wills Emphasis Sunday (May 2)

National Day of Prayer (May 6)

Fair Trade Day (May 8)

Mother’s Day (May 9)

Intercultural Church Sunday (May 16)

1001 New Worshiping Communities (May 22)

Pentecost Offering / Presbyterian Heritage (May 23)

Mission Worker Sunday (May 30)

June

Presbyterian Men, Father’s Day and World Refugee Day (June 20)