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June 2021

Ordinary Time — which comprises all the days in the liturgical calendar not marked by a specific season — is “a time for us to discover that in Christ, our lives are filled with grace, forgiveness and hope,” writes noted Presbyterian author the Rev. Kathleen Long Bostrom. “We live as people of faith, ‘new creations in Christ,’ not just on Christmas and Easter, but also during the times in between where most of life takes place.” I hope that you will agree that the wealth of programmatic offerings and resources below prove that Ordinary Time this year is nothing less than extra-ordinary!

Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog

When Presbyterians work together, we accomplish great things — and we think that impact is worth singing about! This summer, we’re celebrating in a whole new way, and we hope you and your congregation will join us.

“Summer of Song: A Concert Series,” brought to you by the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, was created as a way to thank Giving Catalog supporters for their generosity. Music has been missed by so many during the pandemic, with church choirs quieted and live music venues closed. This new series will celebrate the ways song brings us together as people of faith.

The first concert kicks off on June 21, followed by concerts on July 21 and Aug. 21. Click here to learn more.

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.

Matthew 25

What does Matthew 25 say about feeding the hungry? The next online Matthew 25 event looks at the economic exploitation of people through systems that perpetuate their impoverished status. On Wednesday, June 23, at 2 p.m. (EDT), you can hear examples from churches and mid councils on how to address this crisis in your community. Register today. If you are unable to attend the program or you wish to view — or review — the recording at a later date, click here.

New resources from the Office of Theology and Worship will help those engaged in the work of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Matthew 25 invitation make a stronger connection between the three foci of the vision and the biblical passage. The two resources are “God with Us in Jesus: A Matthew 25 Bible Study” and a companion piece, “Bringing Matthew 25 into Focus.” The English, Spanish and Korean versions of “Bringing Matthew 25 Into Focus”  and “God with Us in Jesus” are available here.

The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation recently released a resource guide for their books related to Matthew 25. Even if your group has not officially signed on to be a Matthew 25 organization, the resources in this digital guide allow you to work toward the faithful initiatives of building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty.

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

Click here to watch a recording of the entire March 24 national Matthew 25 webinar on housing.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is reopening five volunteer host sites beginning July 1. These host sites will have specific COVID-19 protocols in place that meet CDC, state/territory and local guidelines. PDA will require that all volunteers be fully vaccinated. For more information on how you can put your faith into action by helping disaster impacted communities in a safe and responsible fashion, click here.

New Resources from the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP): Download the latest PHP Post and learn more about how PHP works to eradicate systemic poverty, dismantle systemic racism and build congregational vitality! Learn how your gifts to the PHP made a difference in 2020!

Intercultural Ministries and Support of Congregations of Color: In Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries (RE&WIM), we are blessed to see a vision of Pentecost every day. Staff in RE&WIM speak nine languages, including English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese-Mandarin, Taiwanese, Arabic, Hausa, Japanese and Igbo. New Immigrants constituents in our ministries represent 22 nationalities speaking 18 languages and dialects. Click here to learn more about our ministries.

 

Resources in Racial Equity

Click here to find Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community Antiracism Study Guides.

Click here to find Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community Antiracism Policy.

Click here to find Devotionals to Comfort: At the invitation of the Hispanic Latino-a Intercultural Congregational Support, 60 devotional videos to comfort, bring hope and reassure viewers that even in a pandemic, God still cares.

Click here to download a Speaker’s Bureau listing on Indigenous Issues, comprised of Native American speakers whom congregations, mid councils, national church agencies and other groups may contact to learn more about Indigenous issues.

Click here for a guide to Indigenous land acknowledgement from the Native Governance Center.

Click here to read the Racial Equity Torch Magazine.

Scholarships and Grant Applications for Leaders of Color and Congregations

RE&WIM grant and scholarship applications are for individuals seeking assistance with education, leadership and professional development opportunities, and grants are for congregations developing programs for their local communities. Find applications for grants here, and for scholarships here. The Katie Geneva Cannon Scholarship Fund will help educate, develop and train leaders of color and women for ministry in the church. Click here for more information. 

Mission Program Grants: Inspiring the development and growth of new worshiping communities and the transformation of existing congregations in partnering with mid councils and congregations is the focus of the Mission Development Resource Committee’s work. For information, email Tim McCallister.

 

New Worshiping Communities

Catalyst Event

Aug. 3 or Sept. 28

Need inspiration or an introduction to the work and resources of 1001 New Worshiping Communities?

Join one of two Catalyst events to help you get started. These events are open to anyone and specifically designed for mid councils, new worshiping community leaders or discerners, and potential partner congregations. Choose from two dates and time zones and register by clicking here.

All for the Glory of God: An Ignatian Retreat 1001 New Worshiping Communities (virtual)

Aug. 23–24 or 27–28

A Refresh Retreat is an opportunity for New Worshiping Community Leaders to cultivate their own spiritual formation through the intentional practice of sabbath and exploring various forms of contemplative prayer and spiritual practice. This will be a virtual retreat that explores the themes and graces in the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises.

 

Fourth Wave of the Vital Congregations Initiative

The Office of Vital Congregations is now accepting applications for churches and presbyteries that wish to participate in the Fourth Wave of the Vital Congregations Initiative. All letters must be received by Nov. 15. The Office of Vital Congregations will prayerfully discern a virtual cohort of 10 churches and 10 presbyteries to begin this journey in January 2022. Churches wishing to join the initiative independent of their presbytery must submit a letter of approval from their presbytery executive. If interested, email the staff by clicking here.

 

Lifelong Discipleship Formation: eight-week training session

Come to the deep waters with us! This fall, the Office of Theology, Formation & Evangelism will engage representatives of a limited group of congregations in an eight-week virtual training session on the mark of Lifelong Discipleship Formation. Email the names of interested congregations to the staff by clicking here, and dive into the first mark of congregational vitality.

 

Additional Resources

NEW Post Pandemic Pondering and Planning – A Resource for Faith Re-Formation Are you pondering and evaluating how your faith community will move into post-pandemic relationships and programs? This resource provides guided opportunities to brainstorm, reflect, act and pray about how to re-form into your community’s future using a creative format. This resource was created in collaboration with APCE.

NEW What Next? A creative tool to help ministries and communities of faith re-imagine our programs and life together. This tool will help you identify and discern creative new approaches, new ministries and new ways of being the big C church in a post-pandemic age with an eye to outreach and your surrounding community. This resource was created in collaboration with RootedGood.

NEW College and Young Adult Sunday Worship Resources (For Aug. 8) are available at the UKIRK website. In addition, a package from UKIRK with information about this Sunday emphasis and UKIRK ministries has been sent to each presbytery and synod recently.

Three new Children and Grief resources are available, which were written by a Young Adult Volunteer Fellow working in the Office of Christian Formation. Supporting Grieving Children, Supporting Grieving Children Amid Loss: Activities for Children, and the Supporting Grieving Children Resource Roadmap provide background materials, activities and resources lists helpful to church professionals and families. All can be found by clicking here.

“Shaping our Story” Conference: Discovering the Next Chapter in Outdoor and Youth Ministry, Nov. 8–12 at Montreat Conference Center. This is a collaboration between the Presbyterian Church Camps and Conference Association, and the Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association, which is supported by the Office of Christian Formation. Learn more here.

Resources are posted daily to our Facebook page. QuickSheets and Resources can be found by clicking here.

Payer Express Training: The Office of the General Assembly is transitioning to require all per capita payments to be submitted through Payer Express no later than Jan. 1, 2022. Please invite the appropriate person(s) in your presbytery to join us Wednesday, June 23, at 1 p.m. (EDT) for training — or a refresher course — to learn more about Payer Express and get started. You will need to click two links prior to the meeting:

Register today for Stewardship Kaleidoscope! Join us September 13–15 either in person in Cincinnati, Ohio, or online, for this exciting conference featuring plenary speakers, the Rev. Dr. Tod Bolsinger, the Rev. Dr. Brandi Casto-Waters and Aimée Cole-Laramore; worship leader, Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, and others. Get more information about the conference and register today with our early bird discount. PC(USA) scholarships are available — click here for more information.

 

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.

July

Independence Day  (July 4)

August

Celebrating Young Adult Volunteers (Aug. 1)

Hiroshima Day (Aug. 6)

College and Young Adult Sunday (Aug. 8)

Youth in the Church and World (Aug. 15)

Public Education (Aug. 22)

Young Adult Volunteer Commissioning Sunday (Aug. 22)

September

World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation (Sept. 1)

National Suicide Prevention Month begins (Sept. 1)

Season of Peace begins (Sept. 5)

Presbyterian Higher Education (Sept. 8)

Sept. 11 Anniversary (Sept. 11)

Christian Formation Week begins; Christian Formation Celebration (Sept. 12)

Disability Inclusion (Sept. 12)

Theological Education/Seminaries (Sept. 19)

Evangelism Sunday (Sept. 19)

Christian and Citizen Sunday (Sept. 19)

International Day of Peace (Sept. 21)

Native American Day (Sept. 22)