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November 2022

“Advent” means “coming” or “arrival.” During the season of Advent, we celebrate Christ’s coming into the world and watch with expectant hope for his coming again. As we watch, wait and prepare for the coming of the Messiah, the Presbyterian Mission Agency offers individuals, congregations and mid councils a wealth of resources, several of which are featured below. Advent blessings!

Special Offerings: During the season of Advent, the Christmas Joy Offering is a time to remember and reflect on our perfect gift from God: Jesus Christ. This child, God’s Word made flesh, became one of us, leading us. Through the Christmas Joy Offering, we reflect God’s perfect gift to us with support of leaders among us — past, present and future. Resources for interpretation of the Offering like worship, sermon and curriculum can be found here. The hymn “How Great Our Joy” recorded by the Menaul School, a recipient of Christmas Joy Offering funds, is available to share on your social media channels. Click here for both the hymn text and a video of the Menaul School’s choir.

Looking for information about the four General Assembly-mandated Special Offerings of the PC(USA)? Click here for a flyer that shares the 2023 seasons and receiving dates as well as the distribution and remittance of funds and here to learn about how the Special Offerings embody Matthew 25. We are the Church, together … and together, we are building the household of God.

The Presbyterian Giving Catalog: WE MAKE A BIG IMPACT TOGETHER, BEGINNING WITH YOU: On #GivingTuesday, Nov. 29, a global day of giving, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog provides an opportunity for every person to live out their call to serve those who have the least. It’s part of the Matthew 25 invitation of the PC(USA). Each item in the Giving Catalog represents just part of the mission and ministry accomplished in partnership with Presbyterian Mission, and represents just a bit of the mission, support and relationship that’s part of how the Church lives out its call to serve those whom Jesus called “the least of these.”

The Giving Catalog’s goal this #GivingTuesday is to raise $40,000 to help provide access to clean water. Urge your members to help us meet this goal — their support is just one way they can make a BIG difference in the lives of many. They can even give their #GivingTuesday gift in honor of a loved one, friend or simply to provide inspiration for others. Download our #GivingTuesday poster to hang in your church.

Being Matthew 25, a monthly livestream series from the Presbyterian Mission Agency

Nov. 17: In the next episode of the Being Matthew 25 livestream, we look at a modern-day resurrection story. Kevin and Danielle Riley know what it means to be desperate — lost in the darkness of addiction and depression. Both had been using drugs and alcohol from a young age, and together they ended up houseless. The couple spent two years on the street doing anything to support their habit. Clean and sober for 10 years, the now clergy couple serves at a Matthew 25 church that helps people escape poverty and addiction. Join us live on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 1 p.m. (ET) on Facebook and YouTube.

Dec. 15: In the final episode for 2022, we are taking a look back at the highlights of this inaugural year of Being Matthew 25. Join us live as we share stories and spread the word about what it means to Be Matthew 25. Thursday, Dec. 15, at 1 p.m. (ET) on Facebook and YouTube.

2023 Eater’s Guide to the Farm Bill: Learn how the Farm Bill impacts every part of your food — from where and how it is grown, how it is processed, how much it costs and money you may receive to help pay for your food. Download and use the guide to help shape a fair and ecologically sound food and farm system.

New from the Office of Christian Formation: Why Presbyterians Are Like That is a 10-session Bible study designed for college students and young adults. The Office of Christian Formation has partnered with UKirk Collegiate Ministries to offer this series of free downloadable PDF Bible studies based on one Presbyterian chaplain’s suggestion of 10 reasons Presbyterians are the way we are. The study was written by Austin College chaplain and director of Church Relations the Rev. Dr. John Williams. To learn more or for individual lesson PDFs, click here. There will be an adaptation of this resource available in early 2023 for other adult class settings.

News from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program — 2023 Travel Study Seminars: Apply soon, as the deadlines are fast approaching for the Peacemaking Program’s Travel Study Seminars in 2023: 1) Philippines and Hong Kong (Feb. 3–17, 2023) — Explore the root causes and current challenges of forced migration and labor trafficking; 2) Puerto Rico (March 13–March 20, 2023) — Engage the political, social and racial dynamics revealed by catastrophes, including the church’s response to them; and 3) Native Lands of the Southwest (April 28–May 7, 2023) Deepen your awareness of the Doctrine of Discovery and its lasting legacy today.

Compare Advent Resources and Read Excerpts with the 2022 Advent Resource Guide from the PC(USA) Store: With our digital resource guides, you can easily compare products, click through directly to product pages and read excerpts. In our 2022 Advent Resource Guide, you’ll find everything you need for preaching, devotion and group study in order to fully honor and experience the season of Advent. This guide includes the newest Advent book, Holy Disruption, which looks at the Gospel of Mark to show how even without a nativity story, Mark’s disquieting gospel is perfect for Advent as it invites us to experience God’s disruptive but transformative love for us and our world. In addition to an excerpt, in the guide you’ll also find that this new book has free digital resources that can be used in worship or group study.

Download the Advent Resource Guide

View All Resource Guides

Make a difference this #GivingTuesday, Nov. 29! Join us in celebrating the collective power of Presbyterian generosity on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29, as we profess by our actions — and with our gifts — that we can accomplish far more together than any one of us can do alone. We are the Church … together!

Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the potential of social media and the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. All gifts given on Giving Tuesday will be directed to Shared Mission/Matthew 25 (25%), Office of the General Assembly (25%) and Special Offerings (50%). Join the PC(USA) in responding to a world in need!

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.

November

Matthew 25: Eradicating Systemic Poverty Sunday (Nov. 20, 2022)

First Sunday of AdventAdvent & Christmas Devotional (Nov. 27, 2022)

Giving Tuesday (Nov. 29, 2022)

December

World AIDS Day; Presbyterian HIV/AIDS Awareness  (Dec. 1, 2022)

Human Rights Day (Dec. 10, 2022)

Christmas Joy Offering (Dec. 18, 2022)

January

Matthew 25: Dismantle Structural Racism Sunday (Jan. 15, 2023)

Racial & Intercultural Justice/Presbyterians Affirm Black Lives Matter (Jan. 15, 2023)

Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday (Jan. 16, 2023)

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity begins (Jan. 18, 2023)

Per Capita Sunday (Jan. 22, 2023)