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September 2021

This week marks the first week of fall and all that the season promises and heralds — cooler days; a return to school, whether virtual or in person; the destructive ferocity of the ongoing hurricane season; the continuing uncertainty of COVID-19 and its variants; and yet, in the midst of all of this and more, we move forward in faith with our programming and budget planning at every level of the Church. Because God is with us and because Jesus calls us, we make our plans with confidence, as evidenced by the events, programs and resources you’ll find described below. We invite you to continue to partner with us in the work of ministry!

Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog:

SAVE THE DATE – Giving Tuesday is Nov. 30, 2021!

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Giving Tuesday campaign is a virtual celebration of the collective power of Presbyterian generosity, 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.

This year, we will host an eight-hour livestream, broadcast from multiple locations across the United States, where we will share how your gifts support the mission of the Church as we live out Jesus’ call for us in Matthew 25. We invite you to join with Presbyterians from near and far for worship, fun with some familiar faces, and an unparalleled opportunity for your generosity to make a lasting impact around the country and around the world.

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

Support the Peace & Global Witness Offering

As congregations receive the Peace & Global Witness Offering, we recognize they do so with many concerns on their hearts for our siblings around the world. The devastating earthquake in Haiti and the refugee crisis following the end of the war in Afghanistan are humanitarian disasters of particular concern. Congregations understandably feel called to support relief efforts for these impacted communities.

The Peace & Global Witness Offering offers flexibility for congregations to support these relief efforts while supporting the peacemaking work of their mid councils and the PC(USA). Twenty-five percent of the Offering stays with the congregation to support peacemaking and reconciliation in your own community. This year, if your congregation is so moved, we encourage you to contribute your portion of the Offering to assist in either or both Haiti or Afghanistan. Learn more.

Peace & Global Witness—Your Congregation’s 25%

Unsure what to do with your congregation’s 25% of the Offering? Consider using your congregation’s 25% to assist our siblings in Afghanistan or Haiti. The devastating earthquake in Haiti and the refugee crisis following the end of the war in Afghanistan are humanitarian disasters of particular concern. Find more information and additional resources here.

When remitting your congregation’s 25%, make checks payable to Peace & Global Witness Offering and on the memo line write “PGW21 25%-Haiti/Afghanistan.” If you wish to designate to one or the other, please use the name of that country. If not, then your 25% will be used where needed most within these ministries. Mail to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh PA  15264-3700. Questions? Call 800-728-7228, ext. 5047.

As the situation in Afghanistan continues to unfold, please click here for resources and updates on the various ways the PC(USA) is responding and how you can get involved and take action for the Afghan people.

(Links of) Love is all you need (for an Alternative Giving Market!)
Alternative Giving Markets provide an awesome opportunity for churches and communities to make a real difference in the lives of people around the world — but it can feel overwhelming to plan one! For an easy and effective way to host an Alternative Giving Market, look no further than the Presbyterian Giving Catalog’s Links of Love activity! Watch our video to see just how easy it is to use Links of Love for a festive holiday activity at your church and order the free kit today!

The NEW 2021–22 Presbyterian Giving Catalog lands in mailboxes this month!
Help us spread the word about how, with the Giving Catalog in hand, you’ve got the means to make a BIG impact at your fingertips. And, the Giving Catalog gives you, as a leader, a simple tool to use in organizing fundraisers and generating enthusiasm around making a collective difference as a congregation for Presbyterian Mission. Find helpful downloadable resources, along with a free giving catalog starter kit, on our website. Your support makes a huge difference.

Please join with your friends at the Presbyterian Giving Catalog as we celebrate the beginning of fall and the launch of our new 2021-2022 Giving Catalog by enjoying our complimentary Summer of Song concert series during these final days of September. Through three, unique virtual concerts, Summer of Song has brought together friends of the Giving Catalog, Presbyterians and others to joyfully experience their shared love of music, its deep connection to worship and praise and the feeling of togetherness that is engendered when people come together in song.

Thank you to Elizabeth Stockton Perkins and Cameron Edmiston, the Stillman College Concert Choir, and the Mission Musicians for lending their gifts to this concert series. Click here to enjoy their performances!

Igniting a Movement: Engaged in God’s Mission should recently have arrived in your mailbox and in your congregation’s mail. It is the annual impact report of their giving to the national Church. The booklet includes a joint invitation from the PC(USA) Stated Clerk the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II and Presbyterian Mission Agency President and Executive Director the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett to include Shared Mission, Per Capita and the Special Offerings in your and their annual budget for 2022. The report, translated into Korean and Spanish, also serves to remind Presbyterians that, as the Body of Christ, we are interconnected, with every person’s — and every congregation’s — gift serving to build up the whole body. The mailing includes a customized report of each congregation’s giving in 2020. Presbytery leaders will have received all three versions of Igniting a Movement. Thank you for your ministry and your faithful gifts, which demonstrate your commitment to discipleship and make a difference as Christ’s presence becomes real through your acts of generosity.

Matthew 25:

On Sept. 1, the Matthew 25 invitation reached a milestone when the First Presbyterian Church of San Luis Obispo made the commitment to become a Matthew 25 church, marking the 1,000th registration received for the Matthew 25 vision, launched in April 2019.

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

What does Matthew 25 say about feeding the hungry? The most recent online Matthew 25 event looked at the economic exploitation of people through systems that perpetuate their impoverished status. To hear examples from churches and mid councils on how to address this crisis in your community, watch the recording of the June 23, 2021, program; find hunger and food insecurities resources; and download the PowerPoint slides.

The next online Matthew 25 event is scheduled for Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. (EDT). Connect with leaders, like you, who are engaged in ministry supporting access to high-quality education for every child. Presbyterians have a long history in support of education. In light of our Matthew 25 commitment, where are those who have least — those most precious of God — going unseen in the educational system and how are Presbyterians finding ways to be with them? Register today and mark your calendars to attend. https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0qd-2hrj4vEtHjTqF2W8wg-nwSQax9mWRZ

New resources from the Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP):

Presbyterian Hunger Program focuses on dismantling structural racism. In this issue of the PHP Post, you will see how the sin of racism has pervaded everything from our historical church roots in global ministry to the way we extract natural resources to the ways we go about climate change solutions and funding hunger work. Let us be mindful, humble and open to receive and name hard truths and to embark on more healing and just paths forward. Click here to access the Fall 2021 issue.

Celebrate differently this holiday season! Whether at church or home, consider putting faith in action regarding holiday meals and gatherings. Download Rethinking Holiday Meals and Reclaiming the Holidays.

Resources from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA):

PDA has numerous resources for churches wanting to support refugee resettlement. Click here for more information. For information on how PDA is supporting Afghan refugees, click here.

Resources from the Office of Christian Formation:

Intergenerational Mission Toolkit – New from the Office of Christian Formation is a group of resources related to Intergenerational mission. Looking to plan an intergenerational mission experience or mission trip? Or are you wanting to make suggestions for at home mission opportunities? This toolkit includes the why, the what and the how. To find the toolkit, click here.

Youth Ministry Quicksheets – The Presbyterian Youth Workers’ Association has recently partnered with the Office of Christian Formation to create some new Quicksheets with ministry tips and ideas. One example is Mindfulness as a Faith Practice. All Quicksheets can be found here.

Children and Anti-Racism Toolkit – Coming soon from the Office of Christian Formation and APCE is a set of resources to help engage children in conversations and work around anti-racism. Look for this resource early this fall on either the Office of Christian Formation site or on the APCE website.

Post-Pandemic Pondering and Planning: A Resource for Faith Re-Formation is now available in Korean and Spanish by clicking here.

New Worshiping Communities (NWC):

To learn more about cohorts for NWC leaders and to apply to be a part of one beginning in January, click here.

Take part in a seminar series with 1001 NWC community, “The Way of Spiritual Fortitude,” featuring Brian McLaren, Leeann Younger, Therese Taylor-Stinson and Jonathan Tran. Learn more here

Money Matters is an ecumenical panel exploring financial sustainability in New Worshiping Communities. To learn with colleagues from 1001 NWC, the Episcopal Church, the Presbyterian Church in Canada and the Disciples of Christ, click here.  

“New Way” is the podcast of the 1001 NWC movement. Click here to learn more or find it wherever you get your podcasts.

Communicators Network:

The mission of the Communicators Network is to connect Presbyterians who are officially responsible for the communications in their synod, presbytery or church currently through online workshops, e-newsletters, social media and other communications vehicles. Click here to learn more.

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.

September

International Day of Peace (Sept. 21)

Native American Day (Sept. 22)

 

October

Mental Illness Awareness Week begins (Oct. 1)

World CommunionPeace & Global Witness Offering (Oct. 3)

Domestic Violence Awareness (Oct. 10)

World Food Day (Oct. 16)

Children’s Sabbath; Educate a Child, Transform the World (Oct. 17)

United Nations Day (Oct. 24)

Reformation Sunday (Oct. 31)

 

November

Hunger and Homelessness (Nov. 14)

Giving Tuesday (Nov. 30)

 

December

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

Human Rights Day (Dec. 10)

Christmas Joy Offering (Dec. 19)