The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition during the Advent season since the 1930s. The Offering distributes gifts equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, and to developing future leaders at Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. This has been a Presbyterian commitment for nearly 140 years.
The Assistance Program provides critical financial support to current and retired church workers and their families. Presbyterian-related schools and colleges provide education and leadership development while nurturing racial and ethnic heritage.
God has blessed the Church with incredible leadership in every time and place, but those leaders often need to be supported by their communities as well. This Offering addresses the support needed by some of our leaders, including supporting leadership development for communities of color, and providing support for Presbyterian church workers in their time of need.
$1.1 million of gifts from 2020 are being used to provide critical financial support and grants for current and retired Presbyterian church workers in their times of need. Income supplements from the Board of Pensions (BOP) helped nearly 299 households, assisting retired church workers and surviving spouses with the means to provide for themselves. Housing supplements from the BOP helped more than 244 households remain in their homes, afford assisted living, or long-term care. Emergency Assistance Grants from the BOP helped more than 109 households facing times of great financial need or uncertainty due to unforeseen circumstances.
We offer our gifts during this Advent Season to the Christmas Joy Offering because God shows us the power and importance of being together, of “being with.” We might not be able to meet face to face with those who need the support that our gifts provide, be we are very much still together. We see the potential of students of color who will become our leaders and we seek to come alongside them, to encourage them, to be together with them. And we see church workers who have critical financial needs and we come alongside them, to assist them — we are with them. And we see the witness of the whole Church, either gathered in buildings or connected home to home, member to member, sharing what we have, together. We thank God for being “with us” through the gift of Jesus, for opening doors that may not have been accessible to us, and for joining us together as the Church and, through our gifts, with those who have need.
Make a Donation
If you would like to make a donation to the Joy Gift Offering of PCUSA, please send a check to First Presbyterian Church at 112 S. Salisbury St. by December 31st with “Joy Gift Offering” in the memo line. We will send a collective gift to the Presbytery.