This is the time of year, the Season of Advent, when so many things warm our hearts … being with our friends and families, the smiles, the faces of children, the carols we love to sing together, the antcipation of sharing gifts. (And cookies. Let’s not forget the cookies.)
And we love the lights — the lights on the trees, the candles on the table — and yes, the Star of Bethlehem, which reminds us of the light that led the way to the perfect gift. The gift of the baby Jesus. The light of our world. And it is this light, the light of Christ, that inspires our Christmas Joy Offering, which connects us to honor past and the future leaders of our church.
This Offering distributes gifts equally to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color, supporting the leaders who will lead the way to the future; and the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, supporting retired minsters, church workers and their families, whose devotion to their mission has illuminated our past.
Your gifts support students like Carla, Susannah and Mikayla, and their formative and enduring experiences at Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the Menaul School in Albuquerque, New Mexico. These gifts support a bright future with enhanced opportunities for students to grow and build lives of faith, honing talents and skills to serve God, the Church and the world for years to come.
Your gifts support those who dedicated their lives to answering a powerful call that could not be ignored. Servant leaders like Sue Anne and Peggy who, despite challenges, chose a dedication to mission over more financially stable careers and secure retirement. These gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering contribute to their security and stability and allow us to say thank you.
Let there be light. Please share your gifts with those who share their gifts with us and help to light up our world. When each of us does some small thing, such as giving a gift to the Christmas Joy Offering, the power of that small thing grows stronger and stronger as it is passed along. Your contribution to the Christmas Joy Offering is deeply appreciated and makes a difference — for when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot. Thank you.
Gifts to the Christmas Joy Special Offering of the PCUSA will be received throughout December. By giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, you will be providing assistance to current and retired church workers in their time of need and developing our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. Please consider giving to the Christmas Joy Offering in addition to your regular giving. Give online or by check — mark gifts “JOY”.