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Celebrate #GivingTuesday on Nov. 30 by giving to the many faces of Presbyterian mission

The annual livestream invites Presbyterians to witness the work of Matthew 25 at diverse congregations across the US

by Emily Enders Odom, Mission Engagement & Support | Special to Presbyterian News Service

Vince Patton and the Rev. Mienda Uriarte say they’re grateful to be able to participate in #GivingTuesday on Nov. 30. (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — No matter how the pandemic may have altered people’s perception of time, the calendar nonetheless marches on.

And with Thanksgiving now in the rearview mirror, the Church’s season of hopeful anticipation, celebration and giving is genuinely under way, and, with it, a timely opportunity to give back, starting with #GivingTuesday, Nov. 30.

Vince Patton and Mienda Uriarte are ready.

Because COVID-19 has only magnified the structural inequities that continue to impact those on the margins of society — those whom Jesus calls the “least of these” in Matthew 25 — Patton and Uriarte firmly believe that their gift on #GivingTuesday will make a world of difference in the PC(USA)’s efforts to embody Matthew 25.

“The church is called to respond to the needs in the world, which are the result of conflicts, oppressive government regimes, racism, xenophobia, systemic injustices, natural disasters, and the ever-growing threat of climate change, all of which can lead to hunger and poverty,” said Patton, a ruling elder at Central Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, and his spouse, the Rev. Mienda Uriarte, area coordinator, Office of Asia-Pacific, for Presbyterian World Mission. “We are incredibly grateful for the opportunity to support Presbyterian mission and its ministries by making a gift on #GivingTuesday.”

Originally launched in 2012 as a philanthropic response to the consumer-driven holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday has continued to grow not only in dollars raised, but also in participating organizations. Likewise, annual giving to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — which joined the #GivingTuesday movement in 2014 — has grown with each ensuing year both in terms of dollars raised and in number of donors.

To celebrate the day and to encourage greater giving on Nov. 30, the PC(USA) will be hosting a multi-site, eight-hour livestream titled “We are the Church, together,” offering worship, entertainment, resources and — most importantly — a churchwide witness to the impact of Matthew 25 ministries.

“The timing is Spirit-led as #GivingTuesday gives us an opportunity to share how we are living into our Matthew 25 vision and being a church of action,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA).

In addition to lifting up inspiring stories from the PMA’s ministry areas based in Louisville, this year’s multi-agency, cross-departmental #GivingTuesday effort will also feature innovative ministries broadcast from the following locations: Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina; Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis; Shepherd of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas; and Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles.

“If we’ve learned only one thing over the past two years, it is that we are a resilient church,” said the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) “#GivingTuesday has always been our opportunity to put faith into action and it is my prayer that Presbyterians across the globe will once again answer the call, planting seeds for church growth and sharing God’s love to a troubled world.”

Lauren W. Rogers, project manager for Digital Fundraising, Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, added that #GivingTuesday also serves to invite people to give who may not otherwise be involved in giving to the mission of the church.

“As we planned #GivingTuesday 2020, we thought for certain things would be ‘back to normal’ by #GivingTuesday 2021,” said Rogers. “However, since so many of us feel just as isolated and exhausted as ever, I’m grateful for this opportunity to connect Presbyterians with one another and with those whom their gifts support. Because that’s what we need more of right now — connection!”

Join the PC(USA) in responding to a world in need! Give now.

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