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Extraordinary show of Presbyterian generosity promises prosperous New Year

Presbyterians united on #GivingTuesday2021 to raise nearly $140,000

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

LOUISVILLE — Whether or not the prophets foretold it, #GivingTuesday2021 was a great success.

And for all those earthly pundits who had speculated early on that 2021 charitable giving would return to pre-2020, pre-COVID levels and trends, Presbyterians did not prove them wrong.

All told, more than 5,000 Presbyterians from coast to coast tuned in to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s original, eight-hour, multi-site, livestreamed celebration of Presbyterian mission on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, and — in a remarkable show of generosity — gave gifts nearing $140,000.

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, is Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

“I have often said that the church is not dying but reforming,” said the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “The faith and commitment shown by Presbyterians over the past two years is evidence of that. In times of great need, Presbyterians have always been there.”

The Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell, senior director for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Mission Engagement and Support (MES), which organized and sponsored #GivingTuesday under the leadership of Lauren W. Rogers, MES’s project manager for Digital Fundraising, said that the overall effort was inspiring.

The Rev. Rosemary Mitchell is senior director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Mission Engagement & Support.

“Our multi-agency, cross-departmental, #GivingTuesday staff team led the way for the future of our church,” Mitchell said. “That was the thought that went through my head as I listened all day to the powerful stories of mission across our denomination. It was incredible. I am truly grateful.”

From Fellowship Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C., to First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater, Oklahoma, engaged and faithful Presbyterians texted their own shout-outs of affirmation and support, which accompanied their online gifts.

“A shout-out to Stillwater First Presbyterian Church leadership sharing in the Matthew 25 vision and invitation, calling us to actively engage in the world around us, so our faith comes alive and we wake up to new possibilities,” read one donor’s text.

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett is president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

Altogether, an unprecedented 826 donors gave a total of $139,564.

“Our gifts combined is a powerful thing,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “Together, we can accomplish far more than any one of us can do alone. We are the church, together and together we can make a difference.”

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