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#GivingTuesday gifts near $150,000

Eight-hour, multi-site livestream on Nov. 30 brought Presbyterians together in support of Matthew 25 ministries

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

LOUISVILLE — From the sub-freezing temperatures of the Asheville, N.C., mountains, to the balmy streets of downtown Los Angeles, Presbyterians from coast to coast united in a spirit of extraordinary generosity to raise $149,100 toward the PC(USA)’s mission and ministry on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 30.

The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett

“The response to the 2021 Giving Tuesday invitation to engage both prayerfully and financially with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was inspiring,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “These gifts will help us continue to share the love and justice of Jesus Christ in the world that desperately needs both. Truly, it is a new season for all of us. Even in the midst of a pandemic, we are uniting in common mission to become a more relevant presence in the world.”

Faithful Presbyterians — for whom the Good News and the urgent call to be a Matthew 25 church rose above the prevailing headlines of yet another COVID-19 variant — powerfully demonstrated the livestream’s connectional theme, “We are the Church…together,” by making a total of 949 individual gifts.

Lauren Rogers

“Since gifts are still coming in, we are confident that we will reach our goal of 1,000 gifts,” said Lauren W. Rogers, project manager for Digital Fundraising for Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, who headed the multi-agency, cross-departmental staff team.

In addition to Rogers, the #GivingTuesday team also included honorary co-chair, Kathy Maurer, a ruling elder at First Presbyterian Church of Taymouth in Birch Run, Michigan, who serves on the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB), and the Rev. Dr. Blythe Denham Kieffer, pastor and head of staff of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Springfield, Illinois, who represented the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly.

The Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell

The Rev. Rosemary C. Mitchell, senior director for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Mission Engagement and Support, which organized and sponsored #GivingTuesday, said that because she expects that gifts will continue to come in, she plans to release final numbers by the end of the month.

“Putting together an eight-hour livestream was a huge undertaking, which was only possible because of the contributions, support and work of the members of every ministry office and our remarkable team,” said Mitchell. “Truly they led the way for the future of our church. I am also grateful for the generosity of our PMAB and PMA staff leadership, who also rose beautifully to the occasion.”

Making this year’s livestreamed production that much more challenging was its new, multi-site format. Stories of innovative Matthew 25 ministries, new worshiping communities, worship and more were featured from 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.

One of the day’s many highlights was a quiz show based on NPR’s “Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!” for which the Rev. Gregory Bentley, Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly (2020), joined virtually with two former GA co-moderators and one former GA moderator to play a game called “Hold on! Hold on! Stop Talking.” The lively game was hosted by Kate Trigger Duffert, Manager of General Assembly Business and Per Capita Promotion in the Office of the General Assembly.

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II

“I am very grateful for the time and commitment I’ve witnessed across this denomination,” said the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “We are blessed with strong leaders both within our national offices and in presbyteries and churches who are committed to sharing the good news of Jesus Christ with the world. We are in the midst of challenging times, and we must all continue to look for innovative ways to be church.”

For those who were not able to tune in on Nov. 30, a video recording of the livestream is available by clicking here.

It’s not too late to join the PC(USA) in responding to a world in need! Give now.

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