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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) plans for 2021 #Give828 campaign

Funds raised help to dismantle structural racism

by Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has announced plans for the 2021  #Give828 campaign to benefit the Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries (RE&WIM). The official kickoff of the campaign will be June 16 in conjunction with the celebration of Juneteenth and will be a part of the Presbyterian Week of Action, which will take place in August.

The PC(USA)’s Week of Action (the 2020 events are highlighted here) calls attention and invites Presbyterians to take an active part in the movement for racial justice, police reform and the end of systemic racism. Systemic racism infects many of our institutions, including education, housing, health care and other socio-economic disparities that adversely impact Black and brown people.

This effort also aligns with the denomination’s Matthew 25 invitation.

Matthew 25:31–46 calls followers of Jesus to actively engage in the world so that faith comes alive and people of faith can wake up to new possibilities. Convicted by this passage, both the 222nd and 223rd General Assemblies (2016 and 2018) exhorted the PC(USA) to act boldly and compassionately to serve people who are hungry, oppressed, imprisoned or poor. The three focus areas of the resulting Matthew 25 invitation are building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty.

Gifts to #Give828 will go to support leadership development for leaders of color by funding the Katie Geneva Cannon Scholarship, the Conference for Seminarians of Color and women pursuing higher education.

#Give828 is a national day of giving focused specifically on supporting Black-benefitting organizations. #Give828 isn’t like other fundraising campaigns. This day takes place during Black Philanthropy Month and commemorates multiple important historical landmarks in Black Americans’ march toward freedom. Did you know that on:

  • August 28, 1955 — Fourteen-year-old Emmett Till was brutally murdered by three white men. The murder became a flashpoint in the civil rights movement.
  • August 28, 1963 — The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech during the landmark March on Washington in Washington, D.C.
  • August 28, 2005 — Hurricane Katrina made landfall in Louisiana. The storm, which devastated New Orleans, inordinately impacted many of the city’s Black residents.
  • August 28, 2008 — Then-Senator Barack Obama accepted the Democratic nomination for president, becoming the first Black man to win the nomination and, in November, the presidency.

Jewel McRae

When asked why a person should support #Give828, Jewel McRae, Coordinator for Women’s Leadership Development and Young Women’s Ministries, said, “Micah 6:8 asks, ‘What does the Lord require of us?’ And then it says, ‘to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with our God.’ There’s no better time than right now to do what God has called us to do.”

With the nearly $60,000 raised in 2020, RE&WIM was able to help several women pursue their Master of Divinity degree, launch a Virtual Leadership Institute and Mentoring event, and helped launch a mentoring cohort for newly-ordained women.

“In supporting, you’re planting seeds for the future,” said McRae.  “And, when God calls you to create something wonderful, don’t delay in planting the seeds, because planting is the first step to growth.”

The Katie Geneva Cannon Scholarship fund supports PC(USA) women of color, including clergywomen, Black women and girls, college women, seminarians, immigrant women, elders, deacons, as well as other women of color, with opportunities for leadership and spiritual development. It helps women to develop leadership gifts and to be equipped for even greater service in the PC(USA).

The Conference for Seminarians of Color develops and trains diverse seminarians of color who are answering God’s call to prepare the church to be a welcoming place of worship, mission, and spiritual nurture for all of God’s children, especially those who have been marginalized.

Show your support by donating to these important ministries. Click here to donate to the Katie Geneva Cannon Scholarship fund and the Conference for Seminarians of Color and be a part of #Give828.


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