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gifts and financial support
What’s great about small churches?
Lots, says the Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley, Ministry Relations Officer for the Presbyterian Foundation. Small churches have strengths, she says, and those can be celebrated year-round, and especially during seasons of stewardship emphasis.
Dr. Aimée Laramore remembers when, while working for a nonprofit, she received her first six-figure gift for the organization.
In 2020, 28% of all charitable gifts went to religious institutions, said the Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley, the Presbyterian Foundation’s Ministry Relations Officer for the Allegheny and Chesapeake Region.
Only 8% of Americans gave bequests to a church.
Talking about death is difficult. Yet planned giving, especially in congregational contexts, can clarify what’s important to us and how that can benefit others long after we’re gone.
The bequests of two sisters recently contributed a total of more than $500,000 to the Theological Schools Endowment Fund. But that’s only part of the story.
The final session of the Presbyterian Foundation Day of Learning last week focused its attention on “Practical Tips for Church Budgeting.” Presented by Olanda Carr, Jr., East Region Ministry Relations Officer, and the Rev. Dr. Jonah So, Minister of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the workshop provided tools to help churches and their leadership build and present budgets that tell a compelling story of the ministries in which they engage.
Over the past year amid a pandemic, protests and politics, I often heard many pastors, elders and mid council staff say that they are having a particularly hard time making ends meet. People aren’t giving the way they used to give.
Presbyterians began their 12-hour #GivingTuesday telethon as they’re wont to do during the pandemic — with a 30-minute online worship service that included prayer, hymn-singing and Scripture.
When the Rev. Dr. Fairfax Fair began her ministry at First Presbyterian Church of Pasadena (Texas) in suburban Houston on December 1, 2019, she had a few scant months to see church members before the global pandemic shut everything down.
When General Assembly Co-Moderators Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Bentley were elected on Saturday, June 20, they were immediately given the option of moderating the first-ever, fully-online 224th General Assembly (2020) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) from their respective homes in the upper Midwest and the Southeast.