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Inviting and supporting church members to give requires pastors to ask hard questions and think creatively, said the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow.
People born between 1977 and 1985 are often referred to as millennials. However, nine years is hardly enough to qualify as a separate generation, and so many who are born in that time frame feel as though they don’t quite belong. They have one foot in Generation X and one in Generation Y. They are the bridge between an analog childhood and a digital adulthood, and we often remind them of that.
Chuck Fox, a Presbyterian living and working in Houston, first got the idea to start Bless Friday during a homily he heard from a Catholic priest the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2009.
Most of us don’t get any mail except for what? Bills and junk. But once in a while, now and then, a pretty envelope, perhaps hand-addressed and with something nice inside, is nestled among the coupons and ads and utility bills.
Realizing that its closure was a real possibility, First Presbyterian Church in Winneconne, Wisconsin, called the Rev. Rose McCurdy as pastor to help the congregation find new life. One of its strengths was generosity toward local mission, but McCurdy sensed the congregation needed to extend its involvement beyond its community. When McCurdy picked up the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, she saw a resource that could help her struggling congregation in its quest for renewal. She saw the catalog as an avenue for increased mission participation, and the congregation’s mission committee agreed with her.
While serving as a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer (YAV), Cherokee Adams learned about the heavy toll that human trafficking exacts from women caught in its clutches.
As a college student, Lytisha Wyatt became greatly concerned when she learned about health inequalities in the United States.
She was especially troubled by data that showed that people of color die from illnesses linked to poor nutrition at a much higher rate than white people. Yet she was not at all surprised. People of color and people in lower-income communities are disproportionately impacted by a lack of access to healthier foods. “Nutritious food sources were not present in the community where I grew up, but they were in more affluent communities,” Wyatt said.
It’s the way of the world these days, isn’t it? We expect everything to be available with the click of a mouse or tap of our thumb. We click and ship our way through Christmas. We order groceries online and pick them up without ever venturing inside a store. We even support our favorite nonprofit organizations through an online gift on Giving Tuesday — an opportunity for holiday shoppers to be altruistic after their Black Friday and Cyber Monday retail indulgences.
Listen. That was the first and best advice I received about being with the people of Haiti.
Now, as a mission co-worker hosting groups visiting Haiti, some for the first time, I try to explain the importance of listening. And when I do, I often remember the lessons I learned when I listened on my very first trip.
In the lead-up to Christmas, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift — the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we know and love them. We search our memories for indications of what gift might cause the faces of our loved ones to light up on Christmas morning. We scour the stores and shops, hoping to come across the thing that will communicate a depth that our words cannot.