Minute for Mission: Focusing on the First Third of Life

Ministries supported by the Pentecost Offering reach people during this critical stage

Pentecost Offering - first third of life

The Pentecost Offering is all about helping people begin life with a strong start. A solid foundation formed from childhood through young adulthood enables individuals to weather life’s storms and build on life’s opportunities. This age range is sometimes called the “first third of life.”

Because people like you give to the Pentecost Offering, Presbyterian congregations and our church’s national ministries are helping to shape the future of children, youth, and young adults by meeting their current needs. The Pentecost Offering helps people in the first third of life reach their fullest potential both now and in the future.

The church is at its best when it sees people in the first third of life not just in terms of age-group ministries but as an integral part of the body of Christ. Presbyterians are increasingly bringing the generations together through retreats, recreational activities, mission trips, and local service projects. We are asking what Jesus really meant when he said his followers needed to become like little children. We are learning more about interpreting our culture and following the will of Christ by listening to the perspectives of youth and young adults. As was promised on the day of Pentecost, our sons and our daughters are prophesying, and we are hearing their wisdom.

The Presbyterian Youth Triennium is a venue where many youth find their voices of faith. More than 5,000 youth will gather at Purdue University in July, and many will return to their congregations with a new understanding of faith and its relevance for their lives. It’s a five-day event whose impact on individuals can last a lifetime. Your gifts to the Pentecost Offering help make this life-changing event possible.

Gifts to the Pentecost Offering also support the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program. For more than 20 years, YAVs have served at sites across the United States and around the world. They live simple lifestyles, address poverty and injustice, grow spiritually, and discern where God is leading them vocationally. About one-third of those who have completed the program have gone to seminary to prepare for vocational ministry. Others are serving as session members, Sunday school teachers, and youth leaders in congregations. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a stronger and better church thanks to former Young Adult Volunteers who share their gifts with us.

Our church’s concern about people in the first third of life stretches beyond the church into the broader culture. In congregations across the country, Presbyterians are helping children in a churchwide initiative called “Educate a Child, Transform the World.” They are tutoring children, filling backpacks with school supplies, and speaking up for children in the public square. Many of the children reached through this initiative are among the 20% of United States children living in poverty. The “Educate a Child, Transform the World” initiative aims to help break the cycle of poverty by increasing access to quality education.

Please give generously to the Pentecost Offering. This movement is gaining momentum thanks in part to people like you who support the Pentecost Offering.

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