Grace Presbyterian Church in Crystal City, MO has a unique approach to using their portion of the Pentecost Offering.
Rather than using their 40% retained from the Pentecost Offering to send their youth group to Triennium this year, as many congregations did, members from Grace Church have decided to support a local program assisting young people experiencing homelessness.
When asked for details on the program and Grace’s involvement, Pastor Joshua Noah writes, “As far as our congregation is concerned, we voted this year to use our Pentecost Offering to help support the Jefferson County Homeless Youth Initiative. This organization works to try and help teens in Jefferson County, MO who cannot live at home with their parents/guardians (for many reasons) and make sure that they finish high school and possibly go on to some form of college or vocational training. Our church became involved with this organization this year when I joined the board. Since then, we not only donated our 40% of the Pentecost offering to them, but we also collect items for hygiene bags, and half the funds from our annual Fall Festival will also go to help support the Homeless Youth Initiative.”
Here is the link to the Homeless Youth Initiative’s website, including a recent video that they developed that includes a young person who is about to graduate from community college after being in the program.
The decision to support this local mission helped the congregation stretch it’s former goals – this year’s offering was the highest since the congregation began receiving the offering in 2013 – and more than 3 times the previous year’s gift! We are grateful for their generosity.
The congregation’s dedication to sacrificial giving is reflected in an acrostic poem on their web site:
Give sacrificially of the money God has entrusted to you in support of Christ’s ministry
Reach out to those who don’t have a church home and invite them to Grace. Everyone has a need for Jesus
Attend worship regularly. Our lives are to be “reformed” by the Word of God weekly
Cultivate your gifts; find your ministry and get involved
Engage in supportive devotional activities during the week. Learn more and rekindle your faith
The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on Pentecost Sunday, or any other youth-focused Sunday during the year. Forty percent is retained by the congregation for local mission, while the remainder is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency for ministries affecting Children-at-Risk, Youth and Young Adults.
How does your congregation use it’s locally retained funds? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.