Engaging the children of your congregation with the four churchwide Special Offerings has never been easier or more important, whether you are engaging them in-person or virtually. And the Peace & Global Witness Offering is especially important as we learn that no one is too young to be a peacemaker!
First and foremost, the Peace & Global Witness Offering is a shared Offering, meaning 25% of what is collected stays with congregations to connect with how they feel they can best address the witness of Christ’s peace. We encourage you to include your young people in the decision on how to allocate your retained gifts. Listen to their ideas – they just might surprise you! We guarantee they will feel even more of a connection to this Special Offering if they are active participants in the decision-making process.
This year’s Peace & Global Witness Offering curriculum was written by Charlotte Nance-Allbright, a Certified Christian Educator who serves as the Director of Christian Formation and Education at First Presbyterian Church of Burlington, North Carolina. This includes an At-Home Resource for families to use in the lead up to the Offering, a guide for organizing an Intergenerational Peacemaking Event in your congregation, and a Multi-Age Children’s Lesson designed for ages 5-10 with activities Pre-K might enjoy. Together, children and their families will:
- Explore the words “peace” and “reconciliation” to better understand the purpose of the Peace & Global Witness Offering.
- Explore 2 Thessalonians 3:16 and Matthew 25 to discern how the text motivates their faithful living and what it means to be a Matthew 25 church.
- Discover how their congregation and presbytery are seeking peace and justice through the Peace & Global Witness Offering.
- Have the opportunity to practice peace by exploring art, music, movement and/or advocacy/action.
Charlotte also wrote the Children’s Message for World Communion Sunday which celebrates our shared efforts to bring God’s peace to our siblings around the world and connects young people with the impact of their gifts.
We are excited to be partnering with A Sanctified Art © LLC in 2021. A Sanctified Art will be creating covers for the second bulletin insert for each of the four Special Offerings as well as coloring sheets. We invite you to use the “Peace Be With You” and “Peace Prayer” coloring pages in the lead up to the Offering, maybe even posting a virtual art gallery of everyone’s masterpieces on your website or social media page!
Finally, our friends in the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program have provided resources and tools for young people to connect with their inner peacemaker. These include Lessons from the Table, a study for children centered around the communion table (perfect in the lead up to World Communion Sunday) and Season of Peace Cards which are designed to encourage conversation around perspectives and practices for making peace.
If you use any of our materials in promoting the 2021 Peace & Global Witness Offering, we invite you to share feedback on how it was received. We are also available to answer any questions you might have about these or any other Special Offerings resource. Feel free to reach out to us at 800-728-7228, ext. 5047, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us pray each day with the daring prayer of hope in 2 Thessalonians 3:16: “Peace at all times, in all ways!” And remember – when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot!
PS – If you don’t have many youth under 18 in your congregation, you can get creative and engage your more seasoned members in any of the activities above! Fun and learning are for Christians of every age!