Pentecost Offering connects youth in the body of Christ

Fifteen-year-old Grace Reck usually can’t wait to try new things, but when given the chance last year to attend her first churchwide youth conference at Montreat, she dragged her feet — for a minute.

“For both Grace and her twin sister, Emma, the Montreat Youth Conference was a pivotal experience in their faith journey,” said the Rev. Tara N. Reck, pastor of Anchorage Presbyterian Church in Anchorage, Kentucky.

That’s why a 2022 tri-presbytery event held by the presbyteries of Mid-Kentucky, Transylvania and Western Kentucky called “Belonging Together” attracted Grace and brought together a diverse group of sixth to 12th graders across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The presbyteries’ collective vision was to gather Kentucky Presbyterians annually for fellowship, learning and worship, with pastors/elders and youth meeting to build relationships.

“All our events build up the body of Christ in our worship, keynote, small groups and table fellowship,” said Leslee Kirkconnell, a certified educator and ruling elder in the Presbytery of Western Kentucky. “This event with its theme of ‘Belonging Together’ emphasized the very real bonds we have as humans, as Christians, as Presbyterians. We learned these bonds must be nurtured and encouraged — that relationships are so important.”

Creating opportunities for youth to grow, thrive and take part in building up the body of Christ is what the Pentecost Offering — one of the PC(USA)’s four Special Offerings — is all about. Not only do gifts to the Pentecost Offering support the Office of Presbyterian Youth and Triennium, but the offering also helps to fund the Young Adult Volunteer Program and the Educate a Child, Transform the World national initiative.

Forty percent of the Pentecost Offering is retained by congregations just like ours for local ministries in our communities, while the remaining 60% is used to support children at risk, and youth and young adults through ministries of the Mission Agency. In past years, we have used our 40% of our offering to (PLEASE DESCRIBE YOUR MINISTRY).

Gina Yeager-Buckley, associate for the Presbyterian Youth and Triennium office, said, “The Pentecost Offering enables young people to be included in some beautiful formation adventures that allow them to shine as well as helps them lead us as a church. It also is a way for us to fulfill our baptismal vows because this offering directly funds those who are developing and forming their faith in Jesus Christ.”

Although the Pentecost Offering may be taken anytime, most congregations receive it on Pentecost Sunday, which this year is May 28. Please give what you can. Your generosity makes a difference — for as we always say, when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.

Let us pray~

 God of the shy, God of the outgoing, help us to encourage all of your children to connect with us, one another and you, that they may grow, thrive and take part in building up the body of Christ. Amen.

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