There is a lot to celebrate this year
December 1, 2020
On the heels of the commercial events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a third post-Thanksgiving tradition has emerged that redirects our priorities. Giving Tuesday, which is being observed today in more than 150 countries, exists for one purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.
As followers of Christ, Giving Tuesday is a wonderful way to begin the Advent season and celebrate the coming of Christ by moving our focus from materialism to something deeper. It provides us the opportunity to come together to celebrate Presbyterian generosity as well as all that we have accomplished over the past year.
Given all that is going on in our world, it may feel like we don’t have much to celebrate, but the opposite is true. We celebrate millions of dollars being granted in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic to congregations and mid councils across the country. We celebrate the continued efforts to eliminate structural racism in our society, including the Presbyterian Week of Action where we proudly proclaimed, “Presbyterians affirm Black Lives Matter.” We celebrate the ability to come together for a virtual General Assembly and all the hard work that made such a gathering possible. We celebrate the resources that have been created, the connections that have been made, and the grace that has been shared as we have all navigated through these past 11 months the best we can.
This year’s Giving Tuesday celebration will look different than years’ past. In collaboration with all the ministry areas of the Presbyterian Mission Agency as well as the Office of the General Assembly, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will be hosting a 12-hour livestream on Giving Tuesday that will be sure to entertain, inform and inspire. The event will include worship, moments of prayer and reflection, highlights from our ministry areas, mental health breaks, and even a game show featuring our current General Assembly Co-Moderators, Elona Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Bentley, as contestants.
During the virtual event, we will be provided the opportunity to express our gratitude to God for all God has done for us and the household of faith. Through our gifts, we can continue to be a healing presence to a world in need, being a church of action and reaching out to our siblings who are most marginalized. Gifts made on Giving Tuesday will support Shared Mission (unrestricted giving), Per Capita and the Special Offerings, lifting up the work of the entire Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
As we reflect on our blessings and are inspired to respond to God’s generosity, let us remember that we have been called to be a Matthew 25 Church, to live out God’s call to be an active presence in the world. Today on Giving Tuesday, join with Presbyterians from near and far as we profess by our actions — and with our gifts — that we are the Church, together!
Lauren Rogers, Project Manager for Digital Fundraising for Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog
Morning Psalms 33; 146
First Reading Isaiah 1:21-31
Second Reading 1 Thessalonians 2:1-12
Gospel Reading Luke 20:9-18
Evening Psalms 85; 94
Today’s Focus: Giving Tuesday
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Becky Trinkle, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Mel Tubb, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Let us pray:
To make my offering to you, God,
Is to bring back to memory
That you are the source of all gifts, and
The one from whom all blessings flow.
When we join our gifts with the gifts of others, we are reminded that we cannot go it alone.
We are in the company of the household of faith and the whole host of witnesses who went before.
Each gift I make is a “thank you” for the community of faith where I can share my griefs and burdens, my joys and excitement.
Each gift is a “thank you,” God, for the gift of life.
Each gift is an act of hope in God’s future for all Creation.
Each gift is a sign of our thanks and gratitude.
May it always be so.
Prayer by the Rev. Rosemary Mitchell, Senior Director for Mission Engagement and Support