The Presbyterian(US) church has several special offerings throughout the year that Eastminster participates in.
One Great Hour of Sharing
A gift to One Great Hour of Sharing enables the church to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed.
It is typically collected during Lent, Palm Sunday and Easter Sunday.
Lent is traditionally a season of fasting and prayer. During this time, Christians pay close attention to spiritual disciplines that deepen our understanding of what God is doing in our lives and in the world. As a church, we spend time together hearing about and praying for the ministries of compassion and justice done through our support of One Great Hour of Sharing.
Jesus’ ministry was among those who were most vulnerable. He preached good news to the poor and release to the captives. One Great Hour of Sharing helps us share this same good news to those same vulnerable people in our world today: those who are hungry, who are suffering from disaster, who are dealing with oppression in society.
Every gift made to this offering will meet the needs of people.
For more information, you can visit the One Great Hour of Sharing website (www.presbyterianmission.org/oghs) to find out more information on how support of OGHS helps people all over the world, and offer prayers for the projects and people who receive them.
A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 40% of the Pentecost offering can be retained by individual congregations wanting to make an impact in the lives of young people within their own community. The remaining 60% is used to support ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency for:
- Young Adult Volunteers
- Ministries for Youth
The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost.
Peace & Global Witness
A gift to the Peace & Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of injustice across the world. Individual congregations are encouraged to utilize up to 25% of this Offering to connect with the global witness of Christ’s peace. Mid councils retain an additional 25% for ministries of peace and reconciliation. The remaining 50% is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.
The Peace & Global Witness Offering is received during the Season of Peace, which ends on World Communion Sunday.
The ministries of peacemaking and reconciliation witness to the Prince of Peace. It is good to be reminded that, with all the discord, pain, and conflict in our communities and in the world, we serve a God who promises harmony and responds to violence with reconciliation and peace.
The Peace & Global Witness Offering draws Presbyterians together and provides education and exposure to those who show us how to do this work well. It has helped support our church partners in Madagascar recover from years of destructive development. Scriptural resources helped congregations, like the one in Old Bergen, New Jersey, find common ground with neighbors of many faiths, bringing their children together to learn from one another and to build a peaceful future. And the whole church joins together, through this Offering, to work for an end to all forms of human trafficking, specifically, the sin of child soldiers.
This is why we give to the Peace & Global Witness offering. We give because we know that every level of society is in need of Christ’s peace – at all times, in all ways. From our congregation, where we retain 25 percent of this offering to support such organizations as ACTION and its important role in our community; to the region, where 25 percent is retained by mid councils to support peacemaking efforts being pursued, together with our neighboring congregations; and to the ends of the earth, where the remaining 50 percent is deployed by the Presbyterian Mission Agency to join the peacemaking efforts of church partners all over the globe. We join these monetary gifts with our prayers for peace and our work for justice.
You are invited to visit the Peace & Global Witness website (www.presbyterianmission.org/peace-global) to find out more information on how support of this offering helps.
Each year during the Advent and Christmas season, we turn our eyes to Bethlehem and celebrate the wondrous gift of Jesus Christ, our Savior. By giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, you honor this gift by providing assistance to current and retired church workers in their time of need and developing our future leaders at Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.
The Christmas Joy Offering is traditionally received during the Advent Season.
In the lead up to Christmas, many of us spend time in search of the perfect gift — the gift that communicates to friends and family how much we know and love them. We search our memories for indications of what gift might cause the faces of our loved ones to light up on Christmas morning. We scour the stores and shops, hoping to come across the thing that will communicate a depth that our words cannot.
Although we cannot give the perfect gift, we can give generously, knowing, as the New Testament letter of James says, “every generous act of giving … is from above.”
For those of us who gather in Advent expectation, we know that the only perfect gift ever given was the one we received in Jesus Christ. The Christmas Joy Offering celebrates the coming of Jesus Christ, the “perfect gift” from a gracious God.
Devoted and caring leaders have led many of us in the way of Christ. Church workers have shaped our faith and they have been God’s gifts among us. As we celebrate Christ’s coming, and think of the profound impact these individuals have had on us, the Christmas Joy Offering provides a way for us to offer a gift in response.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), through the Christmas Joy Offering, helps us respond to God’s gift with generous gifts supporting church leaders among us, retired, present and future, who have pointed us to God. For church workers in need of financial help, whether due to declining health or a catastrophic event, such as Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, Christmas Joy provides for those needs through the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions.
Even as we support our current and former church leaders, God is calling new leaders for our Church and world, through the ministry of Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color. For students receiving scholarships and support at Menaul and Presbyterian Pan American secondary schools, and Stillman College, a Historically Black College, the generosity of Presbyterians means a brighter future and enhanced opportunities to use their talents and skills to serve God, the Church and the world for years to come. When you give to the Christmas Joy Offering, you help sustain these promises and uplift our brothers and sisters in Christ by reducing their burdens and opening new paths of opportunity.
Cents-Ability is a small first step in the battle against hunger and poverty. Congregations invite every member — of all ages — to contribute a few cents at every meal. This simple act is an expression of thanks for what we have received. It is also a commitment to share with others in response to Jesus’ command “You give them something to eat.” When members bring their offerings to church on the appointed Sunday–which for Eastminster is the second Sunday of the month–all of those coins “make a joyful noise unto the Lord” as they are received and dedicated.
These small acts of faithfulness can add up: One hundred persons in a congregation will contribute $180 a month at two cents a meal. That’s $2,160 dollars a year. A 30,000-member presbytery has the potential of raising over $1.6 million annually at a nickle a meal.
Cents-Ability originated in 1976 as “Two-Cents-A-Meal,” a project begun by Presbyterian Women to involve individuals and families in a corporate response to world hunger. Over the years, presbyteries have developed similar programs entitled Pennies for Hunger, Nickle-A-Meal, etc. Many of these programs benefit local hunger ministries as well as the national and international projects of the Presbyterian Hunger Program. (PHP).