The joy of the Advent Season is upon us. It is a time of gift-giving. We are always striving to find the perfect gift for our family and friends but we know the only truly perfect gift came from God when God gave us Jesus Christ. According to Matthew’s Gospel, one of the names given to Jesus is Emmanuel, which means “God is with us.” Jesus was and is “with” all of us. He spent his human life choosing to be “with” those who were overlooked, left out, vulnerable or in need.
Through our Christmas Joy Offering, a Presbyterian tradition since the 1930’s, we too can share a powerful gift – the gift of “with.” This special offering supports two important Presbyterian Church (USA) missions that celebrate and assist our church leaders -past, present and future. It allows us to be “with” them during their times of need as they have or will always will be “with” us.
Fifty percent of your generous and joyful donation helps you to be “with” church leaders and church workers and their families who have been “with” us serving so faithfully. The gifts which are directed to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions become available to those who find themselves in critical financial need because of health situations or emergencies.
The other fifty percent of your generous gift will help students of color who attend one of three Presbyterian-related schools and colleges. This has been a Presbyterian commitment for nearly 140 years. Do you remember Reverend Felipe Martinez? He preached at Faith several times and now serves as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Indiana. He was the grateful recipient of one of these special grants that allowed him to pursue his dream of serving God and the people of God.
As you look for the gift that will bring a smile to someone you love, please also consider a generous gift of “with” on December 22, 2019, for those who have and will continue to gift us in so many faithful and spiritual ways. Merry Christmas.