Several times a year First Presbyterian joins with all Presbyterian churches, or with both Presbyterian and other denominations, in taking special collections for specific world-wide needs. These include:
One Great Hour of Sharing
Since 1949, Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing to share God's love with people experiencing need. Our gifts support ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities. Funds for One Great Hour of Sharing are divided among three programs:
- Presbyterian Hunger Program supports ministries working to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes, responding with compassion and justice to poor and hungry people in local communities, in the nation and throughout the world, as well as ministries addressing homelessness and affordable housing.
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance supports disaster response and ministries with refugees.
- Self-Development of People supports partnerships with groups of people who are oppressed by poverty or social systems, who want to take charge of their own lives, have organized to do something about their own condition, and have decided what they need to do to produce long-term benefits for themselves.
Christmas Eve Offering
Each year the First Presbyterian Mission Committee designates a mission fund to receive all contributions (not otherwise marked) collected during the four Christmas Eve services. The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. This special offering provides financial assistance to current and former church workers and their families in times of urgent financial need. It also enables deserving students to attend Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges, promoting a commitment to higher learning and leadership development for all students regardless of race or economic standing.
2016 Christmas Offerings
The PC(USA) Christmas Joy Offering will be accepted on December 18, 2016. Donations will be used to support retired church professionals and other church workers in times of need and the development of future racial ethnic leaders of our church. Christmas Eve Offering will be accepted on December 24, 2016 and will be donated to recovery and rebuilding projects in Haiti following Hurricane Matthew.
The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost. It provides a direct way to meet the needs of children at risk, youth, and young adults. congregations are encouraged to keep 40 percent of the Offering to support ministry with children at risk in their communities. The General Assembly's portion (60 percent) provides leadership development opportunities for Presbyterian youth and young adults and supports children-at-risk programs at the national level. Since 1998, Presbyterians of all ages have raised over $7 million for these ministries that benefit younger members of God's family.