Supporting past, present, and future church leaders through the Christmas Joy Offering

December 04, 2019

The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. This special offering distributes gifts equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.

Received during the four Sundays of Advent, the Christmas Joy Offering supports equally the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of colors — to lift up past, present, and future church leaders.

The Assistance Program is the Board of Pensions’ longstanding ministry of caring for those who serve the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and restoring shalom. Through it, the Board offers grants to support active and retired church workers during times of financial need. Each year, the Assistance Program provides more than 1,000 grants for a total of more than $5 million.

Approximately $1.2 million of donations to the Assistance Program from 2018 have been used to provide critical financial support through grants to current and retired Presbyterian church workers in their times of need:

  • Income Supplements helped nearly 325 households, assisting retired church workers and surviving spouses in need.
  • Housing Supplements helped more than 262 households remain in their homes, or afford assisted living or long-term care.
  • Emergency grants helped more than 291 households facing times of great financial need or uncertainty due to unforeseen circumstances.

The story of how the Assistance Program helped a Presbyterian pastor and his family after Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico illustrates the impact of these grants and the donations that support them.

As we gather together in Advent expectation, we know that the only perfect gift ever given was the one we received in Jesus Christ — a perfect gift from a gracious God. 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."

To give to the Christmas Joy Offering, visit the Presbyterian Mission website.

Thank you for supporting our church leaders who nurture our relationship with our good and gracious God.