PC(USA) Minute For Mission ~ Christmas Joy Offering

The Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer and Study dates back to 1892 and has the longest history of any denominational mission and prayer book in the United States.

Today’s PC(USA) Minute for Mission from the Mission Yearbook…

Christmas Joy OfferingIn Isaiah 7:14, we find the familiar words, “Look, the young woman is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.” In Matthew 1:23, we learn that this name means “God is with us.”

The recipients of the Christmas Joy Offering know that God is with them: those who served the church so faithfully in the past receive needed assistance, and new racial ethnic leaders are, with God’s help, formed to serve Christ in the world. Received throughout Advent and Christmas, this churchwide special offering is designed to prepare and care for church leaders in every generation. It provides assistance to active and retired church workers and their families through the Board of Pensions, and it also supports education at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges.

Historically, these racial ethnic schools and colleges have played an important role in preparing leaders for their vocational service in the church and society. And they still do. One of these leaders is Lemuel Garcia-Arroyo, a fourth-generation Presbyterian. When he was growing up in Mexico, his family had limited resources. He received a scholarship through funds from the Christmas Joy Offering to attend Presbyterian Pan American School in Kingsville, Texas, a secondary school related to the PC(USA). He later attended Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary and was ordained as a teaching elder. I met Rev. Garcia when he served as associate presbyter in the Synod of the Sun, and he quickly became a family friend and colleague. Leaders like Lemuel Garcia-Arroyo and countless others embody in their leadership and service the mission of the Christmas Joy Offering. Through Christmas Joy, we recognize that God is indeed with us.

—Rhashell Hunter, director, Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries/Presbyterian Women

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