After a successful launch in the fall of 2013, the Presbyterian Giving Catalog has entered its second year with a new edition and with new tools to help congregations encourage alternative giving.
“We are grateful for the wonderful response to the 2013 catalog,” said Sam Locke, director of Special Offerings for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “Nearly 2,500 gifts given through the 2013 catalog are helping to transform lives in the United States and around the world. We are glad to make additional resources available this year to help congregations promote these giving opportunities, enable members to see the various ways Presbyterians are making a difference, and celebrate the collective generosity of church members.”
Gifts from this year’s catalog will “meet a variety of needs in the name of Jesus Christ,” Locke noted. People with a passion for international development can select gifts such as a family of chickens, bags of seeds, and wells and water systems. Those interested in equipping young adults for service and leadership are able to pick gifts like a Spanish lesson for a Young Adult Volunteer and financial support for racial-ethnic students.
Presbyterians concerned about urban neighborhoods can choose opportunities such as community garden projects and public transportation assistance for job seekers. People with a heart for children can opt for gifts like providing bed bug protective covers and sending a child to Peace Camp. Also among the 43 items are gifts related to ministries that support youth, women, retired pastors and other church workers in financial need, and disaster assistance. Gifts new to this year’s catalog include spiritual leadership training, clean water projects involving sand dams, and skills coaching for people with mental illness.
The gifts range from $10, which will provide a family in a developing country agricultural tools, to $2,000, which will assist a community advancement program in Washington, D.C. All gifts given through the catalog go to ministries supported by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s four Special Offerings. They are combined with other gifts and used where they are needed most by one of the ministries supported by these Offerings.
Many gift givers make their gifts in honor of or in memory of someone they cherish. Printable certificates are available for honorees or families of memorialized persons.
Congregations this year are encouraged to promote the catalog by placing a Tree of Hope in their narthexes, welcome centers, or other highly visible areas. The trees will be decorated with ball-shaped cardboard ornaments torn from the perforated section of pledge cards. After church members select their gifts and complete the cards, the ornaments are placed on the tree. Those who pledge can send their gifts to the Presbyterian Mission Agency by mail, online or a telephone call.
Individuals have already begun receiving catalogs. Catalogs and information about the Tree of Hope project will arrive in congregations in late September to early October. To learn more or see an online version of the catalog, visit www.presbyteriangifts.org. Additional information can also be obtained by calling 800-872-3283.