The 2015–2016 Presbyterian Giving Catalog continues the budding tradition of Presbyterians supporting their church’s ministries through alternative giving, according to the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s manager of Special Offerings.
The new catalog, arriving in mailboxes this month, builds on the momentum created by the first two editions, says Bryce Wiebe, manager of PC(USA) Special Offerings since February. He says more than 8,000 gifts have been given through the catalogs published in 2013 and 2014.
“People who use the Presbyterian Giving Catalog support life-changing work in the United States and around the world,” Wiebe says. “Every gift, large or small, makes a big impact by expanding our witness to God’s gracious and abundant world. We are grateful for the people who continue to use this resource to support these vital ministries in the church, and we hope others will be inspired to join them this year.”
The catalog offers a wide range of giving options. For example, $10 buys agricultural tools for a family in the developing world. On the other end of the spectrum, $1,200 purchases a fishing boat and accessories for fishermen in the Philippines who lost their boats to Typhoon Haiyan.
New to this year’s catalog is beekeeping kits, which are $240 each. Bees help communities increase crop yields and offer a source of income. Also making their first appearance are piglets at a cost of $40 each. Piglets provide families either a source of food or income.
There are items to support work with children and youth such as racial ethnic educational opportunities, registration fees for Youth Triennium and school supplies for refugee students. Gifts that help unemployed people find jobs and retired church workers live with dignity are also available as options from the 44 items in the catalog.
All gifts given through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog go to ministries supported by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) four churchwide special offerings. Wiebe notes these ministries use gifts from the catalog and combine them with others to make the greatest impact.
Two new resources, a brochure and a bulletin insert, are available this year to help promote the catalog in congregations. They contain stories that illustrate the impact of the ministries supported through the catalog.
Another promotional item for the catalog, the Tree of Hope activity, is for display in church entry areas, welcome centers or other highly visible areas. The trees can be decorated with ball-shaped cardboard ornaments torn from the perforated section of completed pledge cards.
Wiebe says many congregations vigorously encourage members to use the catalog for alternative giving. “We’ve seen the catalog in the hands of Presbyterians of every age in every region of this country,” he says. “We have heard about children saving their Sunday school offering to buy families of chickens and seen pictures of goats present during worship that represent a congregation’s generous gift.”
Bulletin inserts are free and can be ordered through Presbyterian Distribution Service (PDS 12115-15-950) by calling 800-524-2612. The brochure and instructions for the Tree of Hope activity can be downloaded at presbyterianmission.org/pgcresources. To select a catalog item online and make a gift, visit presbyteriangifts.org. For more information, please call 800-872-3283.