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[PCUSANEWS] Pentecost Offering helps local churches
PCUSA NEWS <PCUSA.NEWS@ecunet.org>
24 Feb 2003 15:18:04 -0500
Note #7603 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:
Pentecost Offering helps local churches
February 24, 2003
Pentecost Offering helps local churches fund programs that assist children,
Oregon congregation "powers" children in after-school program
by Mary Julia Pace
Office of Communication
LOUISVILLE - "Nancy," is a single mother of two children living in Portland,
Oregon. Determined to better their life, she began to find a way off public
assistance with a part-time job.
She enrolled her children in an after-school ministry of Piedmont
Presbyterian Church that provides homework help and a safe place for children
while their parents work. The program, called Piedmont Outreach with
Educational Resources (POWER), is supported by the Pentecost Offering, one of
four special offerings of the Presbyterian Church (USA). The Pentecost
Offering will be received on Pentecost Sunday, June 8.
With the Pentecost Offering, congregations keep 40% of what they receive to
help children at risk in their community. The remaining 60% is used by the
PC(USA) General Assembly to support youth and young adult ministries and
programs that benefit children at risk in the United States and around the
Piedmont Presbyterian uses their portion of the Pentecost Offering to help
fund its POWER program. Adult, middle, and high school volunteers from the
congregation work as part of the POWER staff.
"It has given Piedmont a sense of purpose and vital connection with the
community. It is not unusual for children who have been part of the
after-school program to return to volunteer themselves," says Pastor Sarah
"Nancy" now has a full-time job with health benefits, opportunities to take
classes that will lead to higher pay, and a well-deserved feeling of
accomplishment. Savings in childcare have allowed the family to put aside
enough money to move from their one bedroom apartment into a house of their
"Nancy's" story and the ministry of Piedmont Presbyterian are only two
examples of success. Many congregations are using their portion of the
Pentecost Offering to make a difference in the lives of children at risk in
But there's room for growth. Only in its sixth year, the Pentecost Offering
is currently received by eleven percent of PC(USA) congregations. Billie
Healy, project manager for the Offering, wants that figure to rise to 15% for
2003. "Local congregations want to be more involved in their communities,
especially when it comes to helping children. The Pentecost Offering is a
wonderful way for them to make that vision a reality," said Healy.
Pentecost Offering packets were scheduled to be mailed to congregations at
the end of February. To order additional materials, call (800) 524-2612. Many
resources can be downloaded from the offering's Web site:
For more information, call (888) 728-7228, ext. 5689, or contact Teresa Mader
by email at email@example.com or Billie Healy at Bhealy@ctr.pcusa.org.
Cutline for photo: John Larsen, a retired teacher and director of the POWER
program, tutors one of the students at Piedmont Presbyterian Church.
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