Several times a year First Presbyterian joins with all Presbyterian churches, or with both Presbyterian and other denominations, in taking special collections for specific world-wide needs. These include:
One Great Hour of Sharing
Since 1949, Presbyterians have joined with millions of other Christians through One Great Hour of Sharing to share God's love with people experiencing need. Our gifts support ministries of disaster response, refugee assistance and resettlement, and community development that help people find safe refuge, start new lives and work together to strengthen their families and communities. Funds for One Great Hour of Sharing are divided among three programs:
- Presbyterian Hunger Program supports ministries working to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes, responding with compassion and justice to poor and hungry people in local communities, in the nation and throughout the world, as well as ministries addressing homelessness and affordable housing.
- Presbyterian Disaster Assistance supports disaster response and ministries with refugees.
- Self-Development of People supports partnerships with groups of people who are oppressed by poverty or social systems, who want to take charge of their own lives, have organized to do something about their own condition, and have decided what they need to do to produce long-term benefits for themselves.
Christmas Eve Offering
Each year the First Presbyterian Mission Committee designates a mission fund to receive all contributions (not otherwise marked) collected during the four Christmas Eve services. The Christmas Joy Offering has been a cherished Presbyterian tradition since the 1930s. This special offering provides financial assistance to current and former church workers and their families in times of urgent financial need. It also enables deserving students to attend Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges, promoting a commitment to higher learning and leadership development for all students regardless of race or economic standing.
The Pentecost Offering is traditionally received on the day of Pentecost. It provides a direct way to meet the needs of children at risk, youth, and young adults. congregations are encouraged to keep 40 percent of the Offering to support ministry with children at risk in their communities. The General Assembly's portion (60 percent) provides leadership development opportunities for Presbyterian youth and young adults and supports children-at-risk programs at the national level. Since 1998, Presbyterians of all ages have raised over $7 million for these ministries that benefit younger members of God's family.
Peace & Global Witness Offering
“So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near.” Ephesians 2:14-17
The letter to the Ephesians tells us that Jesus came to proclaim a peace that is universal. While the earthly ministry of Jesus was in a specific age and place, the peace he shared is limited by neither time nor geography. As followers of Christ, our call to witness/work for peace begins in our own neighborhoods and extends to the ends of the earth. The Peace & Global Witness Offering exists to support the holistic and wide-ranging witness of the whole church.