Moving with Mary’s Song Luke 1:39-45, (46-55)

Christmas Fund Offering

Today, many churches will recevie the Christmas Fund, which The Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ uses to help church pastors and their families in times of need.

Listen to this story from Reverend Cathy Barker, who was 14 years old when her father, a local church pastor, passed away in November 1968. As she describes in a video on the Pension Boards website (pbucc.org), the Christmas Fund brought hope in that difficult first Christmas. She shares: “Mom and I had a conversation about how Christmas was going to be very humble. So, we were facing a very lonely time. Then, in the mail, came a check from the United Church of Christ…That check meant so much to us, that the wider church remembered us.

We didn’t know who we were anymore in the church. We weren’t the minister’s family. We were so adrift. But the national church knew about us, and knew that we had a sad Christmas before us. So that check meant the world to us, and it was a much better Christmas than we had thought it would be; it was because of the Christmas Fund entirely because of that experience of being known and remembered by the national church, I felt even more connected to the denomination and to our local church.

When the pandemic hit and the world screeched to a halt for a while in March of 2020, and churches were thrown into total disarray, pretty early on I received a letter asking for additional contributions to the emergency fund…As you might imagine, I got out my checkbook and wrote a check right away. I know what it’s like to feel lost and abandoned and confused. And I know what it feels like to receive a gift that makes a huge difference and I want to be a part of that.

It had such a powerful effect on my mom and me, especially that very first year, I want to be part of that feeling and that graciousness for others…it’s one of the ways the world goes ’round, isn’t it, and one of the ways the Holy Spirit moves among us, that we multiply grace upon grace and help each other out? I want to be part of that.”

You can be a part of the Christmas Fund, too, by designating a gift to your local church, or giving online at pbucc.org.

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