ADVENT GENEROSITY UPDATE
The people of The United Church of Canada are
being extremely generous. We are thankful for all the many gifts being given to
serve God's mission. Your donations are an expression of compassion, build
community and offer hope.
We are also grateful for the careful management
of all financial gifts by ministers and lay people in congregations. All of this
is happening in the context of stewarding gifts for our local ministry and
Mission and Service, other year-end financial demands, while responding to the
emergency appeal for Typhoon Haiyan.
year-end annual stewardship programs are wrapping up now and the focus turns to
the spiritual practices and celebrations of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
There are many worship resources (http://www.united-church.ca/planning/seasons/advent)
available on the United Church website. May this be a time of hope-fulfilling
connection with people in your community, joyous celebration, and loving
Mission and Service (http://www.united-church.ca/funding/msfund)
campaigns are in high gear. We remain faithfully optimistic that United Church
people are doing all that they can to encourage generous giving for Mission and
Service and to forward these gifts as quickly as possible so that they are put
to work. Already in 2013, the whole church has raised over $15 million Current
M&S Givings (http://www.stewardshiptoolkit.ca/current-m-s-givings
for Mission and Service work! We will receive Mission and Service contributions
for 2013 until January 31, 2014. Please consider sending (http://www.united-church.ca/files/funding/msfund/cong_remittance.pdf)
your Mission and Service gifts monthly or quarterly.
Thank you for
making Mission and Service a vital part of the life and ministry of your church.
What we accomplish is far greater than what any one of us could do alone. The
generous financial support of each congregation makes all this possible.
RESPONSE: TYPHOON HAIYAN
The extraordinary response to the Typhoon Haiyan
appeal is so inspiring. As usual, people are giving very generously. As well, we
know there are many gifts on route from congregations. Be assured that funds are
flowing to the partners on the ground to provide relief and begin long term
There is a new deadline for receiving individual
donations eligible for matching funds from the Canadian government. The new
deadline is December 23, 2013. This may be considered a mixed blessing for
administration volunteers in congregations as reporting for so many things
Remember that our way of working is always with partners in
the region on the ground. This emergency funding and our long-term relationship
with these partners increase the capacity of the Filipino people themselves to
address such emergencies. The long-term relationship is sustained by your
generous gifts for Mission and Service.
Daily updates of funds received
will be posted on the website (http://www.united-church.ca/haiyan).
You will find some other updates on the website including the FAQ sheet
GIFTS WITH VISION
Gifts with Vision, (http://www.giftswithvision.ca/) the
United Church's giving catalogue, is more popular than last year at this time.
Gifts with Vision is a great way to give gifts, honour loved ones, spark a
conversation about our hope for the world. Check out the Gifts with Vision
badges and banners (http://www.giftswithvision.ca/page/downloads)
for posting on your church's website. Thank you for being part of these
At year end in a year that provided strong growth in the
stock market many donors are giving gifts of stock through the United Church of
Canada Foundation to their local congregation. This saves in capital gains tax
and supports the generosity of members across the country. The Foundation
provides this service at no fee and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org;
All of these financial stewardship
activities are taking place as we enter the time of patient waiting for the
birth of the baby Jesus into the world and into our hearts. You know the best
balance and focus for your community. We thank you for encouraging generous
giving. In the flurry of activity, may we all take a moment (or more) to slow
down and breathe in Advent's hope, peace, joy and love that prepares us for the
work of relationship with our neighbour. It is there that we will find the
Director of Philanthropy
The United Church of Canada Foundation
416-231-7680, ext. 2022, or
1-800-268-3781, ext. 2022