In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.–Acts of the Apostles 2:17
The Christian Day of Pentecost is a day for dreaming—a day for Holy Spirit-inspired dreaming about what might be, a day for openness to exploring the new possibilities God is placing before us. And through his quoting the prophet Joel in his Pentecost sermon Peter teaches us that Pentecost is a day to recognize the God-given gifts, inspiration and witness of the young people in our midst. The Day of Pentecost teaches us that young people are not only the church’s future; young people are indeed the church’s present. The visions and dreams God gives to our youth and young adults are as equally valid as those given to our senior adults. Indeed, a message of Pentecost is that serving Christ is to be a multigenerational endeavor.
It is for this reason that the Pentecost Offering, one of the four special offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), was established to benefit Young Adult Volunteers, Ministries for Youth and Children at Risk.
Forty percent of the Pentecost Offering may be retained by individual congregations for their own use in supporting local children’s, youth and young adult ministries. The ways individual congregations are putting their portion of the Pentecost Offering to work include providing hot meals for at-risk children in their community, providing resources to support grandparents raising their grandchildren, collecting school supplies, providing resources and supplies to domestic abuse shelters that house children and youth, collecting clothing for children and youth and providing resources related to teen pregnancy.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency distributes 25 percent of the Pentecost Offering to support ministries for youth, including travel support assisting presbyteries in sending young people to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium, which will take place July 19-23. Another 25 percent of the offering helps support the Young Adult Volunteer program, through which young adults serve a year at one of more than 20 mission sites around the country and around the globe. And 10 percent of the Pentecost Offering supports the national “Educate a Child, Transform the World” endeavor, part of a global initiative to better the lives of one million children by 2020.
Although the co-missional Pentecost Offering may be received at any time, congregations are particularly encouraged to receive the offering on the Day of Pentecost, which this year is on May 15. Please give as you are able to support the dreams and visions of our children, youth and young adults.