The Presbyterian Church (USA) is involved in helping people all over the world in the name of Christ. First Presbyterian Church, Sumter, participates in the four Special Offerings designated by the General Assembly, plus three offerings designated by the the five Presbyteries in South Carolina.
PADD (Presbyterian Agency for the Developmentally Disabled)
PADD is a non-profit 501(c)3 corporation chartered in South Carolina in 2000. The ministry was established by the Presbytery of New Harmony, governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees, and continues a close relationship with Presbytery. Its mission is to provide the highest quality of life and the greatest level of independence for each resident within the context of a community based residential facility.
The purpose of PADD is to: build and operate homes; coordinate community services; create training and support programs; maintain standards; and raise funding. The Florence Wren Home for six women has been in operation since 2007. There is available acreage to build additional homes and planning is underway to build a second home on the Florence property. PADD is a Qualified Provider for the SC Department of Disabilities and Special Needs.
Volunteers in blue t-shirts offer their time and talents to rebuild communities impacted by disaster. Immigrants and refugees gain access to land that allows them to grow food and feed their families. Women who have experienced abuse work together to make changes in the social systems that have oppressed them.
What do these stories have in common? Hope—because God’s love is demonstrated through the generosity of gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS). Gifts to OGHS is a gift of hope.
Gifts allow Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to restore communities around the world affected by natural and human-caused disasters. Generosity helps the Presbyterian Hunger Program work with Presbyterians and other partners to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes in this country and internationally. Sharing makes it possible for Self-Development of People to affirm the dignity of all by assisting in the empowerment of economically poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people.
The programs supported by OGHS depend on continued and increased support from congregations like ours. As a result of our gifts and the gifts of other congregations across the church, OGHS will continue to be a reminder that through the simple act of sharing, we are blessed and experience God’s abundance in surprising ways.
For over sixty years, First Presbyterian Church has partnered with Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina in receiving an offering on Mother’s Day used solely to provide financial assistance for needy residents of our five, full-service, retirement communities. This special offering supports seniors who outlive their resources and depend on the generosity of others for their care. Thanks to the support of Presbyterian congregations and generous individuals, over $1.5 million in charitable care was provided last year by Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina.
Started by the Presbyterian Churches of South Carolina, Presbyterian Communities’ mission is to enrich the quality of life for seniors of all faiths through its five full‐service retirement communities located in Clinton, Columbia, Florence, Easley and Summerville. Galatians 6:2 states, Carry each others burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Through the Mother's Day Offering a heavy burden is lifted off of the
shoulders of seniors who need our assistance.
Each year on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit as a source of new life. Through the presence of the spirit, we experience the transforming, redeeming love of God, who makes all things possible.
The Pentecost Offering is one of four Special Offerings of PC(USA). Gifts contributed help bring God’s comforting love to children at risk, nurture the growing faith of youth and provide opportunities for young adults to become spiritual leaders in the name of Jesus Christ. Since 1998, Presbyterians of all ages have raised over $11 million for ministries that benefit the younger members of God’s family.
How is the money spent? Forty percent of the Pentecost Offering is kept by First Presbyterian for use on behalf of children at risk in the Sumter community. Ten percent supports Presbyterian Mission Agency child advocacy ministries. Twenty-five percent goes to support ministries with youth ages 12–18 and those called to accompany them. Twenty-five percent goes to Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) opportunities. For details on how all of these funds were spent, visit presbyterianmission.org/pentecost.
Peacemaking and Global Witness Offering
In the midst of challenge and violence, we're called to help by giving hope, locally and abroad, through the Peacemaking Offering. Traditionally received on World Communion Sunday, a gift to the Peacemaking and Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of injustice across the world. When combined with the gifts of all Presbyterian Church (USA) members, contributions will be used to help transform cultures of violence into communities of peace.
The Peacemaking and Global Witness Offering is distributed:
50% — Ministries of peace, which include supporting mission coworkers
Promotion of reconciliation through education and Christian witness.
50% — Local peacemaking and ministry programs
Investment in nearly any mission program the congregation or mid-council is
Because of the generous support of churches and individuals, Thornwell Home for Children:
- served 123 children last year in residential care,
- educated 20 children in their 2-year old kindergarten,
- kept 83 children with their siblings,
- helped reunite 43 children with their families, and
- helped place 7 children into forever families.
Thornwell also helps families with nowhere else to turn. A mother who narrowly escapes from an abusive relationship and is living with four kids in a car has a friend in Thornwell to help with her children until she gets back on her feet.
Each November the Thornwell Thanksgiving Offering is received (nicknamed the "Turkey Offering" because of the turkey-themed offering cards Sunday school children use to save quarters for Thornwell, and because the offering is received close to Thanksgiving). 100% of the money received from the turkey cards, along with designated gifts and loose offering on Thornwell Sunday are used to support the Thornwell Home for Children.
The Christmas Joy Offering, received for over seventy years, is received for the equal benefit of the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, and racial ethnic schools and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (USA), for scholarship funding.
The Christmas Joy Offering provides a way to give thanks, and much-needed support, to active and retired church workers and their families who are struggling with urgent financial needs. It’s a wonderful opportunity for those who have been blessed with the means to express their generosity and, at the same time, support important needs in the Presbyterian Church (USA) community.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)—with its historic commitment to higher education—has long promoted the education of racial ethnic men and women through the establishment and support of racial ethnic schools and colleges. Thanks to the enduring legacy of the Christmas Joy Offering, today’s racial ethnic Presbyterian students may receive much needed scholarship assistance while their schools get help with basic operating costs. With the burden of their educational debt reduced, today’s Presbyterian students and future church leaders are more freely able to discover and pursue their professional goals. All Presbyterian Church (USA)-related schools and colleges are open to any qualified student regardless of race.