As you sit in the pews on Sunday mornings this month, you may notice the new glossy inserts entitled "Thank Offering" in your bulletins. Perhaps your pastor will mention the Thank Offering and you wonder what that is and whether it is different than the Worldwide Outreach you heard about during your church's annual meeting.
It's no small thing for a denomination the size of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church to do her part to help fulfill the Great Commission. Imagine if a small church in Kansas had the sole responsibility to send out their own missionaries, start new churches in different states, publish their own Sunday school materials, and train their own ministers. It just couldn't be done.
To enable the church to serve in these ways, the OPC as a denomination asks her individual churches to give part of their tithes and offerings for the work of the whole denomination. This type of giving for the benefit of the denomination is called Worldwide Outreach. Each year, ministers and elders representing their regions of the country (called presbyteries) gather in a General Assembly to vote on the budget for the Worldwide Outreach. This is similar to individual churches voting on their budget for the upcoming year in their annual meetings. These funds go to help the denomination primarily do the work of Foreign Missions, Home Missions, and Christian Education.
Each November, the OPC requests a special offering from the churches as a way to thank our heavenly Father for his kindness, care, and provision for his church. Dubbed the Thank Offering, churches throughout the OPC ask her members and friends to consider giving above our weekly tithes as a way to show our appreciation for what God has done in and through the OPC. The Thank Offering gifts are included in the Worldwide Outreach.
This year, the OPC hopes to receive $800,000 in gifts from the Thank Offering. Those gifts help to support a little less than a quarter of the amount needed to pay for the ministries of Foreign Missions, Home Missions, and Christian Education. The General Assembly had set a budget of $3,400,000 as the goal for this year's Worldwide Outreach.
When you receive that bulletin insert entitled "Thank Offering," take a moment to read it to see where your gifts are going in an effort to fulfill the Great Commission.
With your giving, the Committee on Foreign Missions hopes to add two new missionaries to serve in Uganda and one missionary to serve in Haiti.
With your giving, the Committee on Home Missions and Church Extension seeks to help support 41 pastors and seven regional home missionaries who are building churches for God's glory.
With your giving, the Committee on Christian Education will help to fund more ministerial interns and continue the work of producing a Psalter-Hymnal.
If you would like to share in the Thank Offering and want to give online, you may look at the top of this OPC.org webpage and click the word, "Donate." This page will show how you may either send in gifts to the address provided or use your credit card through PayPal to give immediately.
You may also give during the offering when you're sitting in the pew any Sunday this month. Most churches will have a special Thank Offering on Sunday, November 20, or during a special Thanksgiving service if your church holds one. Your gifts will be used to build God's kingdom and will be greatly appreciated as the OPC indeed abounds in thanksgiving.