Special Christmas Offering for 2017, “Our First Gift for Christ”

Special Christmas Offering for 2017, “Our First Gift for Christ”

Introducing our Special Christmas Offering for 2017, “Our First Gift for Christ”

Dear Members and Friends of Union Church,

In brief, at Union Church, we acknowledge that we have power, and we use our power to join with others and help make the world more like Jesus wants it to be. This year, in this season of giving, we encourage you to make your first gift for Christ and his work in the world.

Our special Christmas offering for 2017 is going to The Boulevard (formerly Interfaith House) and to support all the aspects of our church life through which we share with others.

We are grateful to announce that for every dollar you give to this year’s “Our First Gift for Christ” offering, a very generous member of the church will give two dollars – up to $25,000!

Send a check, give on Sunday, give on Christmas Eve, or give online. Thank you!

And, the fuller story…

This year, we are calling our special offering at Christmas the “Our First Gift for Christ” offering. As we celebrate the coming of Christ into the world for the well-being of others, our offering is about others as well. The Boulevard serves homeless people in the Chicago area who are coming out of hospital stays. In their moment of greatest need, the Boulevard keeps them from returning to the street, and gives them a place to live, heal, recover and become independent again. As Mary and Joseph and their community took care of a vulnerable baby Jesus, so the Boulevard cares for people when they are vulnerable. Through the years, Union Church and many members have strongly supported The Boulevard with good reason: It makes a difference in the lives of suffering people. See their success stories at www.blvd.org/stories/. The first $10,000 we raise this year will support The Boulevard.

“Our First Gift for Christ” will also support the broad range of work we do for and with others at Union Church. For many people, this is the most important part of our life together. If you add up everything we do that is primarily about others, including direct and UCC giving, special offerings, and staff time, it comes to at least $200,000 per year. If you add in the value of volunteer time given through Union Church, that amount easily doubles!

We have power, and our financial resources are part of that power. We are proud that we focus on using our power to join with others and make the world more like Jesus wants it to be. After we support The Boulevard, this “Our First Gift for Christ” offering will help sustain this vital 20% of our church budget. (I might add also that we have a bit of a gap to cover here at the end of the year – let’s do this!)

And as highlighted above (after the first $10,000), if you give $1000 to this special offering for the church, it will become $3000! If you give $100, it will become $300. Your gift will triple in size (just like the Grinch’s heart!). That’s a beautiful “first gift!”

Please return your gift in the envelope provided (for checks, memo line “Our First Gift for Christ”), give through the special collection on Sunday, or give online.

With joy at the coming of Jesus Christ into the world for others,

– Pastor Mike

Interested in giving stock? Here is how to can do that to benefit the church!


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