Philanthropy News - October 21, 2020
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Generosity Supports Clean-Up Efforts in Beirut 

Following the horrendous explosion in Beirut on August 4, our long-time Mission & Service partner the Middle East Council of Churches called on us to help “roll away the stone of suffering, terror and despair from the hearts of vulnerable citizens and families affected by this unprecedented catastrophe.”

Together, we responded. As a truly United Church, we raised over $100,000 to respond to this crisis. 

Thank you so much!

In the immediate wake of the explosion, your gifts literally went door-to-door, providing comfort, support and hope. Read the heart-rending story of one of the clean-up efforts that your gifts support here.

In addition to helping clean-up teams, your gifts meant that in the aftermath of the explosion, vulnerable families received hygiene and food kits, kitchen and bedding sets, and shovels, brooms and bags for removing rubble, as well as COVID-19 protective equipment. Thanks to your support, medicine was delivered to people with chronic diseases and cancer patients living in shelters. Once damage assessments have been made, your generosity will help rebuild damaged homes, schools and dispensaries too.

“Today, every move, no matter how simple, every act of generosity, no matter how little, and every word of empathy, have a great human value and contribute to strengthening the fraternal bond between human beings,” writes the Middle East Council of Churches in thanks.

Thank you for extending compassion to the people of Beirut and for strengthening the bond that connects us as God’s people. In times of loss when despair is too deep for words, your care makes an enormous difference.

[Photo: A Palestinian Christian youth group helps clean up after the Beirut explosion. Read their story here. Credit: JCC]

Coming Soon... All-New Minutes for Mission Format in 2021

COVID-19 has changed everything—including how we tell the amazing stories of how Mission & Service makes a life-changing difference.

Your Mission & Service gifts have never been more critical as the pandemic makes Canadians and people around the world even more vulnerable. We are working hard to gather and tell stories of the impact of Mission & Service in a different way, so we can share the good news of what your support is doing on the ground right now

In 2021, we will be sharing as many Mission & Service stories as ever, but they will be delivered differently. More personal, more timely, and more grounded in spiritual practice than ever, we hope they inspire you to share the good news of the many ways that we help transform and save lives, inspire meaning and purpose, and build a better world together.

Watch here for more details!

Peace-Making Ramps Up as Pandemic Heightens Tensions in Asia

Gifts to Mission & Service support peace and reconciliation processes across the globe. In Japan and Korea, the church’s peace-making efforts have never been more critical as COVID-19 heightens tensions.

According to South Korea, Japan has not formally acknowledged the reportedly state-sanctioned massacre of thousands of Koreans in Japan after a 1923 earthquake, nor the suffering of Korean “comfort women” forced into sexual slavery during World War II. The scars of trauma continue to strain relationships between the two countries.

Learn about the United Church’s peace-making efforts here

This story and other up-to-the-minute news stories about the difference Mission & Service is making in Canada and around the world are published in the Stories Of Our Faith section of the United Church website.

[Groups from South Korea and Japan form the Korea-Japan Reconciliation and Peace Platform. Representatives pictured here discuss peace-making strategies. Credit: National Council of Churches in Korea]

During the fall “season of stewardship,” many communities of faith will be holding giving programs, using Called to be the Church.

We know that person-to-person conversation is the most effective way to invite people to more generous giving. Since that may not be possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a letter inviting people to give generously will likely be the best approach. 

How do you write a really great letter?
  • Decide which group of people will receive the invitation. You might group people by giving pattern (regular/consistent, irregular/inconsistent, not yet giving). You might group them by age. You might group them by their ministry area of interest (worship, children/youth, UCW, social justice, etc.).
  • Start with a personal greeting that connects to the group of people you are addressing and THANK them for their previous/current giving of time/talent/treasure. You may choose to include a current update of their financial gifts to the community of faith.
  • INSPIRE by sharing a concrete and specific “good news” story, linked to your mission, showing how the donor’s giving is making a difference in people’s lives. You may need different stories for each group.
  • Remind people that generosity is a spiritual practice that helps them strengthen their faith and live out their Christian values. God has richly blessed them. How will they share that blessing?
  • INVITE them to increase their generous giving to both their local community of faith and the Mission & Service of the United Church. Include instructions for different ways to give and how to sign up or make changes to PAR. Encourage them to return the reply card, if this letter is part of a Called to Be the Church giving program.
  • THANK them again for being a part of the community of faith.
  • Hand-sign the letter.
Sample letters and other tips can be found on pages 28-31 of the Called to be the Church 2020 Program Guide. Download a copy from the Stewardship Toolkit

Stewardship Seconds, Offering Invitations, and Offering Prayers

The Stewardship Seconds, offering invitations, and offering prayers are available for November 2020 in Word and PDF formats from the Stewardship Toolkit.

If you just read ONE book this month:

I Like Giving by Brad Formsma

"A wonderfully inspiring book full of concrete theory and personal stories of actual generosity in action from contributors. Could easily be used as the basis for a sermon series. (I’ve done this!) When I need a boost, this is a go-to read." – Rev. Dave Jagger

More stories and options are available at and on the I Like Giving YouTube channel.

Your generosity enables the United Church to love, serve, and minister in the world. Make an online donation or learn more about your options to support the work of the church. 

Copyright © 2020 The United Church of Canada, All rights reserved.

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