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Each year on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit as the giver and renewer of life. With the Spirit's coming, we no longer need to settle for business as usual, but can know the transforming, redeeming love of God that makes the impossible possible.

The Pentecost Offering is one of the four Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and is about helping young people begin life with a strong start-a solid foundation of faith formed in the first third of life, from childhood through young adulthood. Gifts to the Pentecost Offering unite young people in Christ and inspire them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world. Here are examples of how your gifts to this offering are being used.

Child Advocacy

Educate A Child
" . .. it would be better for you to have a great millstone fastened around your neck and be drownedin the depth of the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble . .. " -Matthew 18:6

The 221st General Assembly (2014) affirmed the Educate a Child, Transform the World initiative, renewing the church's commitment to its historic calling to educational ministries. Supported by the Pentecost Offering, this initiative inspires, equips, and engages Presbyterians to make a difference in education nationwide. Churches like First Presbyterian in Champaign, Illinois, prepare African-American boys for academic success through DREAAM House. DREAAM is an acronym for Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males. One of its premier programs is the DREAAM Summer Pre-K Academy. Teachers are seeing the programs impact and are vouching for its effectiveness.

Through workshops and training, Presbyterians are learning about the correlation between educational inadequacies and poverty and how they can help remove stumbling blocks that hinder children's education. With this bold initiative, Presbyterians plan to improve the lives of over a million children worldwide! Individuals, congregations, and mid councils are learning how they can be instrumental in restoring the dreams of our children. Education can be a tool of grace for enabling children to live lives of self-determination. For more information about how you can get involved in this initiative, visit www.pcusa.org/child.

Young Adult Volunteers

The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is a one year service opportunity for young adults from 19-30 years old. YAVs live in intentional Christian community, deepening and developing their faith while serving alongside partners in sites across the United States and around the world. YAVs are exposed to some of the hardest problems in the world-poverty, violence and reconciliation, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ-while living and reflecting with other volunteers on the meaning and motivation of their Christian faith.

Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey was a serving as a YAV in Zambia. Healthcare is one of the issues about which she is passionate. "It was eye-opening to see how unfair it was for good, hard-working people to get a minor illness and die from it," she emphasizes. "I became aware of how that contributes to the cycle of poverty. Her experience taught her the importance of putting her faith in action. "I don't want to be a Presbyterian who 'just goes to church on Sunday' and doesn't consider the implications of faith for everyday life." To find out more about the YAV program, visit www.presbyterianmission.org/yav

Ministries with Youth

The Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT) is a venue where many youth find their voices of faith. More than 5,000 youth will gather at Purdue University in July, and many will return to their congregations with a new understanding of faith and its relevance for their lives. It's a five-day event whose impact on individuals can last a lifetime.

Rev. Perryn Rice, Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, is one of the preachers for the upcoming Triennium in July and knows firsthand how powerful the Triennium experience can be. He first sensed a call to ministry as a 16-year-old attending Triennium. "I tell people it was the Youth Triennium, in 1986, that rekindled the fire of my faith," he says.

"I took a workshop about ministerial calls that helped me understand what the Lord was doing in my life. I did not accept the call at the time, but I left Triennium knowing what the Lord was calling me to do." Much of Triennium's emphasis is about putting their faith into action. "The last sermon of the week is always a commissioning sermon," Perryn says. "It's sending them back home so they can begin to change the local setting and the world in which they live:'

To learn more about PYT, visit, www.presbyterianyouthtriennium.org.

To learn more or to find other resources for the Pentecost Offering, visit www.presbyterianmission.org/pentecost.