Special Sundays with Offerings
There are eight Special Sundays with offerings approved by Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference to be celebrated each year in the local church.
In addition, there are six Special Sundays with offerings established by the General Church to be celebrated yearly in local churches. Churches may choose an alternate date to observe any Special Sunday.
Special Sunday Information:
Conference Special Sundays
Conference Special Sundays (WPAUMC) 2018
Highlights the gifts people living with disabilities can bring to the church. Supports grants to fund ministries of inclusion for persons with disabilities.
Golden Cross Weekend: May 5-6 or Red Stocking: Advent
A special offering should be received in local churches to support health and welfare ministries in the Western PA Conference. Specifically, these funds are given to Wesbury Community in Meadville, Arbutus Park Manor in Johnstown, and United Methodist Services for the Aging in Mt. Lebanon. Offerings can be received in in May (Golden Cross) or Advent (Red Stocking). Local churches are urged to use these Sundays as opportunities to share information concerning the extensive and vital ministries of these homes and agencies.
Rural Life Weekend: August 11-12
Churches are urged to celebrate the rural heritage of the United Methodist church, to recognize the needs of rural areas and to affirm the interdependence of rural and urban communities. Local churches may receive an offering to strengthen nurture, outreach and witness in towns and rural areas.
Christian Education Weekend: September 8-9
Use this day as a time to celebrate their Christian Education ministries. Special offering may be received by local churches for the purpose of supporting the educational ministries, such as Training and Resources and Laity Scholarships.
Retired Clergy Weekend: September 16-17
Each local church or charge is encouraged to use the third Sunday in September, or another Sunday of their choosing, to recognize and honor retired clergy, their spouses and surviving spouses of clergy who may be related to their church. No Special Offering
Camping Weekend: October 6-7
The Camping and Retreat Ministries team urges the local church to receive a Camping Sunday offering to help fund summer camp expenses not covered by registration fees.
Volunteers in Mission Awareness/Recognition: Oct. 20-21
Local churches are asked to celebrate the UMVIM movement by providing information and resources, as well as recognition of individuals or group volunteers, who might share their testimonies. An offering is to be taken to support the Conference and Jurisdiction UMVIM programs, with 90% of collected funds going to the WPA VIMship Advance special, and a tithe of 10% to the Jurisdiction programming efforts. Offerings taken during VIM Awareness Sunday should be remitted to the Conference treasurer and designated VIMship.
Youth Service Fund Weekend: November 3-4
Churches are urged to use this day to celebrate their youth ministries and encourage youth involvement. Special offerings may be received in local churches for the purpose of supporting youth missions.
Doorways to Hope at Home Sunday: Any Weekend during Advent
Offerings received on this Special Sunday support six regional mission agencies (Erie Alliance, Johnstown Human Services, WPA Prison Outreach Ministries, Connellsville Area Community Ministries, Greater Pittsburgh Ministries, and Eastbrook Mission Barn) who extend the love of Christ to those who need shelter, food, clothing, and loving care within Western PA.
General Church Special Sundays 2018
Human Relations Sunday: January 14
Celebrated on the Sunday before the observance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr's birthday, Human Relations Day acknowledges the right of all God's children to reach their potential, and calls all of our churches to strengthen United Methodist outreach to communities in the United States through supporting social justice and work with at-risk youth.
UMCOR Sunday: March 11
The fourth Sunday in Lent; provides major support of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. UMCOR provides immediate assistance in the wake of disasters and helps support ongoing ministries of food, shelter, health and peace. Allows 100 percent of designated gifts to be used for specified disaster response or other ministry
Native American Ministries Sunday: April 15
Celebrating Native American Sunday reminds United Methodists of the contributions made by Native Americans to our society. The special offering benefits Native American outreach within annual conferences and across the United States and provides seminary scholarships for Native Americans. It helps to equip and empower Native American pastors, congregations and seminary students to authentically worship and serve Jesus as only they can in their communities.
Peace with Justice Sunday: May 27
The first Sunday after Pentecost; supports peace with justice ministries through the General Board of Church and Society and the annual conferences.
World Communion Sunday: October 7
The first Sunday in October; supports World Communion Scholarships, the Ethnic Scholarship Program and the Ethnic In-Service Training Program.
United Methodist Student Sunday: November 25
The last Sunday of November supports United Methodist scholarships and the United Methodist student loan fund.