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) 2019
The United Methodist Social Principles call the Church to celebrate the gifts and graces of persons with disabilities and support full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the community. Offerings received are used to promote awareness of issues, as well as ministries that provide opportunities for fuller inclusion of people with disabilities. In this Annual Conference they have been used for ministries as defined by the Discipline: “to promote the work of creating architectural and attitudinal accessibility in local churches” Information concerning the observance of this Sunday will be provided to local churches upon request by the People With Disabilities Inclusion Ministry Team.
Golden Cross Weekend: May 4-5, 2019
Both the Golden Cross and Red Stocking weekends offer an opportunity to highlight and support United Methodist-related homes and agencies in Western PA. Special offerings received in the local churches provide support to those homes and mission agencies. Red Stocking weekend is during Advent.
Rural Life Weekend: August 10-11, 2019
Churches are encouraged 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. A special offering may be received in the local churches for the purpose of strengthening nurture, witness and outreach in town and rural areas in Western PA.
Christian Education Weekend: September 7-8, 2019
Local churches are urged to use this day as a time to celebrate their Christian Education ministries with events of appreciation and recognition of growth and learning as disciples of Jesus Christ. Special offering received in the local churches support the educational ministries of the Conference, which include Training and Resources and Laity Scholarships.
Retired Clergy Weekend: September (third weekend/Sunday)
Retired Clergy Weekend Local churches are encouraged to use this weekend, or another that they choose, to recognize and honor the retired clergy, their spouses, and the surviving spouses of clergy who continue to support the church in various and significant ways. This recognition may also provide inspiration to those considering ministry.
Camping Weekend: October 12-13, 2019
This weekend may be used to highlight the ministries of our camps and retreat centers. While Conference Connectional Apportionments fund a large part of part of summer program staff salaries and registration fees cover other expenses, funds received through special offerings on Camping Weekend will help continue the Bibles for Campers program and Mountain Praise camp worship series.
Volunteers in Mission Awareness/Recognition: Oct. 19-20, 2019
Local churches are urged to use this day in conjunction with Laity Sunday to celebrate those who used their God-given gifts to serve in short-term mission work and highlight the ways in which VIM mission teams are deepening of our sense of mutuality between different parts of our global connection. Special offerings received will be used in Western PA to strengthening Volunteers in Mission engagement and participation.
Youth Service Fund Weekend: November 9-10, 2019
Local churches are urged to use this day to celebrate their youth and encourage youth involvement in missions through their church, district, and conference.
The Youth Service Fund of the Western PA Conference has financially assisted many youth programs in our Conference, our nation, and our world. seem to be unaware of YSF.
Youth Service Fund Weekend provides an opportunity for local churches to highlight the ministry carried out through YSF and receive a special offering in support of WPAUMC youth missions. Bulletin inserts will be provided by the Conference Youth Ministry Team. It is also a time to celebrate church youth and encourage youth involvement in missions through their church, district, and conference.
Doorways to Hope at Home Sunday: Any Weekend during Advent
Any weekend during Advent 2019, or another date selected by the local church, may be used to recognize and receive a special offering for support of the six regional mission agencies in Western Pennnsylvania. These agencies -- the Erie United Methodist Alliance, United Methodist Human Services of Johnstown, WPA Prison Outreach Ministries, Connellsville Area Community Ministries, Greater Pittsburgh Ministries, and Eastbrook Mission Barn -- extend the love of Christ to those who need shelter, food, clothing, skill-building support, and loving care. Their ministries engage large numbers of local United Methodist churches, individuals, and partner organizations and make a significant impact through witness, outreach, and work for justice. Additional funds received through special offerings will support their ongoing ministries to break the cycle of poverty, reduce homelessness, and provide hope for those struggling to survive. These additional gifts will help keep doors open, enabling us, as United Methodists in Western Pennsylvania, to remain faithful in serving even the least of these.
Red Stocking weekend - Any Sunday in Advent
Red Stocking weekend may be observed during Advent. Like the Golden Cross (above), offerings received from churches support the United Methodist-related homes and agencies located in Western PA.
General Church Special Sundays 2019
Human Relations Sunday: January 20
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 31
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
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: June 16
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 6
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 24
The last Sunday of November supports United Methodist scholarships and the United Methodist student loan fund.