Ideas to Help your Congregation Celebrate God’s Blessings

The GNJ cabinet and our Stewardship Foundation want to help you finish strong, so here are a few ideas to help your congregation celebrate God’s blessings and end the year with strength and joy:

  1. Have Special Thanksgiving and Christmas offerings inviting people to give in thanks to how God is providing this year and so the congregation starts 2021 strong.
  2. Send hand-written thank you notes to your top 15 givers in the congregation expressing your gratitude for their support to the vision and ministry of your congregation.
  3. Form a team to help write Thanksgiving & Christmas letters to members and friends inviting them to give to God in response to how they have experienced or seen God move in 2020. Templates for Thanksgiving and Christmas letters available below.
  4. Hold “Harvesting our Thanks” or “Receiving and sharing God’s great gift” worship services the Sunday before Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve. Work with a team to make these in person or online service engaging, heart touching, joy lifting encounters with God as you receive these special offering.
  5. Remind people that there are different ways to give.
  6. Invite leaders to give online to model this practical method and then have them share about it.
  7. Share creative and beneficial ways people can give.
  8. Celebrate, Share Stories, and Stir JOY
  9. Share pictures of Thanksgiving Signs or centerpieces via your e-newsletters, Facebook, church website and other social media platforms.
  10. Create Advent candle kits for people to pick up and then hold an evening before Advent when people join via ZOOM to put them together in their homes alongside others in the congregation.
  11. Post a daily 30-second video on Facebook and other social media platforms from members of your church sharing how your congregation is a blessing in their lives.
  12. Plan an outdoor Christmas Eve worship service with fire pits on the lawn or in a park nearby in addition to what you are already planning.

Sample Fundraising Letters

Several GNJ clergy have joined together to write stewardship letters to be used during Thanksgiving and the Advent season. Each one is infused with a different spiritual approach, so please choose the ones that work best for your congregation.

  1. 2020 Thanksgiving Letter My Tribute Uses the lyrics to My Tribute to inspire giving.
  2. Thanksgiving Letter History Invites your congregation to reflect on the history of pandemics and how the church has continued its ministry.
  3.  Thanksgiving Letter Saying Thank You Thanks everyone in the congregation for the many things they do to serve God.
  4. Christmas Letter Miracles Celebrates the birth of Jesus and invites your congregation to a Christmas Eve service.
  5. Christmas Letter Next Steps Thanks your congregation for their support, asks them to take the next step toward giving and join you for a Christmas Eve service.
  6. Stewardship Letter: Encourages stewardship through storytelling.
  7. Christmas Letter with Ideas: Offers comfort with scripture and two ideas to add to worship service.

Thank you to the holiday letter contributors: Heather Valosin, Chuck Coblentz, Shelley Smith, Enger Muteteke, Brandon, Jennifer Cho and Dave Tillisch!