It's that time of year again—a joyous time for giving gifts. The UCC's Christmas Fund, this year called "You Can Help Us Say Yes," aids those who have served the church and need financial support during retirement. Once known as the Veterans of the Cross offering, The Christmas Fund is one of four UCC all-church offerings. It provides Christmas gift checks to low-income, retired clergy and their widowed spouses. It also supplies emergency assistance and helps finance pension and health benefit supplementation for retired clergy and lay persons. Last year, local churches help to raise $171,000 in Christmas Grants alone that went towards helping retired clergy in need.
"The need for your support remains great," says Michael Downs, Executive Vice President of the Pension Boards. Many pastors continue to work in rural areas with minimal salary and little or no benefits. They enter retirement with limited resources.
"We invite you to be part of special campaign to help those that give so much to the church," he says. "Your gift has a lasting impact in a variety of ways."
To donate, contributions can be made through your local church, earmarked for The Christmas Fund, or mailed to The Christmas Fund, The Pension Boards-United Church of Christ, 475 Riverside Dr., Room 1020, NY, NY 10115.