By Nell Green
Perhaps you have noticed that we have a new tagline for the Offering for Global Missions, “Because Presence Matters.” While I was discussing with others the tagline, my four-year-old grandson was in the office playing. He appeared to be absorbed in what he was doing. Suddenly in response to my saying on the call, “Because presence matters”, he excitedly said, “Oh that’s good, MiMamie. I love presents!”
‘Tis the season for plenty of gift giving and presents. Presents are a wonderful expression of love, affection, regard, recognition, and appreciation. God gives good gifts. (James 1:17) God encourages us to ask for the gifts. (Matthew 7:11) God wants to give!
Presence however is more the essence of the season. “Now all of this took place so that what the Lord had spoken through the prophet would be fulfilled: Look! A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, And they will call him Emmanuel. Emmanuel means “God with us.” Matthew 1:22-23 CEB.
With. God is present. God accompanies us in the person of Emmanuel. This is the good news of Jesus Christ! God came near to us. And God is not going anywhere. God will stay with us.
Field personnel share the love and good gift giving of God through their long-term presence. They accompany those in their communities as they bear witness to Jesus Christ, cultivate beloved community, and seek transformational development. As a result, God’s presence is felt in places where people are forgotten, ignored or marginalized.
The Offering for Global Missions funds this gift of long-term presence. When you give to the offering, you too are investing in presence and accompaniment. Here are few ways during this gift giving season to give the gift of presence:
- Give to the Offering for Global Missions and help fund the long-term presence of CBF Global Missions field personnel.
- Honor someone on your presents list with the gift of presence through the Offering for Global Missions. Place a card under the tree explaining the gift. If you opt to give online, you will see “Dedicate my donation in honor or in memory of someone” located just below where the amount can be selected. Simply click that box and provide the needed information. The recipient will be notified of your thoughtful meaningful gift. If you give via check, send a note indicating who the recipient is with pertinent information. They will be notified.
- Invite one of your field personnel to be present with your small group or congregation either virtually or in person.
- Write a Christmas card or note to one of your field personnel thanking them for their long-term presence and your desire to be present with them through your prayers and support.
‘Tis the season for presents. More importantly, ‘tis the season for presence. Because presence matters.
Nell Green is a former CBF field personnel and serves as the Offering for Global Missions Advocate on the CBF staff.