Photo: Paul Jeffrey/ACT Alliance
the Week of Compassion 2024 Special Offering
In the story of the generous widow (Luke 21:1-4), Jesus sees the widow and her gift, and rejoices in her generosity. Others were giving from what they could spare - but this woman, Jesus said, was giving everything she had to live on. Such generosity upends expectation. She brings two small coins, the merest contribution, but she is the giver Jesus praises most highly. It is not only the coins themselves that matter. It is the way she gives - it is the story of her generosity that outlasts her. That’s what Week of Compassion does - what Disciples do. We bring what we have to live on, which becomes a resource for others to live on - and that mutual giving is how our story lives on too.
Over the past 80 years through Week of Compassion, Disciples have responded to needs around the world, constantly evolving to meet new challenges. As Rev. Dr. Dawn Darwin Weaks, who wrote this year’s sermon starter and scripture commentary, has said, “We honor the courage of those who came before by being courageous now!”
Today we launch the theme and resources for our 2024 Special Offering:
GIFTS TO LIVE ON
The Week of Compassion Special Offering is suggested for February 18 - 25, 2024.
Standing Orders of print materials for the Week of Compassion 2024 Special Offering begin shipping in early December. To review your congregation's Standing Order, make changes, or create a new order, use the order page. Deadline for changes is December 4.
This year we saved the step of Sample Packets. Standing Orders include everything you need to create a meaningful Week of Compassion offering with your congregation. With our Planning and Resource Guide, PLUS all the print materials of your Standing Order, AND the plethora of video, print, worship, and study resources on the 2024 Special Offering page ... less paper, less shipping, less time, and less waste means MORE resources go right to work caring for vulnerable communities around the world.
THANK YOU for all the ways you are Week of Compassion in communities near and far, and for all the creative and generous ways you share GIFTS TO LIVE ON.
a short film for the 2024 Special Offering
available on the Special Offering page in English, English with captions, and in Spanish
As Disciples, we gather weekly at the table, to remember Christ’s own life poured out lavishly, for everyone, without exception.
Abundance and blessing is not only what we receive - it is who we are and who God calls us to be. Week of Compassion is where Disciples respond to the challenges and the blessings they see in the world. Week of Compassion is a response from the whole body of Christ.
Thank you, Disciples, for sharing in the ministry of Week of Compassion.
“I was living a normal life,” eighteen-year-old Dmitry recalled. “I was studying logistics and marketing and playing football. I wanted to be a professional footballer, and had a contract with the Mariupol junior football team.”
Anna, also 18, is from Donetsk, and had already moved because of the earlier war (2014, when Russia annexed Crimea). Now in Mariupol with Dmitry, “I was studying law, wanting to become a lawyer.”
The young couple’s dreams of football and law were interrupted when they woke to a call from Dmitry’s parents telling them that the war had started.
Afghan Refugee Response
In the fall of 2021, as the government of Afghanistan collapsed and families were rapidly evacuated, Week of Compassion reaffirmed refugee response as an ongoing priority and employed increased resources, including the Afghan Welcome congregational grants, to support local churches.
Dozens of congregations, across multiple regions of the Disciples church, helped Afghan families to establish a new life in an entirely new place under deeply stressful circumstances. Out of the desperation and disconnect of this crisis, opportunity and community thrived. At every step, Disciples saw hope RISE UP ANEW.
Sunny Day Camp
On a dark night in early December 2021, entirely out of season, tornadoes tore across eight states, killing more than 80 people and devastating many communities. Just eight months later, on a warm Saturday in July, two Disciples churches and several community organizations made sure that dozens of children impacted by those winter storms in western Kentucky spent time outside with friends and caregivers, reveling in a bright and sunny day.
Recently we lifted up the Stephens family and the hope - and new home - they found through Week of Compassion’s partners, the Miami Valley Long-Term Recovery Operations Group and Brethren Disaster Ministries.
Many of the images and stories featuring prominently in this year's Special Offering materials are from Dayton, Ohio, and many include the Stephenses. This video - Love brings you home - highlights their story, and their joy.
What an absolute joy to share photos from their recent home blessing! The Stephenses have a beautiful and secure home, with personal touches like a handmade quilt. (Brethren Disaster Ministries’ long-term project leader Sammy Deacon joined the Stephens family for their celebration day.)
The Week of Compassion Special Offering, received in most congregations this Sunday February 27, brings home the power of community, and the deep truth that faith, hope, and love remain. Thank you for your gifts, this week and all year long.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:19-21
Where is your treasure?
In the bank? A locked box? Invested wisely across a diverse portfolio?
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