Beginning in the late 19th century, Lutheran women were given small Thankoffering boxes to place in a special location in their homes as a visible reminder of blessings received. Women would add coins to those boxes almost daily as particular blessings were noted. From their use came the idea of an annual church service to celebrate their collection, and so the women of the congregation would come together for a Thankoffering service.
In the Lutheran tradition, the first Thankoffering service was held in 1889, with $6,100 collected. Today, Women of the ELCA collects about $400,000 in Thankofferings annually for the ministries and mission of our women’s organization.
Thankofferings show gratitude for God’s blessings and give us an important and tangible way to express that gratitude. It is a tradition grounded in our celebration of community, of meeting together to joyfully give thanks for what God has given us. Thankofferings have always been, and still are, our opportunity to say thank you to God in both significant and ordinary moments.
This message is excerpted from “All about thankofferings,” written by Emily Hansen, a 2010 Women of the ELCA resource.
If you enjoy this resource, Donate Now.