Have you ever heard of a Thankoffering service? Wonder how it all got started? 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. Thus was born the Thankoffering service.
The concept of Thankoffering celebrations dates back more than 100 years and beyond Lutherans. The Episcopal Church Women held their first recorded Thankoffering service in 1889, and the World Thank Offering service of the United Methodist Women has been a tradition for over 100 years. In the Lutheran tradition, the General Synod’s Women’s Home and Foreign Missionary Society created its first Thankoffering service in 1889 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the organization. At that first Thankoffering, $6,100 was collected. Today Women of the ELCA collects more than $1 million in Thankofferings annually for the ministries and mission of our women’s organization.
How will you say thanks today?
This message was adapted from the All About Thankofferings resource written by Emily Hansen and available from the Women of the ELCA website as a free downloadable PDF in both English and Spanish.