The Offering is not simply a collection of money for the needs of the church. True, the church’s main source of revenue is the givings of its members; but the offering is first and foremost an offering to God — a thankful response to God for his blessings to us.
Our weekly offerings enable the church (local and national) to serve God in a variety of ways. Since the offering funds the life and work of the church, the offering is one way in which we participate in the church’s ministry and mission.
The primary thing we offer to God in the offering, though, is ourselves. Week after week, we offer ourselves again and again to God, to be his people and to serve him in the world — not out of a sense of duty or obligation, but out of a sense of appreciation and gratitude for what he has done for us. The money we give thus serves as a symbol and a token of this offering of ourselves.
The offerings of money go to the local congregation and/or to the national church (through Presbyterians Sharing or PWS&D), as they are designated by the givers on their offering envelopes.
In most Presbyterian congregations, the congregation sings a Doxology (a brief song of praise) as the ushers bring the offering forward. “Praise God from whom all blessings flow” is the doxology that a good number of Presbyterian congregations use for this purpose, but any doxology would be suitable.
The offering is dedicated (set apart) to God with a short prayer, the Prayer of Dedication, which always includes words of thanks to God for his blessings.