One Great Hour of Sharing… a summer offering (ok, we're taking it up late)

One Great Hour of Sharing… a summer offering (ok, we're taking it up late)

Traditionally, in the United Church of Christ, we take the “One Great Hour of Sharing” (OGHS) offering during Lent. But this year, at Old First, we did not. We’re not sure how we missed it.

But, we are committed to being a “5 for 5” congregation of the United Church of Christ. Which means, not only do we contribute 10% of our unrestricted income to “Our Church’s Wider Mission” (OCWM) which supports the work and ministry of the Penn SE Conf. and the national setting of the UCC. We also take up the 4 other, special offerings: One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church, Neighbors in Need and the Christmas Fund.

We are so committed to being 5 for 5 that two of our members made One Great Hour of Sharing contributions during Lent even though we never asked!

But we do not want their commitment and generosity to have to carry the rest of us. So we are going to use the summer season as a time to collect for One Great Hour of Sharing. In church circles, when and observance’s date needs to be changed, one calls it “moving the feast.” We are not only moving but extending the time when you can make a gift to “One Great Hour of Sharing.” Envelopes will be in the pews starting the first Sunday in July through the last Sunday in August.

(Michael has been thinking that we might want to “move the feast” for this fall’s Anniversary Sunday. Traditionally, it would be the Sunday that the Pope is celebrating mass on the parkway. Maybe some of you want to attend. As well, it sounds like it going to be difficult getting around anywhere for all of us.)

What Is One Great Hour of Sharing, …why might you want to contribute …what will your gifts accomplish:

Through this special offering, United Church of Christ members reach out in the name of Christ to:

Build sustainable communities. OGHS supports self-help programs in more than 80 nations to build sustainable communities that enable people and communities to stand against and rise above hunger, disease, illiteracy, and other forces of injustice that deny and destroy dignity.

Respond to disaster. OGHS provides emergency and long-term assistance to people in the aftermath of hurricanes, tornados, storms, floods, tidal waves, fires, explosions, technological disasters, civil strife, war, or other natural or human-caused events. On average, OGHS responds to a disaster once every 2.5 days.

Minister to refugees. OGHS responds with advocacy and help, hope and hospitality for people who have been uprooted from their home of origin. More than 30 million of the world’s people are uprooted at any given time.
In cooperation with Global Ministries, Church World Service, Action by Churches Together, Interchurch Medical Assistance, Foods Resource Bank, Oikocredit, Freedom from Hunger and hundreds of local partners around the world, One Great Hour of Sharing is part of a remarkable network of service and caring that is efficient, effective and faithful. Administrative costs are typically less than eight percent annually.

The United Church of Christ unites with Christians in eight other Protestant denominations and Church World Service in One Great Hour of Sharing, thus multiplying the effectiveness and extent of our witness many times over.

The partnership we share with nearly 6,000 United Church of Christ congregations across the United States and Puerto Rico is where this remarkable miracle connecting UCC members to the world truly begins. The UCC annually channels more than $3 million dollars through One Great Hour of Sharing to humanitarian needs in the world.

The One Great Hour of Sharing offering is administered through Wider Church Ministries of the United Church of Christ.

Look for the envelopes in our pews starting on Sunday, July 5. And consider making a gift that will make a difference near (to you) and far (to someone you will probably never meet.