HOPE
UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
St. Louis, Missouri
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2017 One Great Hour of Sharing Special Mission Offering
Envelopes Available on Sunday, March 26

 

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One Great Hour of Sharing, a part of Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM), is one of the four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. One Great Hour of Sharing provides support for health, education, refugee, agricultural and emergency relief initiatives to people in 138 countries around the world by working with local, national, and global partners. This appeal is the oldest special mission offering of the UCC, having started in 1949. For nearly seven decades, nine denominations in the United States, united as one, have together been connecting people through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

One Great Hour of Sharing enables the United Church of Christ to reach people and communities affected by disaster, displacement or poverty. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, we provide assistance to families and communities around the world, helping them to become stronger, healthier and better equipped to address hardships and catastrophes.

Each year One Great Hour of Sharing produces its Annual Mission Report to highlight the work of the offering.
Click here for the 2016 One Great Hour of Sharing Mission Report.

The 2017 One Great Hour of Sharing offering theme is “You are here.”

OGHS-Logo02WebThe theme “You are here” could easily be the response to a question provoked by tragedy, fear or suffering: “Where are you, God?” Psalm 145:18 echoes the refrain throughout scripture that God is nearby. As soon as a person calls on God, God is here.

You are here shows the church uniting to respond to the many critical needs present in our world today. Our support is given through partner organizations responding to health, education and agricultural development needs, refugee initiatives, and both international and domestic disaster response.

When we see the latest tragedy on the news, we might ask, “Where are you, God?” But we already know the answer—God is here, in the midst of those who are hurting.

“Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” (Matthew 25:40). God is most tangibly present in this world where people hunger, thirst, lack adequate clothing and shelter, and are sick or imprisoned. Christ claims people who suffer as family members. Christ is so present in them that when you feed the hungry, care for the sick, welcome the stranger—you feed, and care for, and welcome Christ. When you give through OGHS to those who suffer from natural disasters, war, or systemic poverty, you let them know: You are here.

Not just our fellow Christians, but anyone in need, anywhere in the world—these are our sisters, our brothers, our children. Their needs might seem different from the people we worship with on Sunday, but our tangible gifts declare the same message: “I am here.” By reaching out to those who suffer from natural disasters, war, or systemic poverty, we let them know that they are not forgotten. Even when the need seems far from here, by acting together as the body of Christ, we are able to be there for members of Christ’s family.

We are there through providing well pumps for clean water, seeds and training for sustainable agriculture, and rice and oil to provide nourishment and cooking supplies. We are there through medical kits, school supplies, temporary shelters, and safe housing projects where needed most.

When we give, as the United Church of Christ—individuals, groups and congregations—it means that the church can stand strong, in the midst of need whether it is nearby or far away. When God’s love abides in us, we are moved to respond with our own material goods to the needs of other members of God’s family.

Every gift allows us to say, “You are here.”

P.S. Remember that our participation in this One Great Hour of Sharing appeal (and in the other three special mission offerings as well as our regular OCWM giving) will help us to qualify again as a “Five-For-Five Congregation” in 2017!