Easter is the season focusing on Christ’s call to sacrificial love for the world.
It makes sense that this is the time to give to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) since, as the Gospel of Matthew tells the tale, immediately after the resurrection the disciples are told to start walking toward the Galilee because Jesus is going ahead of them.
That is so often our experience of Christ. We go out, just as we promised to do, and find out that he’s already there, bringing healing and hope and new life in situations so dire that many had given up on anything ever being right again.
Firsthand OGHS stories
OGHS provides opportunities for Presbyterians to go forth. All of us know firsthand the results of OGHS. OGHS supports the work of Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP), Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and Self-Development of People (SDOP). And, yes, the funding for the Joining Hands program as part of the Presbyterian Hunger Program comes from OGHS.
What has been your Joining Hands journey?
This is why all of you from the Presbyterian Joining Hands family in the US can do a Minute for Mission focusing on your very own Joining Hands experience, telling how the church is standing alongside communities who are fighting to breathe clean air or to curb government corruption so that resource wealth does indeed trickle down. Tell how you’ve seen people who ought to give up, go on … and to do so knowing that they are part of a global community called together by One that not even death can stop.
Other OGHS tools
Please take a minute to explore other resources that will help tell about your own ministry. If your congregation uses media in its worship, you can easily show OGHS 1-minute videos – there is one for each of the four Sundays. They can be found on You Tube under 2012 One Great Hour of Sharing. There is an ecumenical video and a short video for each of the three ministries – PDA, PHP and SDOP. The videos are the same story as the bulletin inserts. So, PHP’s video, bulletin insert and minute for mission are from RELUFA (JH Cameroon). PHP’s video is also on our face book page, but for your ease it is embedded below.
New online giving feature
Another new feature of OGHS is that folks can give to the Offering online and identify the congregation they are affiliated with so their congregation gets credit without it having to go through the offering plate. Please contact us if we can provide any other information to promote OGHS. But don't underestimate the power of your own story, because it will communicate the difference this offering makes in lives throughout the world.
Healing. Hope. New Life.
Give to the offering NOW
The One Great Hour of Sharing logo is round to reflect the circular flow of blessings that come from helping and being helped. The two figures represent the partnership nature of our programs and ministries - it's not us helping someone, it's us working together in partnership with others to accomplish God's work in the world. We recognize that those who share and those who receive benefit equally.
The figures are arranged in a circle, or globe, to reflect the global nature of our work. They are organic and free-flowing to represent the flexibility to respond to whatever is needed. As the figures connect, a heart shape is formed in the center to remind us that true giving comes from the heart.
The 2012 International Joining Hands Consultation
On another note, we are preparing for the International Joining Hands Consultation in August in Chicago. Our vision for JH campaigns has not changed since the first Consultation in Tacoma:
We influence people (or corporations or governments)
So that they make decisions
That impact our lives and those of others.
The speakers, trainings and time together will sharpen our skills, our ability to invite others to join us, and our connections with other alliances.†As globalization intensifies and public discourse deepens, we see a unique role for our witness and accompaniment in these campaigns that literally make or break lives.
"If we are to have peace on earth,
our loyalties must become ecumenical
rather than sectional.
Our loyalties must transcend
our race, our tribe, our class, and our nation;
and this means
we must develop a world perspective."
Martin Luther King, 24 December 1967, Atlanta, GA
Following Him across the globe
For as Matthew tells us … “He has been raised from the dead,” and he is “going ahead of you” to Galilee. Or to La Paz. Or Portland. To the Twin Cities. To Yaounde. To Roanoke. And to Haiti. Just knowing he’s up ahead somewhere keeps all of us moving and looking forward in hopes of catching a glimpse of him … because he leaves definite signs of his presence. Healing. Hope. New life.
Let's pray that God’s love sustains all of us in our mutual work of living into God’s kingdom.