Each Lent during my childhood, our UCC would collect an annual offering in little globe-shaped, folded-paper containers. In Sunday school class and in worship, even children were encouraged to allocate some of their allowance for One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS). We all listened to moving stories about how our donations changed lives around the globe, and I remember how my Sunday school friends and I got so excited to participate with the adults.
This time of year, our congregation typically joins with the greater UCC denomination in OGHS, which part of Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). OGHS is a yearly opportunity to give an offering that changes lives through the provision of clean water, food, medications, shelter, healthcare, education, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, disaster preparedness and response, emergency relief and rehabilitation—plus more. Other denominations including the American Baptist Church, the Disciples of Christ, the Church of the Brethren, and Church World Service join together in this worthy effort. You can learn more about OGHS and how to donate on line by clicking here: https://www.ucc.org/oghs_resources_frequently-asked-questions/. You may also send a check to church and designate the offering to benefit One Great Hour of Sharing. All donations should be received by March 14.
I do realize that we have just pledged our usual tithes and offerings and are also participating in the Southwest Conference’s Lenten mission project to relieve medical debt, but I still want to encourage you to donate to OGHS if you are able—there is just so much need in the world! May you continue to experience the deep joy of giving this Lenten season.