On March 2 we will celebrate Ash Wednesday. We invite you to join us for a short service at 6:30pm to begin the Lenten season. Lent also brings the yearly tradition of One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) when young people throughout the Presbyterian Church fill up fish shaped banks with coins and the money goes to relief efforts throughout the United States and the world.
We will be talking more about this during upcoming services, but I wanted to share a couple interesting things here that probably won’t be mentioned during church. The funds raised during OGHS are divided between three PC (USA) groups:
32 percent to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
32 percent to Self-Development of People
36 percent to the Presbyterian Hunger Program
I am always encouraged by the idea of people being offered the resources to climb out of poverty and terrible situations, so I explored the “Self-Development of People” just a bit farther. You can read about the many things this fund supported in 2020 here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u4_r4enrqpmRwCz1ZzccNxV4dwPZdMR2/view
As I looked through that document two stories caught my attention and captured this idea for me:
“South Sudan Lutheran Church [in Fargo, ND] received a $15,000 grant for its group members seeking to acquire proficiency in English to navigate their new culture and share their heritage with their children. They hope in this way for their struggle to find work, access services and secure housing to be realized.”
“Poor People's Economic Human Rights Campaign [in Philadelphia, PA] was awarded a $15,000 grant. The project is a 20-week youth program to meet the intersectional needs of young people in the poorest neighborhoods of Philadelphia, to build leadership, community, and organizing skills. This project also provides a safe space for healing, recreation, creative self-expression, supportive community, and mentorship.”
These are the sorts of things our giving to OGHS supports. They are local groups focused on helping their local communities with a hand up, not just a handout. This sort of giving brings long term change and slowly transforms our world. So, please consider what you can give to support the good work of these groups and please pray for their leaders and workers and for the people in need throughout the United States and the world.
Bonus: President Truman is part of One Great Hour of Sharing’s history. If that makes you curious, this short article from 2015 explains: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/weekly-offerings/2015/02/09/brief-history-one-great-hour-sharing/