Keep up with the exciting things happening through your gifts to the Presbyterian Church (USA) Special Offerings. We'll be posting about a wide range of topics, including: how your dollars are used around the world, promotion strategies for use in your local congregations, as well as stories about how Presbyterians are using Special Offerings gifts to make an impact in their own communities.
“Smart and generous people developed Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Board of Pensions Assistance Program, and the PC(USA) Special Offerings. They made a tremendous difference in our presbytery, congregation, and in the lives of our employees. We are truly thankful,” said Rev. John Sawyer, co-pastor of Bedford Presbyterian Church in Bedford, NH.
Rev. Sawyer expressed to me his gratitude for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and One Great Hour of Sharing, which supported Bedford immediately after the 2015 New England winter storms, where a series of 4 storms dropped 6”-18” of snow each. To get a sense for how much snow ...
We all have a gift to give. The contributions we make each day are as unique as we are: we may give our talents to accomplish something, give our time to help someone, or give our resources to further a cause. While our individual gifts have great value, so much more is gained when we share them in faithful collaboration.
One Great Hour of Sharing is one way we can join our many gifts, compounding the value in what each of us has to offer. Consider just a few ways OGHS-supported programs work to multiply the good in a gift ...
July 16, 1979 is a day the Navajo Nation in New Mexico will never forget. An earthen dam gave way, releasing 1,000 tons of radioactive mill waste and 90 million gallons of acidic and radioactive liquids into the Rio Puerco. The waste traveled downstream across nine Navajo chapters and the community of Gallup. Residents described “a wave of green liquid” heading their way, covering them as they headed home.
The Uranium Tailings Spill is still listed as the largest uranium spill in United States history. Recently, the Red Water Pond Road Community Association hosted its annual commemoration near Church ...
One local villager said, “The most significant thing is...the value and importance of working together. We have learned and benefited so much from each other.”
For nearly 18 months, life ground to a halt in Liberia. The Ebola virus not only ravaged the people, it robbed them of their ability to provide for their families. The deadly disease took away more than people’s health: businesses and schools closed, flights in and out of the country were suspended, and for those inside the country, there was a sense of abandonment from the international community.
As the economy deteriorated and ...
“At the end of the day, it’s not just about bean and corn seeds,” says Doris Evangelista, RUMES national coordinator. “We’re sowing the seeds of hope, of community, and of resilience.”
“It’s getting hotter and drier every year. Many of my neighbors have lost crops due to drought, and some have decided it’s simply not worth the risk to even plant,” explains Silverio Morales, himself a small-scale farmer who grows the Salvadoran staple crops of corn and beans, as well as a variety of fruits and vegetables on a shared plot of land near his home ...
“This is so much fun! I could swing here for the rest of my life,” screams six-year-old Roshan Karki, who can now use a swing for the first time in his life, thanks to his temporary new home in emergency housing—supported by Finn Church Aid, ACT Alliance, and PDA.
In early 2015, in a span of just two short weeks, Nepal was rocked by two massive earthquakes that devastated the tiny country. More than 500,000 homes were destroyed, 280,000 more were damaged, and nearly 9,000 people died.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) was on the ground almost ...
“The OGHS ministries are driven, not so much by who the recipients are, but by who we are – faithful and generous followers of Christ Jesus. As such, our intention is to follow the lead of Jesus who looks upon everyone as a valued child of God, worthy of God’s good gift of life abundant. This is our foundation and motive.”
The Reverend Joseph Johnson
Evergreen Presbyterian Church - Dothan, Alabama
When it comes to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), a leader’s enthusiasm is a gift in itself. Research shows church members give significantly more when their leaders share their excitement and passion for a Special Offering.
Consider these ideas to involve your members & inspire them to give:
a person who acts as a representative or promoter of a specified activity.
For the past few years, we have gathered groups of people to train and send out on our behalf when an offering is approaching. We want to have a personal connection with each congregation, but there are only so many of us on staff and only so many hours in a day.
You've heard us talk about the Special Offerings Leader Support Network, which is a year-round commitment, but we also have a group of dedicated volunteers that are more closely ...
What is the most extreme thing your congregation has done to meet a goal?
Let me tell you about Southminster Presbyterian Church in Prairie Village, KS and their process to raise $8,000 for One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) in 2015.
Reverend Jeff Clayton explained that there has been a historic emphasis on One Great Hour of Sharing at Southminster for over 20 years. They receive all four PCUSA offerings as well as support various other missions, but he explained that OGHS is the biggest because it “jazzes people about the purpose behind the offering.”
The session at Southminster ...
Please take a moment to watch these words of thanks from Special Offerings Manager Bryce Wiebe.
We appreciate the ongoing support of all of our fans and donors. Thank you.
God gives freely and abundantly to us and our response is to give.
Today's special post is brought to you by Special Offerings Ambassador Bobbi Updegraff. She was kind enough to share some of her thoughts and memories about One Great Hour of Sharing with us here.
One Great Hour of Sharing
The second Special Offering on the Liturgical calendar.
Gracie was the Lenten centerpiece of our supper table when our children were growing up. She was the reminder of what Jesus could do with small fish. My husband remembers the ½ pint milk cartons that preceded Gracie. Together they demonstrated for children the power of pennies, nickels and dimes, combined with the ...
Each year, One Great Hour of Sharing gives us the opportunity to support disaster relief, hunger initiatives, and self-development of people. Even if you’ve given to this Offering in the past, you may have wondered: Does my individual gift make much difference?
The problems OGHS seeks to address are daunting. Millions displaced by disaster or political upheaval. Whole communities without enough food to eat. Entire generations without access to education and opportunity. In Galatians 6, Paul writes, “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all” (v. 10). Through God and the work ...
The One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, received during Lent, has a sixty-nine year history as an ecumenical endeavor that now involves nine denominations and Church World Service. Founded in 1946 by Episcopal Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill, a goal was set to raise one million dollars in one hour for World Relief. *
The first Presbyterian participation in this ecumenical offering was initiated in 1947 by the the former United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA), followed in 1948 by the former Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS). In 1949, church leaders from several denominations began working ...
OK, it's true. I don't usually like to think about getting ready for Christmas until my Thanksgiving dinner has fully digested.
I like to jump in head first at the beginning of Advent and not slow down til Christmas day. I'm sure many of you who have worked in congregations know how true those words are!
But the truth of the matter is, sometimes you need a little lead time. I purchased my first two Christmas gifts last week, and I'm getting ready to start the all-important Christmas Card List. This year, choosing a design won ...
Since the Presbyterian Giving Catalog is one of our newest tools to help raise support funds for Presbyterian Mission Agency projects we're still learning how to help congregations utilize it in a way that inspires people to invest in PC(USA) causes around the globe.
And sometimes it's a congregation that educates and inspires us.
One such example comes from Edgewood Presbyterian Church in Columbus, Georgia, whose "Splish-Splash" Vacation Bible School students helped raise more than $400 in gifts to support the intallation of garden wells in Africa, through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog. These VBS students chose ...
It's an exciting day in the Special Offerings office, as we are finally ready to bring you something we've been working on for a little while (okay, a long while) now. So, we're going to take a quick break from promoting the Pentecost Offering to announce the brand-new Special Offerings website! Well, technically it's just five new landing pages (one general page and one for each of the individual offerings), that are still located under the PC(USA) web umbrella, but we really don't like speaking in technicalities :)
Our group of adults and youth were ready and flexible to help anywhere during our week at Point Pleasant. We helped paint, build showers for future service teams to use, sheetrocked a garage, and helped with whatever tasks that homeowners needed. One of the most meaningful experiences for us that week was helping a couple move into their home. It was the first time they had spent the night in their home in over 9 months. Through our day spent with them cleaning and moving, we were able to hear their story and be the hands and feet of Jesus. They were just one of the families we were able to interact with. In many ways that week we got more than we gave.
Thanks to the generosity of people like you, the Presbyterian Hunger Program has been able to partner with Huerto de la Familia (The Family Garden) and other successful organizations which address hunger and poverty through food production, income generation, advocacy and other holistic programs.
Huerto de la Familia is a community-based gardening and micro-enterprise program in Oregon. It works with Latino families to connect them with each other, their community, and the earth while growing their own organic food. That’s where Roberto’s daughter learned to garden and discovered her love for broccoli.
Interested in learning more about how your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing are making in impact? Here's an inspiring story about the Infinite Legacy Program in Akron, Ohio, which has benefited greatly from an OGHS funded grant, gifted by Self-Development of People.
"Through One Great Hour of Sharing, a program that the Presbyterian Church participates in with other Christian denominations, funding has been provided to support the Infinite Legacy Project, a program that engages at-risk Akron students with performing arts instruction. The program, a humanities-based outreach program of Pointe West Performances, has been based at the church ...
As more families flee the violence, the Záatari refugee camp grows. It’s already the second largest refugee camp in the world where more than 3 in 5 refugees are children.
Their futures are slipping away. You can help change that When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing, you help make the world a more loving, peaceful, place.
Over the course of 2014 I'll be visiting with people who are diligently working to transform communities across the country, empowered by the gifts you are making to the Special Offerings, and reporting back to you through a series of videos.
Several weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit with the executive director and board president of Huerto de la Familia, a community garden organization that's making an incredible impact in the lives of families in western Oregon. The video below will help explain how your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing are making a real ...
Looking to promote One Great Hour of Sharing in your church this year? We've got some great resources for you! The links below will take you to the download pages :)
From Presbyterian Disaster Assistance:
The first Sunday in Lent (March 9, 2014) has been designated “Wear your blue t-shirt to church Sunday” as a testament of one of the ways One Great Hour of Sharing makes a difference.
Disaster after disaster, Presbyterians have responded in record numbers with prayers, financial gifts, and hands-on-experience. Over the last 9 years, more than 70,000 volunteer missions have been served in the U.S. Gulf Coast, Iowa, Missouri, Alabama, Tennessee, Texas, New Jersey, New York, and other places where natural disasters have occurred. Many volunteers have put on blue PDA t-shirts and worked ...
We've received many recent requests for past Gracie stories, so I'm happy to report that all of her adventures from 2006-2014 are now available online for download! You can visit our dedicated Gracie page, or download any of the individual stories using the links below.
In light of the recent changes to the way we distribute certain resources for the Special Offerings, I thought it would be great to kick-off the first Tech Tip Tuesday with a tutorial on how to find and download resources directly from the Special Offerings website. For this demonstration we're going use the 2014 One Great Hour of Sharing Leaders Guide as our example.
If you're already comfortable navigating through the web, feel free to skip ahead -- otherwise you might find the first few instructions a bit basic. We just really want to make sure that even those ...