One Great Hour of Sharing Plants Hope

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One Great Hour of Sharing
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One Great Hour of Sharing Shapes Faith
Suggested Congregational Offering Date - March 30th
Additional stories, sermons, liturgies, music, and other

resources are available at
www.ucc.org/oghs/resources 

Anne Campbell, founding member of Miami Lakes Congregational Church UCC in Miami Lakes, Florida, is preparing to make a presentation this Sunday when this congregation gathers the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering.  Mrs. Campbell is no stranger to the pulpit, having been called on many times in her 83 years to witness to her faith and to the good the church can do in the world.  For some reason, this year seems different.    She is remembering a story she heard when eleven years old that she has always connected with One Great Hour of Sharing.  It is the story of the “Four Chaplains” on the troop ship USAT Dorchester that sank on February 3, 1943 during World War II.  These United States’ Army chaplains related to the Methodist, Reformed, and Roman Catholic churches and to Reformed Judaism helped other soldiers and civilians board lifeboats and gave up their own life jackets when the supply dwindled. “They joined arms, said prayers and sang hymns as they went down with the ship.”   A 3-cent U.S. postal stamp was issued with the caption, "These Immortal Chaplains...Interfaith in Action."

Anne wonders if the story is just a made-up tale she has recalled until her pastor backs her up with news of this stamp and of a memorial to the event that stands in the Naval Shipyard in Philadelphia.  Even with the reality of a structure that memorializes the event, as well as its telling on stamps and in film, the truth of the story is the connection it has given her to faith and the world.  Anne has taken from this story, the selfless act and commitment of their whole selves to others.  She has connected with the ecumenical nature of the story as it has helped shape her understanding of the church and relationship to God.  The chaplains on the Dorchester were leaders in different religions and Christian denominations who prayed together for the same thing - life for others - “Interfaith in Action” 

As Anne shares the story of OGHS this Sunday in Florida, she proclaims a selfless faith and encourages others to join her in living this faith through the concrete actions of contributing generously to the offering.  She joins in as this congregation prays together, along with people in the seven other Christian denominations who participate in the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.  She joins partner churches and organizations around the world to make abundant life possible for people affected by political violence, natural disaster, and uneven economic opportunities.

What is the impact of One Great Hour of Sharing?  Faith. Faith, in God who makes us One.  As we join together to care and advocate for those whose lives are most disrupted and vulnerable in this world, our connection gives us life.  Thank you, Anne, for your witness. Thank you, each one, for acting together.

Please share generously.

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OGHS is one of the All-Church Offerings of the United Church of Christ.  Your congregation can be 5 for 5 by participating in the One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen the Church, Neighbors in Need, and Christmas Fund offerings and through generous support of Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM).

Your place of employment may offer the opportunity for matching grants.  Multiply your gift to One Great Hour of Sharing. Check out this list.

The OGHS Endowment is here.  Provide long-term stability for the UCC’s systematic and relational participation in disaster recovery, sustainable development and refugee relief.  Contact Phyllis Richards, richardp@ucc.org, in the Wider Church Ministries, OGHS office to get involved. 

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Sharing in God’s Love,

Mary

Rev. Dr. Mary Schaller Blaufuss

 

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