One Great Hour of
Sharing Shapes Faith
Suggested Congregational Offering Date - March
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
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
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org, in the Wider Church Ministries,
OGHS office to get involved.
Sharing in God’s Love,
Rev. Dr. Mary Schaller Blaufuss