The ‘One Great Hour of Sharing’ is an annual mission of the United Church of Christ. They urge people to help them do this mission so that they can assist the community needs of more than 25 million global refugees.
Annual Mission of the United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ is collaborating with other organizations and local communities in various areas across the globe to provide aid to the more than 25 million people who have been displaced from their homes around the world. According to the United Church of Christ, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, a country referred to as “America’s refugee capital” due to a large number of refugees resettled per population, faith-based organizations have been essential in serving the needs of these individuals and families.
The congregation at Church of the Apostles UCC, which Linda Lewis attends, formed a welcome team when she suggested the idea of Church World Service (CWS) Lancaster arranging for the family to be hosted there. Lewis served as the team’s leader, and the church worked together to collect gift cards and household items in preparation for the arrival of a family at the beginning of 2022.
In addition, Andrew Mashas, who works with CWS as the faith-based engagement specialist, focuses a lot of his attention on coordinating churches to accompany refugees during the first few months after they arrive in the United States. CWS is able to connect families with local churches that act as co-sponsors, which helps to create additional relationships within the community. They also assisted the families in locating essential resources such as safe and affordable housing, connecting with healthcare providers, and offering extensive employment assistance. “I would recommend other churches get involved so they learn about people from other cultures. And it’s great to know that you’re helping,” Lewis stated.
An article from the Community United Church of Christ stated, ‘One Great Hour of Sharing is a donation that was given on the Fourth Sunday of Lent, which was on March 27. This donation helps support partners in countries with ministries that fund agricultural development, health, and education, as well as emergency relief, refugee ministries, and both domestic and international disaster response. Through OGHS, they are working to mend shattered aspirations, reawaken dormant hopes, and forge a way forward together. The monetary contributions of OGHS impact the lives of neighbors near and far, some whose names they do not know and some whom they may never meet in person.
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About the United Church of Christ
A union between the Evangelical and Reformed Church and the General Council of Congregational Christian Churches resulted in the formation of the United Church of Christ, a Protestant denomination in the United States of America. As per Britannica, each was independently the offspring of a previous coupling. 1942 marked the beginning of negotiations aimed at merging the two organizations, and throughout the subsequent 15 years, there were seven different iterations of the Basis of Unification. On June 25, 1957, during a General Synod, the United Church of Christ was established, and on July 4, 1961, its constitution was declared to be in full force and effect.
In 1959, at Oberlin, Ohio, the two groups that merged into one decided to establish a Statement of Faith for the newly formed church. On the other hand, members of the uniting churches regard this statement as more of a testimony to the churches’ faith as a whole than a definitive rule of faith.
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