One Great Hour of Sharing is an offering that makes the love of Christ real for individuals and communities around the world who suffer the effects of disaster, conflict, or severe economic hardship, and for those who serve them through gifts of money and time. Today, projects are underway in more than 100 countries, including the United States and Canada. In the 1990s, receipts have exceeded $20 million annually. While specific allocations differ in each denomination, all use their One Great Hour of Sharing funds to make possible disaster relief, refugee assistance, development aid and more. Second Congregational Church will take this special offering this Sunday, April 6. Please participate if you can.
Frequently Asked Questions:
1. What is One Great Hour of Sharing®?
One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Church’s Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in 138 countries. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water and food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, emergency relief, and advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.
2. Who participates in One Great Hour of Sharing?
Eight Christian denominations – American Baptist Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Church of the Brethren, Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), Reformed Church in America, the United Church of Christ, and Church World Service work together to develop common promotional materials thereby sharing ideas, costs, and a commitment to faithful service. Each denomination receives and manages its respective OGHS offerings, and together raise about $15 million each year.
3. How is the United Church of Christ’s offering used?
Almost 60 percent of the UCC’s offering supports international development initiatives, including annual support for missionaries and U.S. based long-term volunteers serving in the areas of development, disaster, or refugee ministries. Currently 14 Global Ministries’ missionaries and U.S. based long-term volunteers serve through OGHS-support.
4. Where and how are OGHS funds shared?
The United Church of Christ responds to development, disaster, and refugee needs in 138 countries, and provides disaster relief and immigration assistance in the United States. Funding decisions are made by asking our worldwide mission partners, “What would you have us do with you?” The United Church of Christ responds as a member of organizations such as Church World Service and the ACT Alliance. We also support the direct mission efforts of churches and church-based organizations that the United Church of Christ and the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) have direct partnerships with through Global Ministries. Nearly one-third of the UCC’s offering is shared through Church World Service to support refugee, disaster, development, and advocacy programs.
5. How many dollars are given to the UCC’s OGHS offering?
In 2013, the OGHS offering received just over $2.3 million. Nearly seventy percent of UCC congregations participate annually. Many individuals donate on-line in addition to offerings through their local congregation. Regularly, Second Congregational Church gives more that $2000 to the OGHS Offering.
6. What percentage of OGHS donations are used directly for mission?
On average, of every dollar given to One Great Hour of Sharing, 90 cents is used directly for mission programming; 5 cents for interpretation materials and 5 cents for administrative costs. Most administrative costs are paid by gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission National Basic Support and endowment funds.
7. How are decisions made to fund the various projects?
One Great Hour of Sharing is administered through Wider Church Ministries of the UCC national setting. Partnership, mutual relationship, and effective local impact are criteria for OGHS use. Partnerships include Bi-lateral relationships with churches and organizations through Global Ministries (UCC/Disciples of Christ) as well as partnership and membership with organizations exercising worldwide scope in development, disaster, and refugee expertise such as Church World Service, ACT Alliance, Foods Resource Bank, and the Ecumenical Advocacy Alliance.
8. How can I contribute to One Great Hour of Sharing?
The OGHS special mission offering is received through local UCC congregations and all UCC members are encouraged to participate in this way. Local churches will forward gifts to the conference office and all gifts will be forwarded to the United Church of Christ, 700 Prospect Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115-1100.
sharing resources, changing lives.
You can find more information at: http://www.ucc.org/oghs/