Tuesday, March 9, 2021

One Great Hour of Sharing


 One Great Hour of Sharing is a special offering that has a history of over seven decades and includes participation of churches from 9 different denominations. It’s purpose is simple: to provide help for those in need around the world. Donations to OGHS are divided nearly equally between three programs of the national PC(USA): the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Self Development of People, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program. 

The best way to learn how your OGHS donation translates into action is to highlight two examples in the Presbyterian Hunger Program, which seeks to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes. One organization supported by PHP helps the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation of South Dakota which is located in a county with the lowest per capita income in the nation and is considered a food desert. The local organizations helps the reservation secure its own food supply and promotes nutrition and health.

A second example of OGHS gifts in action is in a small town in Bolivia where members of an indigenous community are finding that fishing, their traditional livelihood, is in severe jeopardy. The community is grappling with the devastating impacts of climate change like irregular rainfall, prolonged droughts, as well as effects of mining pollution. Access to water has become critical problem. A local organization supported by PHP is working to develop an irrigation system, 500m of underground piping, to bring safe well water to the community. They are also working to help the community collect and save rainwater.

You can support programs like these through your giving to the OGHS offering. You can designate OGHS on your offering envelope, or if you donate online when you designate “other” on the menu choices.

Jesus fed the hungry and healed the sick, and called on us to do the same; to love our neighbors as ourselves. One way that we can share in doing God’s work to help those in need both locally and around the world is to participate in the OGHS offering.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Mission Support for Local Kids

Children who go to school hungry cannot concentrate on their lessons, and that puts them at a disadvantage through the rest of their lives. Government programs provide free and reduced-price lunch and breakfast for children from low-income families, but in order to grow and thrive, these children need good meals after school, on weekends, and during the summer too. This is especially important now, during the disruption of learning due to the coronavirus. Kids Café, a program of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada, provides free meals at dozens of locations, right in the neighborhoods where such children live. In support of this program, the Mission Committee has designated $1,000 from the mission giving of our congregation to this program, and hopes to follow with more as our mission funds grow.

But schoolchildren who live in poverty need more help than that. Communities in Schools is a non-profit organization that helps them overcome the many other obstacles that hinder them from succeeding in school and in life. They have a coordinator in ten Washoe County schools, working alongside both students and their families to identify their unique needs and collaborating with other organizations in the community to provide whatever services they need. This is a comprehensive program that really makes a difference in our community. The Mission Committee has selected this organization also to receive $1,000 in St. John’s mission funds, hoping to send more in the future.

These funds come from contributions in offering envelopes with an amount designated for Local Mission or General Mission, above and beyond the regular weekly offering. The Mission Committee thanks those who have made this giving possible, and encourages further support by our St. John’s community, either in the offering envelopes or as other contributions designated for local mission.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Frontera de Cristo

“And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?”

 “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.” —Matthew 25: 38–40

In response to the biblical call to love our neighbors, the Mission Committee is spending a significant amount of our budget to support the border ministry of Frontera de Cristo–-specifically Presbyterian mission co-workers Mark Adams and Miriam Maldonado Escobar.

Located in the sister cities of Agua Prieta, Sonora (Mexico) and Douglas, Arizona (USA), Frontera de Cristo works with churches, presbyteries, and secular organizations on both sides of the border to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.

Their ministries include a community center, a migrant resource center, a health ministry, a just trade center, and new church development. Their family ministry provides Bible school for children, parenting classes, women’s self-esteem workshops, emergency assistance for families in distress, counseling, spiritual direction, and pastoral presence. They also have mission education activities, bringing together people from both sides of the border through travel and immersion experiences that build relationships and an understanding of issues of migration and faith.

We hope the whole congregation of St. John’s will join us in becoming informed about this work, supporting it through prayer, study, and possibly travel. We will invite Mark and Miriam to visit us when they are available. In the meantime, learn more about this ministry by visiting their website: fronteradecristo.org.