"You are God's field; God's building."
Through the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering, we are planting seeds of new life.
Together, we are investing in communities worldwide: providing education to girls and boys, empowering communities through vocational
training, supporting microcredit lending and seeing people through to self-sufficiency, empowering families with skills to support themselves and their neighbors, and participating in sustainable solutions that offer dignity to all.
These are just a few ways the OGHS offering touches God’s children, in addition to disaster relief and refugee initiatives.
Through your generosity, the world is a better place. But more is needed. Today, you have an opportunity to plant seeds into the lives of others. Be a co-worker with God. Building, planting, watering…and trusting that God gives growth to all good gifts shared in faith. Thank you for your partnership. Thank you for your generosity
Invest in Futures
In Thailand, a 13-year-old girl arrives at the New Life Center, seeking relief
from the cruel conditions that have brought her here. Her life up to this
point has been mostly about survival. Here, she meets others like her. Some
are survivors of sexual abuse, domestic violence or human trafficking. Some
have been forced to work when they wanted to go to school.
What will the future be like when she is empowered to share her gifts with
her community and the world?
At the New Life Center, she is met with the investment of time, support,
and resources. And she is loved. She is allowed to imagine a new future.
Finishing school. Learning a trade. Even going to University to earn a degree.
In I Corinthians 3:9 Paul writes that we are all co-workers together in God’s
service. Some of us plant. Some of us water. But God gives the growth. Paul
reminds us that we are all called into the service of God, who cares for each
and every one of us. What could the future be like when we work to plant
and water together, and trust God to give the growth?
When you give to One Great Hour of Sharing, you invest in the futures of
these girls and countless others like them. Your gifts go to provide education,
vocational training, basic necessities, and much-needed community support.
When we share the love of Christ in this way, we see lives transformed. Not just
their lives, but ours as well. Because when we empower girls to build a life for
themselves, we help God build a better world for us all.
As we invest in futures and serve as co-workers with God, the future
becomes one of endless possibility and opportunity. What a great return on
To order additional bulletin inserts, order at www.uccresources.com
In the church, we often talk about the virtues of “servant leadership.” At its best, that term encourages church leaders to model their ministry after Jesus, who stooped to wash the feet of his disciples, who served them at the table, and who prayed for them faithfully even in his final hours.
God invites each of us to lead by serving, to share freely of our gifts so that God may work through us. Indeed, the word translated as “servant” in 1 Cor. 3:5 in the NIV is diakonos, the root of the term “deacon.”
Paul uses the term to describe someone whose work may be of benefit to others. Specifically in this context, he describes someone whose efforts God may use as a channel for good and growth. In choosing to humbly give their gifts, “servant-leaders” become channels of God’s healing love, so that all may enjoy the powerful experience of shared value, worth, and investment.
When we work and share our gifts together, none of us has to be Paul or Apollos, or any famous spiritual leader, in order to be faithful to the responsibilities we have been given. None of us is expected to solve all the problems of the world alone, or even as individual churches. Rather, we are called to use the time, talent, and resources we have been given for the opportunities before us. In so doing, we have the joyful opportunity to participate in the growth God is already providing in the world.
One Great Hour of Sharing works through a global network of partners, so that none of us has to do this work alone. Strong relationships are at the heart of this shared ministry, recognizing that true servant leadership empowers each person and community to use the gifts they’ve been given.
The Greek word translated as “co-workers” in 1 Cor. 3:9 in the NIV is synergoi. It shares a root with the English word synergy, meaning the interaction of two contributions—which, when combined, produce a greater effect than the simple sum of those contributions.
When we give to One Great Hour of Sharing, our gifts join with others and the effects multiply exponentially as God gives growth.
The growth of any garden depends on the soil in which it grows. Different plants give and take different nutrients from the soil. Good gardeners are careful to balance plant varieties so that everything growing in the garden will have what it needs to thrive and bear fruit. If the balance of the soil nutrients is thrown off, all the plants in the garden may suffer. Keeping that balance does not mean treating all plants the same. Rather, it means giving each plant what it needs. As co-workers in God’s garden, when we share in the work of One Great Hour of Sharing, we make an investment in the future and receive abundant blessings in return.
Unlike with the stock market or a retirement account, we do not invest in God’s growth to receive a benefit for ourselves. Rather, we give, receive, plant, and water in the service of the future for which God yearns.
A little-known band called Yurtfolk set to music the words of the Brazilian theologian Rubem Alves’ quote: “We must live for the love of what we may never see.” The song tells the story of an old man who plants a date tree in whose shade he will never sit, and whose fruit he will never eat. Why would he do that? Simply—for the love of what he may never see.
In this letter from Paul, the Jesus-followers in Corinth are encouraged to give and plant without undue attachment or ownership to the end result. It matters little who takes credit for the good fruits borne by the faith community in Corinth—Paul or Apollos. What matters is that they bear the fruit God has called them to bear.
Church leaders may want to reflect on how our churches learn to live for the love of what we may never see.
How might we invest in futures, trusting that even if we may never see it, God indeed will give abundant
Call to Worship
One: Gardeners plant, not fully knowing if their gardens will grow. Yet, they kneel in the dirt, dig with their hands, and bury one seed at a time.
Many: They plant and trust that a harvest will come.
One: God’s word tells us that we are to be co-workers in service to others.
Yet many times, we don’t see how our meager support can help.
Many: We plant and trust that a harvest will come.
One: One plants. Another waters. But God gives the growth. We join
together as co-workers in God’s service to release the healing waters of God’s love throughout our world.
Many: We rejoice, trusting in God’s goodness, and trusting in God’s word.
God of Growth and Abundance,
Prepare the soil of our hearts to receive your life-bearing call that we would invest our gifts with confidence and joy in the fruitful future you bring forth. We pray in the name of the One who makes all things new. Amen.
When violence reigns, disaster strikes, or resources are scarce, a future with hope can seem far away. In those times, our communities can act as sources of important support, embodying the love of the Holy Source of all hope and healing.
Paul writes we are all co-workers in God’s service. We each have gifts to offer that may serve as channels of love and strength to all of us who find ourselves in need of support. We can trust that whatever we offer, God will use to bring
a future with hope.
Through the ministries of this church and through the ministries supported by One Great Hour of Sharing, we have the opportunity to be part of the hopeful future God is already bringing forth. Imagine what the future could be like when we join hands together across distance, cultures, and generations to invest in the growth God promises to bring.
Let us invest our gifts in the future that we can build as co-workers in the kingdom of God. Let us give generously today, believing in the future growth God brings when we work, plant, and build together.
Prayer of Dedication
Bless the investments we commit to your work this day that our efforts would serve the future thriving of the world you so love. Amen.
Holy God, who brings sweet growth, teach us to live for the love of what we do not yet see.
Though we may sometimes feel buried deep, we can trust that your love, your hope, and your healing are always making ready to burst forth. Cultivate in us a belief in what the future could be when each one of us is empowered to fully live into the life your envision for us.
O God, who brings sweet growth, teach us to live for the love of what we do not yet see.
Your life-bringing design is visible in the beauty of creation, in the dawning of each day and in the turning of the seasons. Awaken in us a hope that when we plant, when w
e water, and when we invest in the future you are bringing, we are part of the joyful work of releasing the waters of new life.
O God, who brings sweet growth, teach us to live for the love of what we do not yet see. Amen.
One: Dear co-workers in God’s service, we are called to the feast prepared by Christ.
Many: We come tired yet hopeful. We come with laughter and tears.
We come broken and blessed. We come to taste God’s promise of a world made whole.
One: At this table, may we find rest. At this table, may we find hope. At this table, may we be moved to plant new seeds, to nourish fresh sprouts, and to join in bringing forth all the future fruit God is growing even now.
Many: To this table, we bring our dreams, our prayers, and our gifts with hopeful trust in God’s holy healing power and love.
Words of Institution
On the night that he knew would be his last with them,
Jesus gathered his disciples for a feast.
They had walked many miles together.
They had known trials. They had seen wonders.
They would soon need to trust that God is in the business
of bringing hopeful futures from even the most painful endings.
So after dinner was over, Jesus took the bread, blessed it, broke it,
and shared it with them, saying take, eat, do this in remembrance
Then he also took the cup, blessed it,
saying, “take, drink, do this in remembrance of me.”
Every time we do this, beloved co-workers in Christ, we too remember
that God is in the business of bringing hopeful futures even when we
have no idea of what is to come.
We eat and drink today to be filled to the brim with that good news.
We eat and drink this day to become holy channels
of Christ’s hope and healing for ourselves and for our world.
Prayer for Bread and Cup
God of the table,
You feed the wild birds of the air with fruit-filled
Branches and we flock to your table todayLonging to taste the hope and healing that you promise.
Nourish us with the bread
That sustains our souls and gives us hope.
Wash over us, reviving our roots in you.
Bless these elements we share
That the future you long for might
Burst into bloom in our hearts and in the world.
We give thanks for the gifts of bread and cup
Flowing with your promise of a future full of hope.
Carry us forth with courage to live for the love of all that
we do not yet see.
With trust in your eternal stream of new life we pray.
Go forth bearing the good news that God promises a future full of hope.
Go forth with expectant eyes, watching for the fruit God will bring.
Go in boldness, proclaiming God’s promises to the world.
Hymn suggestions: New Earth, Heavens New; Seed Scattered and Sown; Beyond Dying Sun, For the Healing of the Nations, For Everyone Born, Welcome, Fresh as the Morning (God of the Bible), In the Bulb There
is a Flower, Now the Green Blade Rises, Pelas Dores Deste Mundo, O
Senor/ENGLISH, Si Tu Vieras Fe/If You Only had Faith11
Children's Sermon and Activity 1
BEAUTY IN THE BROKEN PLACES
THEME: Even in places that are broken and hurting, Jesus can do more than we can imagine.
PURPOSE: To help children think about how God uses the One Great Hour of Sharing offering to create new and beautiful things out of situations of destruction and pain, like the broken pieces in a kaleidoscope turn and reflect into beautiful images.
SUPPLIES: a kaleidoscope; you can have one as an example, or you can have smaller party-favor kaleidoscopes, so each child can have one.
[OPTIONAL: to use this lesson as an extended activity, have children to create their own kaleidoscopes.]
SCRIPTURE: Ephesians 3:20 (International Children’s Bible Version)
SCRIPT Gather the children and show them the kaleidoscope. Who can name what this is I have in my hand? Accept a few answers, until someone identifies it correctly or the answers slow down.
Yes! This is called a kaleidoscope. Who knows what we do with it? Accept answers, affirming correct answers.
LEADER: Have any of you ever played with one of these. What did you think of it? I’ll pass it around in a few moments so you can each take a closer look. First, let me show you the funny thing about how it works. If you look at it from the outside lens, it looks like you just have a bunch of pieces everywhere. Sometimes those pieces look broken! But here’s the trick! If you look at it through the proper eye lens and twist it, all of those shattered pieces turn into beautiful shapes and a new picture. Pass around the kaleidoscope, or pass out the individual ones to each child.
Before you looked into the kaleidoscope, could any of you imagine what the picture could look like? Could you imagine how beautiful it would be? Accept a few answers, as children keep passing the kaleidoscope.
As you twisted it, did you notice how the picture changed to a new shape? Did you have any idea beforehand what that shape would look like? Accept a few answers, as the children keep passing the kaleidoscope.
This kaleidoscope reminds me of our scripture verse today. The verse comes from our friend the Apostle Paul. A long, long time ago, Paul wrote letters encouraging people to follow and trust Jesus. Let’s listen to something that Paul wrote in his letter to members of the church in a place called Ephesus. Paul wrote? “With God’s power working in us, God can do much more than anything we can ask or think of.”
You can repeat the scripture a couple of times, if you want.
Today I want us to think of ourselves as God’s kaleidoscopes – And here’s how…
If we only look at all the scattered beads, it seems like the kaleidoscope was a mess. But when we turned the kaleidoscope, we saw beautiful pictures. This is what God’s power does with us! Sometimes the world can seem like a mess! There are people who feel broken because of disasters, or wars, or because they don’t have enough to eat. It can look like nothing good can happen. But God can make beautiful things, even when the world seems scary or broken. And our scripture verse today says God does that by working through us! When we used the power of our hands to turn the kaleidoscope, we saw a new picture. God’s power can help us be a part of a new picture for people who are in need of help, too!
Today is a special time in our church where we give money to help families and communities around the world whose lives have broken pieces. Our One Great Hour of Sharing offering helps people rebuild their houses and churches after floods and fires and earthquakes. It helps people create new homes when they have had to leave their homes because they weren’t safe. And it helps communities have clean water, healthy food, and schools for their children.
This offering helps us to do more than we can ever imagine to create a new picture for our neighbors around the world-- all through the power of God! Can you imagine how God might use YOU in a new picture for those who are in need?
Let’s close with a prayer-- Amazing God! Help us to be part of the beautiful world you imagine. When people are hurting, scared, or lost, use your power in us to help them. Amen.
OPTIONAL ACTIVITY: Beauty in the Broken Places--Kaleidoscope Creation
Purpose: This activity is an extension of the Children’s Sermon in Children’s Church. Taken together, they can serve as a Sunday school lesson.
Toilet paper or paper towel tube (1 full tube and 1 partial tube per kaleidoscope)
Mylar paper or other reflective cardstock
Beads, sequins, or confetti
Clear plastic (a to-go container works well)
Instructions: For an instructional video on how to make a toilet paper tube kaleidoscope, visit:
1. Cut the reflective paper; width: 4.25”, length: 1/2” shorter than your tube Fold the reflective paper to create a triangular prism, with the reflective part inside.
2. Secure together with tape.
3. Slide the prism into your tube so that one end is even with the tube edge.
4. Use your tube as a template to trace 2 circles on the plastic. Cut out your circles--cut one to the outside of the lines so it is slightly larger and one to the inside of the lines so it is slightly smaller.
5. Slide the smaller circle into your tube so it rests against the prism.
6. Put beads, sequins, or confetti into he tube on top of the plastic.
7. Place your second plastic circle on the end of the tube. Secure with tape.
8. Decorate your kaleidoscope and enjoy!
Children’s Sermon and Activity 2
Gather the children in the space and welcome them.
LEADER: Let’s start with a game. Around the room are hidden some paper clouds. These are very special, and we need to find them and bring them all here! Can you help me?
Encourage the children to search for clouds, and give them to the leader. (Have a cloud for each child.)
LEADER: What do you notice about these clouds? Accept answers until the children notice that some have letters on them.
LEADER: Yes! Some of these DO have letters on them. I wonder what the letters might spell! You can have a child hold each letter in a line, having the rest of the class shuffle the order of the line until they are correct, OR you can put the clouds out on the floor or a table.
LEADER: These clouds spell “imagine.” What does the word “imagine” mean?
LEADER: Well it appears that we have a pretty good idea of what the word imagine means. So let’s agree, imagine means to think of a picture or story in your mind. Perhaps when you close your eyes you can see it. It is like dreaming, but you can see it when you are awake. Let’s give it a try. Let’s all close our eyes and think of something. When I count to three, we’ll open our eyes and share one at a time.
Invite responses from a few children.
LEADER: Those are some amazing things you visualized and imagined! I noticed that some of you imagined something positive and happy. Some of you imagined something [make other observations about their answers]. Some of you imagined something most people would say is impossible. Raise your hand if you think what you imagined can really happen. Those of you who didn’t raise your hands, why do you think what you imagined could not really happen?
Listen to responses.
LEADER: I have a story to share from the Bible about a guy named Paul who prays and tells us that God can do more than anything we can ever imagine. A long time ago, when the church was first beginning, people like Paul, who were called Apostles, shared the good news about Jesus and how we should put our faith in God. Paul liked to write letters to encourage people to be kind, and to put their trust in God. In one letter Paul wrote to the church in the city of Ephesus, Paul chose to add a special prayer to encourage people to trust in God. The prayer ends: “With God’s power working in us, God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or think of. To [God] be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus for all time, forever and ever. Amen” (Ephesians 3:20-21, International Children’s Bible).
That sounds amazing to learn that if we trust in God’s power, God can do more than we can do on our own. God can do more than we can imagine, kind of like what we imagined earlier. Let’s imagine the amazing things God can do when God’s power is working in us to help others.
First, I am going to pass out a cloud to each of you. Then, I want you to draw a picture of something that you think people need help with, but not like putting your toys away. Let’s think about how people feel when it is too much rain, or maybe when they are hungry and don’t have any food.
Give each child a cloud and give time for them to draw.
LEADER: When you’re done flip your cloud over. Now let’s close our eyes and imagine how God’s power could help the people in that situation. Imagine how God could use YOU to do something to help them. I wonder how God’s power in you could do more for those people than they could ever imagine or ask?
LEADER: After you’ve thought about it, draw a picture on the other side. Begin with the sun shining. Next can you show what you could do when God’s power is working in you?
Allow children time to draw.
Once many are completed, invite them to share with the class the side of the cloud that has been affected by damage and then turn to the side where the children have thought of ways that God can use them. You might display the clouds in a prominent area in your church for adults to see how children can show the possibilities of God’s power working through them.
Close with a Prayer. Dear God, Thank you for allowing your power to work through us. Help us to look to you when we need help or when we see other people who need help. Help us to remember that with you we can do more than we could do on our own. Amen.
Compare and Contrast
Too many of God’s children live in hellish conditions. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering invites us to use our imaginations towards a world where fewer of God’s children must live this way. Yet, in our minds, the word “imagine” may be too weak, too puny. Or maybe what comes to our remembrance is John Lennon’s now-iconic song of the same name. (One way into the theme “more than we can imagine” could be to talk about why Lennon was likely disheartened and discouraged by religion.) The lyrics include the words: “Imagine there’s no heaven; it’s easy if you try. No hell below us; above us only sky.” [If the preacher has audio capability, the song could be played (with appropriate license). Or the tune could simply be played on the piano or the preacher says the lines from the song].
While it is, of course, true -- thanks be to God! -- that millions of Christians have found their inspiration in their religion to help their fellow human beings, we must admit that it is also indeed true that religion has too often been the source of strife and even injustice, instead of peace and reconciliation. “Hell” has too often been used as a weapon, and “heaven” has too often been used to dismiss the importance of earthly suffering.
But God’s understanding of “imagine” is different: it is God’s hope that Christians will imagine – and work for – a world where peace, freedom, and justice are more and more a reality for all people. The One Great Hour of Sharing offering invites each of us to give generously and participate in God’s imagination so that people everywhere will live as one.
In much of common English usage, the word “imagine” (and its variants) usually connotes something not really real. “Oh, that’s just your imagination.” “You’re imagining that.” (The preacher has an opportunity here to contrast that ordinary use of the word imagination with God’s use of the word.) The way “imagination” is commonly used is often a dead-end – nothing comes from it. God imagines a world where all might live in peace – and created such, according to Genesis. Paul imagines a world where through Christ all are reconciled to God and one another (2 Corinthians 5:19). John of Patmos imagines a world where there are no more tears, and pain shall be banished (Revelation 21). But God’s imagination always moves towards creation and re-creation. And God’s imagination always invites us to join God as co-creators of a vision of what can yet be: a world where there is less violence, where all people have clean water and decent hygiene, where no one is hungry.
Through our gifts, we can join God in imagining these things and more! We don’t have to be relegated to only imagining, but we can join in by doing our part to make it so.
Click on image for printable resource.
We sometimes think that “imagination” means something escapist or illusory. Yet, imagination is not something unreal or fake. No, it is essential to God’s hope for creation. Hear how the Apostle Paul put it: “Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine….” (Ephesians 3:20-21). And God imagines a world where all are safe,all are loved, all are fed.
You see, when we use our imaginations in the way that God does, we can begin to envision – and work for! – a world where no child goes unfed, un-housed, or unloved; where no one ever fears abuse or violence; where clean water is not a dream but a reality for all; where small farmers do their work with dignity and are paid a fair wage for their labors; where agricultural practices enrich and renew the land rather than deplete it; where survivors of natural disasters have the resources they need, now and for years to come; where vulnerable immigrants are welcomed in Christ’s name.
Can YOU imagine these things? Through your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing what we can imagine becomes ever more a reality for more and more people. Please give generously! “More Than You Can Imagine...”
More than we can imagine
Hurricane Maria caused unimaginable damage in Puerto Rico. Who would believe that so much infrastructure, electricity and housing were destroyed? People’s lives and families were disrupted.
For Edda, a woman who lives in a house once belonging to her parents, the thought of losing her childhood home to the storm was unimaginable. Hurricane Maria left the roof of her house in such bad shape that water was leaking through her home every time it rained. To make matters worse, Edda’s husband had recently undergone knee surgery. She had to put towels and buckets around the inside of the house so he didn’t slip or fall on the wet floors.
Edda couldn’t fix her roof by herself and because of the surgery, her husband couldn’t either. They could not imagine how the repairs on their home would happen. They could not imagine that strangers would come and help them with a good roof that could weather the next storm.
Thanks to the Iglesia Evangelica Unida de Puerto Rico (IEUPR), and help from four amazing volunteers, their roof was fixed in four days. Edda was grateful for the help because it wasn’t possible for her to do it alone.
Lydia Rosaly, with IEUPR shared Edda’s story, and like Edda, Lydia is thankful for our support, and walking with them towards a holistic long-term recovery.
Your support provides more than we can imagine. Thank you!
One Great Hour of Sharing, United Church of Christ
700 Prospect Avenue | Cleveland, OH 44115
216-736-3215 | Email: email@example.com
Help Hurricane Harvey survivors by using this bulletin insert to encourage support for our disaster relief efforts. Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Corpus Christi, Texas, on Friday, August 25 as a Category 4. The storm has caused widespread flooding and significant damage across southern Texas and Louisiana. It will require a wide response.
An Epic Storm needs an Epic Response
Hurricane Harvey Response
The UCC Disaster Ministries is already engaged in response by supporting partners and planning for recovery. Giving to the Harvey appeal ensures that 100% of your support will be used for disaster relief and rehabilitation targeting the unique needs of vulnerable individuals and families. We do this by being nimble and adaptable in each disaster which allows us to fill gaps in services through provisions of spiritual care, community organizing, repair and reconstruction of homes, tools, building materials and volunteer coordination.
Please pray for continued strength and resolve for those whose lives have been impacted by Hurricane/Tropical Storm Harvey. Please also pray for the First Responders, disaster coordinators, and many volunteers who are working tirelessly to provide relief after Harvey, now and in the days, months, and years to come.
Donate Money. The response and rebuilding will be long-term. Your generous contribution now makes this long-term response possible. www.ucc.org/disaster_hurricane_harvey.
Assemble CWS Clean-up Kits. The UCC has matching grants available, even if you previously assembled kits in 2017: www.ucc.org/disaster_2017_matching_grants_for_cws_kits_home_page
Every loss we experience needs a corresponding period of grieving. The length of time and depth of grief should correspond to the nature of the loss. The devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey is the same. Some are deeply impacted, with loss of loved-ones, homes, valuables, memories; while others may have been impacted only by images they saw in the news.
Whatever the connection, it is important to know that a loss has taken its toll on many. And it will take many to help those deeply impacted, recover. Let them know they are not alone.
God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea;
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Let Us Pray
One: O God of mercy and God of grace, strengthen us during this time of turmoil, loss, and grief. Help us to lean on you. Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Help us to provide a helping hand to all who need it. Help us to lend our hearts to the broken-hearted.
All: God in your mercy, hear our prayer.
Make a tear drop/map pin out of colorful paper (instructions below)
Use it as a prop while reading the short script during announcements, in adult Bible study, Sunday school, or fellowship hour.
Have the instructions available with various paper sizes and colors so people can make their own tear drop/map pins as a tangible reminder of the offering
= hold the visual like a tear drop
= hold the visual like a map pin
= In West Timor, a father is crying because his child is hungry
=Through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, You are Here for that
father with emergency food supplies and crop storage techniques.
= In West Virginia, a family is crying because their home was flooded…
=Through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, You are Here with
that family with support to rebuild their home.
= In Greece, a young woman is crying because she is fleeing from war,
but borders are closed…
= Through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, You are Here for her
with medical and hygienesupplies and advocacy for her future.
= In times of human suffering and need,
= You are Here for our neighbors through your gifts to the
One Great Hour of Sharing offering.
Remind the congregation the date the offering will be received. Tell them they can give during the regular offering by using the special envelopes, or they can write the name of the offering in the memo line of their check. Coin boxes should also be collected on the designated offering day.
How to make a teardrop/map pin:
Fold a sheet of paper in half. Cut on an angle from the folder corner to the top, making the sides thin with a rounded top. Color and use as the prop. You may want to color one side in an exciting color, with the other side a single color.
Have fun with it. If you would like to share how this goes in your setting, take pictures and email your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Communion is included, but optional)
In the midst of suffering, where is God? God is here. Where are you?
When you give to OGHS, you are here.
Scriptures: Matthew 25:31–46, Psalm 145:18, 1 John 3:11–24
We worship a God who gives generously and abundantly. God gives to all creatures their food in due season, and from God’s open hand the desire of every living thing is satisfied.
God has given us so many blessings. The food we eat, the friends and family we cherish, the precious gift of God’s love for us, a love that led Jesus to lay down his life for us.
When that love abides in us, we cannot refuse to help our brothers and sisters in need. Through our regular offerings we... [celebrate the work of your congregation, locally]. Through the special offering for One Great Hour of Sharing, we join with other Christians to make our presence known to people who might feel forgotten—the hungry, the hurting, the thirsty, the sick. Our gifts, together, provide food, shelter, comfort, and safety all over the world.
Gracious God, in our offering we return to you a portion of the blessings you have showered upon us. Bless these gifts, that they might bring comfort, food and shelter to those who need it. Bless those who will receive them. Let them know your love through full bellies, warm clothing, and safe places to sleep. Amen.
Charge & Benediction
We worship God in sanctuaries, in beautiful, holy spaces. But Christ has told us that if we want to find him in this world, we will seek out the lost, the least of his brothers and sisters—those who are hungry, thirsty, sick, in prison, naked and estranged. May we go forth this day with eyes open to seeing Christ in our world, and may we know God’s love by loving one another. May we love, not just in word and speech, but in truth and action.