One Great Hour of Sharing
SPECIAL OFFERING

One Great Hour of Sharing

Thank you for your generosity.
 
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is one of the four Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Received during the season of Lent, it makes a difference in the world through three impactful programs: Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People.
 
Gifts to OGHS work within communities as they recover and find hope after the devastation of natural or human-caused disasters; take action to alleviate hunger and its systemic causes and help create access to healthy food for entire communities; and partner with people and communities with tools for development and education to alleviate poverty, oppression, and injustice.
 
Here are just a few examples of how your gifts make a difference.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)

In early 2015, Nepal was rocked by two massive earthquakes that devastated the tiny country. More than 500,000 homes were destroyed, 280,000 more were damaged, and nearly 9,000 people died. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance was on the ground almost immediately. Many months after the second quake, PDA continues its response with disaster assistance through its partnership with ACT Alliance and their local Nepali partner organizations.
 
Children sing a song in class at the Shri Pashupati Praja Primary School in the Village ofTanglichowk in Nepal. Hundreds of thousands of children have been distressed, displaced, and traumatized by the horrific devastation that surrounds them. PDA has worked as a member of ACT Alliance to support an organization that specializes in arranging education in catastrophes, by building 300 temporary schools and child-friendly spaces that enable children to return to school and to a sense of normalcy and places that provide emotional support to Nepalese children. Games, visual arts, and drama are tools to help children recover from trauma.
 
This is just one example of how PDA partners with groups on the ground in disaster-affected areas. For more information, visit www.presbyterianmission.org/pda.

Presbyterian Hunger Program (PHP)
 
Silverio Morales shares about saving seeds and cultivating organically.For the second year in a row, El Salvador is experiencing severe drought conditions that threaten the food security and livelihoods of farming families across the country. 
 
Red Uniendo Manos El Salvador (RUMES), the Presbyterian Hunger Program's Joining Hands Network partner in El Salvador, works closely with farmers there to help them produce local, healthy, and sustainable food for their families, communities, and country. RUMES connects farmers and farming communities around the country to learn from one another about ancestral techniques and accessible technologies that can help increase crop yields and mitigate effects of
climate change.
 
Thanks partly to advocacy efforts by Presbyterians, Salvadoran corn farmers were able to provide the seeds distributed to 400,000 subsistence farmers as a part of the Salvadoran Government's Family Agriculture Plan. This purchase of national seeds from local farming cooperatives meant significant investment in local economies and enabled numerous rural families to make a dignified living as vocational farmers.
 

This is one example of how PHP connects communities, partners, and Presbyterians through the Joining Hands Network to address the root causes of poverty and hunger. To learn more, visit www.presbyterianmission.org/hunger


Self-Development of People (SDOP) 

Members of MASE on Navajo Nation's 7th annual commemoration of the Uranium Tailings Spill.In 1979, an earthen dam gave way, releasing 1,000 tons of radioactive mill waste and 90 million gallons of acidic and radioactive liquids into the Rio Puerco in New Mexico. The waste traveled downstream across nine Navajo chapters and the community of Gallup. The Uranium Tailings Spill is still listed as the largest uranium spill in United States history, and in 36 years, there have only been three minor cleanups, so the contaminated waste is still present.
 
The Multicultural Alliance for a Safe Environment (MASE) is a grassroots initiative involving several groups working to remove uranium contamination and prohibiting future mines in the area. Self-Development of People partnered with MASE in 2014 to assist in cleanup and public awareness efforts. The area, known as the San Juan Basin, lacks basic rights to electricity or running water because of radioactive contamination of the land, air, and groundwater. MASE conducts public awareness activity and has been successful so far at keeping old, abandoned mines from reopening.
 
SDOP assists in the empowerment of poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged communities to change structures that perpetuate injustice. For more information, visit www.presbyterianmission.org/sdop.

 


Christmas Joy Offering
SPECIAL OFFERING

Christmas Joy Offering

Thank you for your gifts!
 
Your gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering in 2015 helped make it possible for more than 3,000 students to obtain a quality education at the Menaul School in Albuquerque, New Mexico; the Presbyterian Pan American School in Kingsville, Texas, and Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and its predecessor denominations have a long history of demonstrating a commitment to racial-ethnic education through faithful support of these Historically Presbyterian Racial Ethnic Institutions.
 
Monika (center) celebrates with her mother and younger brother on graduation day.These schools have a rich history of preparing racial-ethnic women and men for leadership in the church and society. Graduates of these schools have served as deacons, ruling and teaching elders and educators in Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations; as members of presbytery, synod and General Assembly committees; and as leaders of General Assembly agencies.
 
Many students at these schools have left challenging life circumstances to obtain an education and to pursue a better life. One such student, Monika Ruiz, grew up in a neighborhood fraught with drug activity and violence. Drug cartels were so active in her neighborhood that she was often unable to attend school. To escape the drugs and violence, Monika left her home and family to attend the Presbyterian Pan American School.
 
Monika thrived, graduating in 2015 as the salutatorian of her class. She received a fouryear
scholarship to attend Schreiner University, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)related institution in Kerrville, Texas. Currently a nursing student, Monika feels called to ministry and hopes to
attend Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. 
 
In her salutatorian address, Monika remarked, "Attending the Presbyterian Pan American School was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I learned a lot about life, about how to be responsible and about myself."  
 
Your gifts to the Christmas Joy Offering in 2015 provided much-needed support for students like Monika, who have overcome dire circumstances to obtain a quality education.
 
Watch for information about the 2016 Christmas Joy Offering in the fall. We are grateful for your continued support!

Pentecost
SPECIAL OFFERING

Pentecost
Special Offering

Thank you for your generosity.
 
Each year on Pentecost Sunday, we celebrate the arrival of the Holy Spirit as the giver and renewer of life. With the Spirit's coming, we no longer need to settle for business as usual, but can know the transforming, redeeming love of God that makes the impossible possible.
 
The Pentecost Offering is one of the four Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and is about helping young people begin life with a strong start-a solid foundation of faith formed in the first third of life, from childhood through young adulthood. Gifts to the Pentecost Offering unite young people in Christ and inspire them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world. Here are examples of how your gifts to this offering are being used.
 
Child Advocacy
 
Educate A Child
" . .. it would be better for you to have a great millstone fastened around your neck and be drownedin the depth of the sea than to cause one of these little ones to stumble . .. " -Matthew 18:6
 
Students learn with and how to use computers at DREAAM.The 221st General Assembly (2014) affirmed the Educate a Child, Transform the World initiative, renewing the church's commitment to its historic calling to educational ministries. Supported by the Pentecost Offering, this initiative inspires, equips, and engages Presbyterians to make a difference in education nationwide. Churches like First Presbyterian in Champaign, Illinois, prepare African-American boys for academic success through DREAAM House. DREAAM is an acronym for Driven to Reach Excellence and Academic Achievement for Males. One of its premier programs is the DREAAM Summer Pre-K Academy. Teachers are seeing the programs impact and are vouching for its effectiveness.
 
Through workshops and training, Presbyterians are learning about the correlation between educational inadequacies and poverty and how they can help remove stumbling blocks that hinder children's education. With this bold initiative, Presbyterians plan to improve the lives of over a million children worldwide! Individuals, congregations, and mid councils are learning how they can be instrumental in restoring the dreams of our children. Education can be a tool of grace for enabling children to live lives of self-determination. For more information about how
you can get involved in this initiative, visit www.pcusa.org/child.

Young Adult Volunteers
 
 Hannah with her host family in Zambia.The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program is a one year service opportunity for young adults from 19-30 years old. YAVs live in intentional Christian community, deepening and developing their faith while serving alongside partners in sites across the United States and around the world. YAVs are exposed to some of the hardest problems in the world-poverty, violence and reconciliation, and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ-while living and reflecting with other volunteers on the meaning and motivation of their Christian faith.
 
Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey was a serving as a YAV in Zambia. Healthcare is one of the issues about which she is passionate. "It was eye-opening to see how unfair it was for good, hard-working people to get a minor illness and die from it," she emphasizes. "I became aware of how that contributes to the cycle of poverty. Her experience taught her the importance of putting her faith in action. "I don't want to be a Presbyterian who 'just goes to church on Sunday' and doesn't consider the implications of faith for everyday life." To find out more about the YAV program, visit www.presbyterianmission.org/yav. Or Visit the IndyYAV page.
 

Ministries with Youth

Perryn as a y outh leader at the 1998 Triennium.The Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT) is a venue where many youth find their voices of faith. More than 5,000 youth will gather at Purdue University in July, and many will return to their congregations with a new understanding of faith and its relevance for their lives. It's a five-day event whose impact on individuals can last a lifetime.
 
Rev. Perryn Rice, Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas, is one of the preachers for the upcoming Triennium in July and knows firsthand how powerful the Triennium experience can be. He first sensed a call to ministry as a 16-year-old attending Triennium. "I tell people it was the Youth Triennium, in 1986, that rekindled the fire of my faith," he says.
 
"I took a workshop about ministerial calls that helped me understand what the Lord was doing in my life. I did not accept the call at the time, but I left Triennium knowing what the Lord was calling me to do." Much of Triennium's emphasis is about putting their faith into action. "The last sermon of the week is always a commissioning sermon," Perryn says. "It's sending them back home so they can begin to change the local setting and the world in which they live:'
To learn more about PYT, visit, www.presbyterianyouthtriennium.org.

To learn more or to find other resources for the Pentecost Offering, visit www.presbyterianmission.org/pentecost.