Sunday, February 21, 2016

Where does my money go for OGHS?

On March 6, CUCC will collect the One Great Hour of Sharing special offering. Through One Great Hour of Sharing, lives are literally changed daily. Your support provides clean water, food, medicines, shelter, healthcare, education and so much more.   In 2014, the OGHS offering was $2.2 million. An additional $1.4 million was given to the United Church of Christ Disaster Ministries in support of specific disaster relief efforts.

What is One Great Hour of Sharing?
One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Churches 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 crisis. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons, and emergency relief and rehabilitation.  OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.  

Who participates in One Great Hour of Sharing? 
Seven 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), 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 over $10 million annually.

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. Currently there are 4 OGHS supported missionaries and 2 Global Mission Interns working in disaster relief, health care, education, sustainable agricultural development, and refugee support. The offering also funds disaster preparedness and response, and disaster related volunteer initiatives in the U.S. 

Where and how are OGHS funds shared?
The UCC  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 UCC 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 UCC 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.

How many dollars are given to the UCC's OGHS offering?
In 2014, the OGHS offering received just over $2.2 million. Nearly seventy-five percent of UCC congregations participate annually.

What percentage of OGHS donations are used directly for mission?
On average, of every dollar given to One Great Hour of Sharing, 92 cents is used directly for mission programming; 6.5 cents for interpretation materials and 1 cent for administrative costs and .5 cents for program monitoring and evaluation (accountability). Most administrative costs are paid by gifts to Our Church's Wider Mission National Basic Support.

How are decisions made to fund the various projects?  
Currently, the OGHS Program Committee of the Wider Church Ministries Board meets semi-annually to review expenditures and to address initiatives to increase the promotion of the offering for the United Church of Christ. In addition, a leadership committee is in place that reviews grant requests for special projects internationally.

- submitted by Deb and Brooke Lipman