Bethel Presbyterian Church (USA) - ministries world-wide: One Great Hour of Sharing


One Great Hour of Sharing
(The Presbyterian Church, USA promotes,
and Bethel helps support, this Special Offering)

One Great Hour began almost a half century ago, in response to the devastation of war in Europe and Asia. Leaders of the mainline Protestant churches got together to sponsor a nationwide hour-long broadcast on Saturday night, March 26,1949. Gregory Peck and Ida Lupino were among those urging people to give the next day in their churches to support overseas aid programs.

Today, ten denominations continue to participate in this ecumenical witness, helping people respond to their own needs and problems. With the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), our gifts support three programs with a range of ministries that complement one another. Along with immediate relief efforts, our gifts support a wide range of development projects throughout the United States and more than 60 other countries. Because our ministries are carried out in cooperation with congregations, other governing bodies, and partner churches throughout the world, we know our gifts will be used effectively and efficiently.

Possibly the most visible program is Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. When disasters occur, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is there witnessing to the healing power and compassion of Christ by helping provide basic human needs to displaced people around the world, often long after the news cameras have moved on.

The Presbyterian Hunger Program works in the United States and around the world to alleviate hunger and eliminate its causes. While concerned with the direct relief that food pantries and soup kitchens can provide, it also supports programs involved in issues of development and hunger-related public policy.

The Presbyterian Self-Development of People ministry works to help poor people take control of their own lives. It is built on a strategy of empowerment as people identify their problems and initiate and control the solutions. Through our participation in the One Great Hour of Sharing, we become partners with poor and dispossessed people around the world.

All three One Great Hour of Sharing programs are part of a whole response to our call to share the love of Christ with people in need throughout the world. The special offering on Easter will provide an opportunity for us to open our hearts and support these programs that are a witness to Christ's love.