St. John's U.C.C. Community 






         In a nationwide radio broadcast on March 26, 1949, Christians were challenged to donate one million dollars in just one hour to help people still devastated by the aftermath of World War II.

         The goal was met. And an annual new  interdenominational Lenten season offering was created. 

         That radio appeal was the beginning of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. 

         This year marks the 75th  anniversary of its inception. Several denominations, including the United Church of Christ, continue to gather the OGHS offering during Lent every year. 

         “This offering carries God’s message of love and hope to people in crisis,” said  a UCC spokesman. “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.”

          St. John’s is participating in One Great Hour of Sharing throughout March, as it does every year. Please write your donation checks to St. John’s, but designate them for OGHS. Checks can be placed in the offering plates or mailed to the church at 139 N. Fourth St., Emmaus, Pa. 18049.

          According to the UCC, on average, 95 cents of every dollar given to One Great Hour of Sharing is used directly for mission programming and five cents for interpretation materials. 

         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.

         In 1949, church leaders from several denominations began working together to promote a special offering. Major networks broadcast a radio show, called “One Great Hour,” 10 p.m. (eastern standard time) on Saturday, March 26 . 

         That first radio broadcast was called “One Great Hour.”’ The show’s cast was recruited from among the foremost dramatic and musical talent in the United States, included Gregory Peck, Ida Lupino and President Harry Truman.

         The broadcast closed with the request that listeners contribute at their own church the next morning. While there apparently is no record of exactly how much was raised, it is estimated that over 75,000 churches participated. 

         Four years after the end of World War II in Europe, President Truman told the radio audience there still were “hopeless thousands who wander among shattered towns seeking a place to rest, seeking security and a chance to begin their lives anew. There are many who pray to God only in secret, fearing persecution if they profess their beliefs openly.”

         The president said those thousands included hungry children who had no memory of their parents and no knowledge of the meaning of the words “home” and “family.” 

         “It is hard for us to comprehend grief and distress such as this, because we in America are so much more fortunate,” said the president. 

         Reading Truman’s words reminds us that, unfortunately, the world’s needs have not changed all that much in 75 years.

         But we all can help through One Great Hour of Sharing.