Prayer 7:13 Prayer 713
North Highland United Methodist Church
Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

March 2016

 Other-Centered Kind of Love
A recent Upper Room devotional shared a quote by author and theologian Trevor Hudson: “Lent provides a wonderful opportunity to let the unselfish and other-centered kind of love that took Jesus to the cross flow more freely throughout our lives. Then our live will overflow in love toward God and our neighbor.” The same day I received a reminder about an offering for One Great Hour of Sharing. Do you remember or know what that offering is all about?
 
By paying for the “business end” of things, One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is what makes it possible for all money given to UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) to be used for exactly that—relief. UMCOR is among the first to respond to both crisis need and chronic need, including natural disaster relief on our soil and around the world. All of these anachronisms can sound like a lot of jargon—but they are real and meaningful and trustworthy. When we give to either OGHS or UMCOR it means we are part of outreach to the most hurting and vulnerable in their darkest days. And this means reaching out to all persons. UMCOR’s conviction is that all people have God-given worth and dignity—without regard to race, religion or gender. This core belief makes me proud to be a United Methodist! I am grateful to have them working with us and for us in the world.
 
The Syrian refugee crisis weighs on our hearts and minds, particularly knowing how such suffering, trauma and upheaval affects the children. I was pleased to see that UMCOR supports a program that reaches out specifically to children in the refugee camps with a purpose of working to make their lives, days, and futures brighter by simply giving them a chance to be children—to interact and play. This refugee crisis is unfortunately not going to end soon. We all need to guard against becoming immune to these real life stories of unimaginable human suffering and struggle.
 
The end of this month we will celebrate Easter—resurrection—new life. Our contributions to OGHS and UMCOR help to bring new life in places of desperation. What if we make the last weeks of Lent our one great MONTH of sharing! By this we will be taking part in an other-centered kind of love. Will you join me in giving a gift that will make a real difference in our world. Your checks can be placed in the collection box in the gathering area or in the offering plate with the memo line marked OGHS or UMCOR. Peace and joy to all as we look forward to celebrating the gift of Easter and the opportunity to share in reaching out to others.
 
Pastor Lou