This "moment for mission" was spoken at Knox Presbyterian Church by Deacon Barbara Fogle on Sunday April 2. The scripture was Ezekiel 37.
One great hour of sharing is an annual offering that helps support the Presbyterian hunger program, empowerment of people, refugee assistance, and disaster relief. It’s a free will offering , it is not a mandatory offering and prayers are accepted just as readily as cash or checks.
I’m going to talk about the refugee crisis so we’ll go back to Ezekiel:
When I dig up graves and bring you out as my people, you’ll realize that I am God.
I’ll breath my life back into you and you’ll live, then I’ll lead you back to your land and you’ll realize that I am God.
Whenever I hear this passage, for a moment, I want this to be literal; I want to see it happen. I want my dad to be put back together, to be flesh and bones again so I can have another day, an hour just 5 more minutes with him. I’m sure we all have that somebody in our hearts that we want to touch again.
Unfortunately, we can’t make this so. IF we could only put the dead refugees together again and reunite them with their families.
So we keep reading Ezekiel and we see that God told Ezekiel to pick up two stick, write on one stick the kingdom of Judah and on the other stick write the Kingdom of Israel. He’s told to twist them together to become one stick.
Now that we can do. Let all the One Great Hour of Sharing monies become our sticks, twist them together into one and help to breath life into those who we call refugees, those who are displaced, tired and discouraged.
Right now, according to the United Nations, there are 65 million refugees in our world.
Jordan, which has taken in more than 2.7 million refugees was named as the top refugee hosting country. Consider that the average salary in Jordan is 5000 dollars a month and the land is about the size of the bay area up to Crescent city.
Compare that with the United States, 115 times larger than Jordan with an average income of 51,000 dollars. We take in approximately 70,000 refugees a year.
Who else takes in refugees Turkey, Pakistan, Lebanon and 6 African nations. The US didn’t even make the list.
What is One Great Hour of Sharing? It’s not the Presbytery, it’s not the church, it’s us, you and me. We are one great hour of sharing. If we all put our sticks together and twist them into one, we can breath hope and life back into so many people.
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