Pete Feil • Chair, Mission & Peace Committee

Join the Derry mission team in June as they travel to the Dominican Republic to build a new home for a family in need. Contact Pete for more information.

Editor’s Note: On the first Thursday of each month, the eNews feature article highlights the mission focus for the month. In March we’re lifting up the Presbyterian Church (USA)’s  One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

Received between February 22 and April 9, the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering is the single, largest way that Presbyterians come together to work for a better world by advancing the causes of justice, resilience, and sustainability. For over 70 years, these efforts of the Presbyterian Church (USA) have provided relief from natural disasters, food for the hungry, and support for the poor and oppressed. 

OGHS is administered through three programs: 

PRESBYTERIAN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (PDA) is well-known for its rapid response to natural and international disasters by supplying funds to help initiate the recovery process. Through its long-term partnerships with several Middle East church councils, PDA has been able to rapidly respond to the recent devastating earthquakes in Syria and Turkey. PDA also continues to support relief efforts in the US related to recent hurricanes and flooding, as well as aiding refugees resulting from the conflicts in Syria and the Ukraine. 

PRESBYTERIAN HUNGER PROGRAM (PHP) works to alleviate hunger and eliminate its root causes. Some of this is accomplished through providing animals, bees, and seeds, promoting better crop selection and agricultural methods, fair trade practices, and family gardens. They also seek to supply better and more nutritional foods, secure loans for income-producing projects, tree planting, and establish wells and sanitation systems, as well as addressing labor and environmental issues. 

SELF-DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE (SDOP) works in partnership with people in economically poor areas in the United States and around the world. The aim is to invest in communities responding to their experiences of oppression, poverty and injustice, thus helping them develop solutions to their particular problems in areas such as cooperatives and workers’ rights, farming, skills development, and immigration/ refugee issues.  

This year our OGHS Offering will again be divided equally between PC(USA) and Bridges to Community (BTC), the non-profit organization which has coordinated Derry’s mission trips to Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic for over 20 years. In June we will return to the Dominican Republic to help build a house for a needy family. By working with the family, local masons, and community members, a safe and secure house can be completed in about one week. With the BTC model, new homeowners are encouraged to pay into their local community fund, which can then be used by the community at their discretion for selected improvement projects. 

The Mission and Peace Committee has set a goal of $18,000 for this year’s OGHS Offering. You may give online or by check made payable to Derry Presbyterian Church notated OGHS. Enclose it in the OGHS envelopes located in the pew racks. Taken together, your contributions to the OGHS Offering, with our goal of $18,000, will enable both PC(USA) and BTC to assist many people in need, improving their quality of life. Thank you, Derry, for your generous support!