This piece was written by Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle, Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, for their presbytery newsletter originally published March 30, 2019.
Our conversations around what it means to flourish continues to deepen our understanding of what it means to be a Presbytery filled with healthy congregations and innovative leaders who are seeking to serve God and others with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. I have had the honor of talking to our committees, sessions, congregations, and to our Presbyterian Women about what it means to have passion for God’s love for us, our love for God, and having a heart for the world. Thank you for inviting me connect through conversations that are life-giving and transformative.
As we think of the word of passion, I cannot help but to think of the ways we collectively work together as a denomination to demonstrate our gratitude to God through passionate and compassionate generosity. One way we do that collectively is through our One Great Hour of Sharing. As some of you may or may not know, I didn’t become Presbyterian until my early 20’s. I served in youth ministry and I remember seeing these little fish boxes floating around. I thought to myself, “What is this all about?” One of my staff members, who worked directly with the children, explained that Presbyterians all over the nation have this huge offering to make an impact in hunger, disaster relief, and socioeconomic development of people who live in the communities where we serve. I remember describing to my youth that this kind of generosity is like a huge wave of compassion to reach those who may have lost sight of the truth that God loves them and that there are communities of caring who surround them.
I am thankful for the continued passion around ministries like One Great Hour of Sharing. It reminds me that passion can be expressed in quiet ways and it can be expressed in ways that are bold and vivid. In this month’s newsletter you will find stories of passion around hunger and disaster assistance, just to name a few. Let’s keep sharing the stories about how our love for God pours out in tangible ways to transform that world. Here is a link to one man’s story in Haiti who’s life has been changed through the powerful passion expressed through our huge wave compassion found in One Great Hour of Sharing: www.vimeo.com/320337801
As we continue through lent with our faces pointed towards Calvary, may we remember God’s relentless love for us, embrace that love in our hearts, and offer it back out to the world.
For more information and resources related to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, visit presbyterianmission.org/oghs .