Engaging the children of your congregation with the four churchwide Special Offerings has never been easier or more important, whether you are engaging them in-person or virtually. There are numerous ways children can connect with One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) during the season of Lent, including the ever-popular fish coin banks that often arrive in your standing orders. However, were you aware there are numerous resources available online to engage young people with this Offering?
While we still have the daily sharing calendar with child friendly activities, you are invited to join us in a new opportunity! Sign up to receive a weekly email that includes these daily activities to guide you through Lent with generous, thoughtful, and thankful hearts. You can also access the online map to see where OGHS partners are, possibly some in your area! Visit pcusa.org/oghsmap. Drop us a note at email@example.com or scan this QR code to sign up to receive these emails (be sure to include your name and congregation information).
This year’s OGHS curriculum has been prepared by Natarsha Prince Sanders, a DEdMin student at Columbia Theological Seminary and writing fellow at Collegeville Institute, Collegeville, MN. She is the Executive Director of Centering the Sacred, a ministry that focuses on spiritual development and growth for people of all ages. The curriculum includes Lessons and Activities, such as this fun puzzle/coloring sheet, designed for ages 5-10 with activities Pre-K might enjoy. Together, children and their families will:
- Explore what it means to be connected through assembling a puzzle together.
- Explore Matthew 25:35–36, learn how we are called to help meet each other’s needs and how responding to this call connects us to God and one another.
- Color (and/or create) a banner for their learning space so all people know they are welcome.
Natarsha also wrote the Children’s Message to use in worship or Sunday school the morning you receive your One Great Hour of Sharing Offering, connecting young people with the impact of their gifts.
As so many of you know, since 2006, we have celebrated OGHS with a story about our giving fish, Gracie, and her friends. In this year’s Gracie story, written by Dr. Kathy Dawson, Benton Family Associate Professor of Christian Education at Columbia Theological Seminary, Gracie discovers her God-given gifts with the help of her friends. Thought-provoking questions follow the story for both younger and older children. We also have an audio recording available that can be incorporated into a children’s sermon or bed-time story and instructions on how to create a Gracie display in your Sunday school classroom or church atrium.
Finally, we also have our Jerry Can Curriculum, a resource from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, which is available in 1 and 5 sessions. This includes lessons on disaster response and activities that show how children can be involved with prayer and generosity to make a difference in the lives of people in need. While this curriculum can be used year-round, your congregation might find Lent a meaningful time to talk about the one common denominator in all disasters around the world: the need for clean water to survive.
If you use any of our materials in promoting the 2022 One Great Hour of Sharing, we invite you to share feedback on how it was received. We are also available to answer any questions you might have about these or any other Special Offerings resource. Feel free to reach out to us at 800-728-7228, ext. 5047, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot!
Please join us in prayer.
Help us connect the pieces of the puzzle that belong to you, so we can see the whole picture of your love. Amen.
PS – If you don’t have many youth under 18 in your congregation, you can get creative and engage your more seasoned members in any of the activities above! Fun and learning are for Christians of every age!