April 1, 2018
May the joy of the risen Christ be yours on this Easter Sunday! As we celebrate Christ’s victory over death, we can take delight in the hope it gives and in the new humanity that has been created. We are blessed to participate in this new way of living and bear witness to its life-changing reality.
Your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) are one way you give testimony to the transformational wonder Christ has wrought. At home and abroad, people in the grip of death and despair are experiencing new beginnings, thanks to your generosity.
In Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory that was devastated by Hurricane Maria last year, Presbyterians were engaged to help even before the storm made landfall. Days after Maria hit, the first wave of support arrived, and immediately pressing community needs were being met. Desperately needed items such as food, water, diapers and medical supplies were in the hands of hurricane survivors swiftly. Your gifts to OGHS made it possible for Presbyterians to act promptly not only in Puerto Rico, but also in Texas, Florida and other places when disasters struck in rapid succession last year. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance will continue working in these communities long after other groups have left.
In Akron, Ohio, a woman’s recovery from drug addiction was threatened by more than a decade of unemployment. The woman, Diretha, says her decision to join the Front Porch Café community helped her get a job and remain drug-free. The Front Porch consists of individuals who struggle with drug addiction or who seek to re-enter society after spending time in prison. At the Front Porch, they can eat a good meal, learn and grow among others who have experienced similar struggles, and receive guidance on employment opportunities. Development support, made possible by your OGHS gifts, helped renovate and equip the building that houses the café.
“If I hadn’t gotten involved with the Front Porch, there is a chance I would have started using again and been in prison or even died,” Diretha says. Your gifts contribute to positive change that lasts.
Your generosity fulfills a vision rooted in the biblical witness and beautifully stated in Isaiah 58:12. The prophet writes: “You shall be called the repairer of the breach.”
When the forces of chaos and calamity rip the fabric of human life, your One Great Hour of Sharing gifts are there to sew it back together.
Pat Cole, Communications Specialist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Today’s Focus: Easter/One Great Hour of Sharing
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Sherri Hunter, OGA
Demetria Hurnton, BOP
Let us pray:
Holy God, we pray for those who are separated from the fullness of life that you desire for all people. Strengthened by your love and mercy, may we bridge the gaps that keep people from experiencing lives of wholeness and fulfillment. Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Readings for Sunday, April 1, 2018, the Resurrection of the Lord (Easter Day) (Year B)
Easter Day Readings:
First Reading Acts 10:34-43
Or alternate First Reading Isaiah 25:6-9
Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Or alternate Second Reading Acts 10:34-43
Gospel John 20:1-18
Or alternate Gospel Mark 16:1-8
Easter Evening Readings:
First Reading Isaiah 25:6-9
Second Reading 1 Corinthians 5:6b-8
Gospel Luke 24:13-49