Missions Committee News

It is easy to feel overwhelmed when we look at all the areas of need in God’s world: there is hunger, sickness, and injustice in so many communities. It is easy to feel there is nothing we can do to help. Yet we have an impact when we contribute to the United Church of Christ’s One Great Hour of Sharing special collection.

March, 2018

Our gifts become part of a loving legacy in ways we can’t foresee. Our gifts become blessings to people we don’t know and bless in ways we can’t expect. We can make a difference beyond what we can imagine. Here are just a few of the challenges met by the OGHS collection in the U.S. and the world this past year:

 Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria

 Water recovery programs in drought-stricken Argentina

 Cyclone Winston in Fuji

 Lebanon peacebuilding and conflict resolution activities for peace in the Middle East

 Earthquakes, mudslides, floods, droughts, and wildfires

 Help with refugee camps

Envelopes will be distributed on March 11 with the collection received on March 18 and 25. You can also donate online: https://transactions.ucc.org/CampaignForm/UCChrist/one_great_hour_of_sharing

February, 2018

Lee Barstow led a conversation with Gillian Budine during the Sunday service January 21. Gillian is program coordinator for the grant-based Community Network for Children. The Union #28 Children’s Network serves families in Erving, Leverett, New Salem, Shutesbury and Wendell. Its charter is helping children become school ready. Working closely with the elementary schools, she finds that there are roadblocks for many children: families that can’t pay rent, buy diapers, shoes, clothing, food and toiletries. Gillian shared two stories illustrating the plight of too many in our own community. Gillian cannot fund these needs under the Community Network for Children charter, and no one in the community is fulfilling them; so, she fund raises separately.

We, as a church community, have helped meet some of these needs in the past. During the January 21 conversation, the Missions Committee introduced its proposal to use the former nursery room in the Dixon House as storage and access for the