“Sharing brings Joy, to us, to others, to God.” This is the theme for this year’s Week of Compassion special offering. Week of Compassion is the name the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) use as our part of the greater program called “One Great Hour of Sharing” used by other denominations, (AME Zion, American Baptist, Church of the Brethren, Cumberland Presbyterian, Presbyterian USA, Reformed Church in America, and the United Church of Christ) as their designation for a special offering to aid those who experience disasters worldwide.
Week of Compassion has responded to crisis all over the globe, from major natural disasters to the disasters created by war and political strife. Many of you are familiar with special efforts our congregation made specifically for global disasters such as Hurricane Katrina, the Tsunami in SE Asia, Haiti’s earthquake and many others. But there are smaller less globally newsworthy events that need the help of Week of Compassion. Week of Compassion has been present to assist people affected by droughts, famines, tornados, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, etc, etc. Anytime a disaster has struck, Week of Compassion assesses the needs and works with our churches to assist those in need.
Naturally, the disasters keep coming whether there are any funds available, therefore, even though our focus on this offering is in February, we can contribute to the work of the Week of Compassion at any time of the year. If you would like to see where Week of Compassion has gone and what they have done, go to www.weekofcompassion.org.
An old Jewish proverb says that when you save the life of one person, you save all of humanity. No single person in the world is outside the love of God. Help those who help others around the world.
It is easy to become discouraged because disaster work can be so slow and seems to take forever. Work still needs to be done on the Gulf Coast to repair the damage from Katrina. A year has passed since the earthquake in Haiti and people still live in tent cities, and suffer from a hurricane and cholera epidemic. Floods have occurred in Australia, winter storms have damaged homes in the US and Europe, and it is only mid January (as I write this). We do not have to fix all the problems that occur but we do have to do our part. There is joy in knowing that we do good by helping others. Help share the Joy around the world.