The United Methodist Church has renamed a popular special Sunday observance that includes an offering to cover disaster relief costs.
"UMCOR Sunday" replaces "One Great Hour of Sharing" within the denomination. The change was approved by the church's legislating General Conference, meeting May 10 to 20 in Portland. UMCOR is the United Methodist Committee on Relief, a major Protestant humanitarian agency that is part of the General Board of Global Ministries. It was founded more than 75 years ago.
UMCOR's work of alleviating human suffering around the world includes disaster relief and supplies, disaster risk reduction, and humanitarian development. It also relates to the Global Ministries' unit on health.
|Photo credit: Melissa Hinnen
UMCOR operates in the United States in collaboration with relief teams organized by annual (regional) conferences. On the international level, it works through partner organizations and, at times, its own country offices, depending on need. UMCOR currently has five country offices, in Sudan, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Haiti.
"One Great Hour of Sharing" is a traditional ecumenical designation for an offering to cover administrative costs for relief and development efforts.
UMCOR has no source of revenue for administration except from One Great Hour of Sharing (now UMCOR Sunday). UMCOR receives no money from the apportionments paid to the general church by congregations.
"This action aligns our language with the image and reality of support for UMCOR," said Thomas Kemper, chief executive of Global Ministries. "UMCOR is one of the most well-known and effective ministries of our church, and I think our membership will welcome the name change for the annual day to celebrate and support this dynamic work."
The decision on the name was not debated on the floor, but was approved on a "consent calendar" of items approved with large majorities in legislative committee.
The new UMCOR Sunday will be observed annually. It is observed on the fourth Sunday of Lent, but can occur at other times if a congregation wishes.
Elliott Wright, a veteran reporter and consultant with the General Board of Global Ministries.
One of six churchwide Special Sundays with offerings of The United Methodist Church, One Great Hour of Sharing calls United Methodists to share the goodness of life with those who hurt. Your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing lay the foundation for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to share God's love with communities everywhere. The special offering underwrites UMCOR's "costs of doing business." This helps UMCOR to keep the promise that 100 percent of any gift to a specific UMCOR project will go toward that project, not administrative costs.
When you give generously on One Great Hour of Sharing, you make a difference in the lives of people who hurt. Give now.