One Great Hour of Sharing funds released in response to California fires

VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/13/17)—In response to wildfires that have been raging throughout Northern California since Oct. 8, American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS), on behalf of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA), has released a $5,000 One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) Emergency Disaster Relief Grant to ABCUSA’s Growing Healthy Churches region.

“This will be an incredible ray of hope for our pastors to receive and be able to give to those in need,” says Pam Breen, Growing Healthy Churches administrator. “What a blessing!”

According to reports from the region, the fires have consumed more than 152,789 acres, resulting in 23 fatalities, 436 missing persons and more than 3,500 homes and businesses destroyed. Winds have been spreading the fires, despite the containment efforts of more than 8,800 firefighters.

The region office will distribute funds to these California churches: CrossWalk Community Church, Napa; New Vintage Church, Santa Rosa; and First Baptist Church, Ukiah. Two of the churches are housing evacuees, while the third is partnering with a community evacuation center.

How you can help
Your prayers are appreciated for survivors, many of whom were forced to flee their homes with little other than the clothes on their backs. Many have no homes to which to return and have lost all their belongings. Your financial gifts will allow survivors to purchase necessities.

Donations can be made via your church; via credit card online through ABHMS’ website at > Give Now; or check designated to “OGHS-No. CA Fires” and mailed to the attention of Kim Wilkins at American Baptist Home Mission Societies, P.O. Box 851, Valley Forge, PA, 19482-0851.

One hundred percent of donations go to relief efforts; no dollars are retained for administrative costs. To ensure that your church receives credit for your gift, write the church name on your check or, if giving online, in the “comment” box.

American Baptist Home Mission Societies partners with American Baptists to promote Christian faith, cultivate Christ-centered leaders and disciples, and bring healing and transformation to communities across the United States and Puerto Rico.

 American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with approximately 5,000 congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.

One Great Hour of Sharing is administered by the World Relief Committee of the Board of General Ministries of American Baptist Churches USA. The committee facilitates American Baptist emergency relief, disaster rehabilitation, refugee work and development assistance by establishing policy guidelines and overseeing distribution of the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received by churches.