By Bishop Jonathan Holston
“In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets.”—Matthew 7:12
It is recorded that the great sage of baseball life, Yogi Berra, stated, “You can see a lot by observing.”
Indeed, when we take the time and energy to observe the world around us, we can see quite a bit that helps us understand what we believe. Often we have a tendency to close our eyes to the world around us and miss the opportunity to make a difference.
In the mid-1930s, a story is told about a young man named Theodor Geisel. He had developed a new style for writing books. His approach was so different and unusual that he could not get anyone to take him seriously. Receiving little or no encouragement, he put his book together and submitted it to a publisher. That publisher rejected it and he sent his book to another. Twenty-three times he submitted his manuscript, and 23 different publishers said no to Theodor Geisel. Finally, the 24th publisher he approached decided to give him a chance and put his book in print. The book sold six million copies! What a tremendous testimony to never giving up on a dream.
By the way, Theodor Geisel’s middle name was Seuss; his pen name was…Dr. Seuss!
This month, we celebrate the ministry of the United Methodist Committee on Relief. In 1940, UMCOR was a God-sized vision established to meet the needs of those suffering overseas at the onset of World War II. Today, UMCOR continues to respond to those in desperate need, being the arms and legs of Christ’s church.
In October 2015, South Carolina experienced an unprecedented weather event that devastated communities throughout the state. As a part of the connectional church, one of the answers to our unprecedented flooding was the efforts of many, including UMCOR. From the beginning of this disaster, UMCOR has worked with the South Carolina Conference in tremendous ways and will continue to assist us in the days ahead.
On the fourth Sunday of Lent, March 6, we will celebrate the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, one of the six church-wide special Sundays in The United Methodist Church. A little-known fact is that UMCOR does not receive United Methodist world service or apportionment funds.
Therefore, without the One Great Hour of Sharing offering, UMCOR would not exist. In fact, our gifts to this offering makes possible for 100 percent of all other contributions to be used for projects that donors specify.
As we affirm our faith and continue our Lenten journey, we have the opportunity to practice our faith through the generosity of our gifts to UMCOR.