This Year's Special Offerings

Bethany Children's Home
A UCC related Children’s home in Womelsdorf, PA. Serving an average of 90 youth at any given time. They offer programs from short term shelter to supervised independent living. They serve 20 counties in PA. Our mission & vision is to continue a Christian ministry, begun in 1863, to serve children and families within our care. We strive to provide a safe place of nurture, protection, and supportive care to aid our residents in their self-understanding, growth, and healing toward a brighter, healthier future.
Our vision is of a community where all youth and staff are safe in their environment and feel safe within themselves. To bring this vision into reality, we provide the resources needed to children and families to work through their losses, enabling them to have a brighter future.
St. John’s encourages your support in providing a brighter future for the continued ministry of Bethany Children’s Home.

Child Sponsorship
Support Valerie Mae Ramirez who is a middle school student in the Philippines.

Church World Service - Hunger and Disaster Relief
An international disaster relief and development organization. In the last year they helped tens of thousands of people in more than 30 countries. Church World Service provided clean up, hygiene, and school kits for victims of recent flooding, hurricanes, and earthquakes. They aided refugees in sub-Saharan Africa and they helped farmers in Central America develop drought resistant crops.

ECHO - Harvest Home
ECHO is an information hub for develop-ment practitioners around the world. We gather solutions from around the world that are solving hunger problems and disseminate them to our active network. These solutions promote sustainable farming tech-niques, nutritional plants, and appropriate technologies. They help about 160 countries every month. They have a seed bank and offer training and agricultural training. Their techniques are well tested and proven to be successful over and over again. Our purpose is to help those who are teaching farmers around the world know how to be more effective in producing enough to meet the needs of their families and their communi-ties. They in turn teach others and the ECHO effect continues! In 35 years of assisting development workers around the world, ECHO has become the “go-to” organization for challenges faced by individuals and organizations. Since all of our funds come from caring individuals like you, we work very hard to keep our expenses low. Thanks to our efficient management and model, Charity Navigator gave us a Four-Star rating.

Family Promise of the Lehigh Valley
This ministry provides a place to stay and food for families without a current address. The program is run by Family Promise Lehigh Valley and we are one of the host churches.

Heifer Project International
This ministry teaches animal husbandry, for people to help tackle the issue of hunger around the world. Just as Jesus multiplied the loaves and fishes, so this gift keeps giving as those who receive learn to pass the gift to another person in need. 

Lehigh County Conference of Churches Food Bank - Souper Bowl of Caring
More than 25 years ago, the Souper Bowl of Caring began with a simple prayer from a single youth group:
“Lord, even as we enjoy the Super Bowl football game,
help us be mindful of those without a bowl of soup to eat.”
Since then, more than $110 million has been raised across the country and donated to organizations like the Lehigh Conference of Churches that provide shelter to the homeless and food to the hungry. Last year, the Lehigh Conference of Churches provided more than 61,000 meals to those in need. The Souper Bowl of Caring has become a powerful movement that is transforming the time around the Big Game into the nation’s largest celebration of giving and serving.

Neighbors In Need - Local and National Mission
Neighbors in Need is an offering to help people here in the United States. One third of the offering goes to the Council for American Indian Ministries. Two thirds of the offering is used by the Justice and Witness Ministries for advocacy and direct service projects. To get some idea of the kinds of ministries the offering supports, go on your computer to Youtube and search of UCC Neighbors in Need Peace UCC (MO) Award Grant.

One Great Hour of Sharing - World Mission
Churches around the country contribute to this offering to support disaster relief and long term sustainability projects in the name of Jesus around the world. This offering will be used to support short term and long term missionary assignments, education and support for refugees, and disaster aid relief. For more information on this mission project go to OHGS. One Great Hour of Sharing, as part of Our Churches Wider Mission, is the special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that carries God’s message of love and hope to people in 138 countries. The UCC works with international partners to provide sources of clean water and food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, emergency relief, and advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.

Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM)
As a congregation, we are one of more than 120 churches that make up the Pennsylvania Northeast Conference of the United Church of Christ. The Pennsylvania Northeast Conference is one of the Conferences that makes up the national United Church of Christ. “Our Church’s Wider Mission” is the name of the offering we give to support both the Penn Northeast Conference and the wider United Church of Christ. Ninety percent of our OCWM offerings go to support the ministry and mission of the Penn Northeast Conference (PNEC). The PNEC helps church’s with search and call. It offers training and support for clergy. It oversees ministerial standing. It coordinates local disaster response. It offers a platform for churches to work together for mission around the world. It offers local youth activities, and much more. Ten percent of our OCWM donations go to the national church. The national church coordinates ministerial authoriza-tion, sponsors 112 missionaries in 44 countries, coordinates national disaster response, and supports the credential process for military chaplains. What is OCWM? It is one of the ways that we engage in mission and ministry through-out our nation, and around the world.

Phoebe Devitt Home - Festival of the Christian Home
This ministry provides housing, care, treatment, and rehabilitation for our elders. One of the homes is located at 1925 W. Turner St. in Allentown. There are several other homes in the region. Their motto is, “Promoting Independence Through Wellness.” Our congregation has a long history of volunteers at Phoebe home in Allentown. Support for this ministry is a way we can love our neighbor and honor our elders.

Second Harvest Food Bank
This food bank, run by Community Action Commit-tee of the Lehigh Valley is one of the areas largest food banks. It has programs for families, children in school, and seniors. It distributes over a million pounds of food and helps thousands of people each year.

Strengthen the Church - New Church Starts and Church Grants
Last year this ministry gave more than $350,000 through New and Renewing Spiritual Communities grant. It helped to train 14 future church leaders. It helped welcome 24 new faith communities to the UCC. In this age of change, please consider helping to renew the church.  FAQ

Veterans of the Cross - Mission to Retired Clergy
An offering that helps retired clergy and other church employees who need financial assistance. Managed by the Pension Board of the UCC the fund saw disbursements of about $230,000 to 460 people in 2018. The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund is the primary source of annual income for the work of the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance, one of the corporations comprising the Pension Boards of the United Church of Christ. You can honor the Christ Child during this season by bringing gifts that will be used to support and honor those who Gifts to the Christmas Fund help provide pension and health premium supplementation to low-income retirees, emergency assistance to the families of clergy and lay employees and Christmas “Thank You” Gift Checks to hundreds of annuitants. The Christmas Fund provides a lifeline of hope to many lower-income active and retired clergy and lay employees in the United Church of Christ. Due to the lingering effects of the economic recession, there have been many instances in which gifts from the Christmas Fund have made a critical difference in the lives of people living literally on the edge. This is your opportunity to participate in God's promise of renewal by enabling this ministry of compassion and care. Please give generously to the annual appeal for The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund.