Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori is calling congregations to commemorate "ONE Sunday" on February 25, the First Sunday in Lent.
"ONE Sunday" is an effort to join congregations in prayer and reflection for people living in extreme poverty worldwide. Episcopalians are also encouraged to advocate for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and rally with others who are members of ONE Episcopalian, a grassroots partnership between the Episcopal Church and the ONE Campaign.
"As Christians around the world begin their Lenten journeys with commitments to acts of personal devotion, prayer, and almsgiving, congregational celebration of 'ONE Sunday' provides an opportunity to deepen our commitment to actively participate in Godâs mission of healing the world," said Jefferts Schori.
Through Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD), "ONE Sunday" is an opportunity to make a contribution to a special offering that will help people suffering from chronic hunger, disease and poverty around the world.
"The work of repairing and restoring relationships with God and the created order, as in the vision of Isaiah we hear on Ash Wednesday, has always stood at the center of Lenten discipline," said the Presiding Bishop. "Through the combined actions of prayer, commitment to advocacy for the MDGs, and an annual offering for Episcopal Relief and Development's efforts to fight poverty in the world, Episcopalians can live out a very traditional Lenten commitment in a way that is deeply relevant to the world around us."
The Episcopal Church, at its 75th General Convention in 2006, voted (Resolution D022) to make the MDGs a mission priority over the next triennium and endorsed a new partnership between the Episcopal Church and ONE: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. The initiative, called "ONE Episcopalian," unites the voices of Episcopalians with 2.4 million other Americans who are members of the ONE Campaign.
Congregations that join the ONE Episcopalian campaign as "ONE Congregations" are asked to commit to three of five actions:
- featuring the MDGs in a sermon or rector's forum;
- organizing an "offering of letters" and asking participants to join the ONE Campaign;
- using ONE resources in Christian-education classes for youth or adults;
- meeting with lawmakers to advocate for the MDGs; and
- collecting an annual offering for Episcopal Relief and Development's efforts to fight deadly poverty in the world.
Information on organizing an offering to the global-poverty programs of Episcopal Relief and Development can be found here.
The Episcopal News Service also offers series of bulletin inserts about the MDGS here.