Our Church’s Wider Mission is the name we use to describe the work we do as the United Church of Christ beyond the local church, through our Conferences, national ministries, and UCC-related institutions. Our Church’s Wider Mission is also the name we give to the financial support given by UCC members and congregations that makes this broader mission possible.
Congregations are central to the ability of The United Church of Christ to do mission in local communities, within the United States and internationally. As a congregation works in its own community, it is a representative of the entire denomination and embodies the UCC in that place. And when a congregation determines its giving to Our Church’s Wider Mission, there is a direct impact on levels of funding for the Conference and national ministries. Every local congregation has a responsibility to be aware of opportunities for local mission and to be knowledgeable about the work underway by its own Conference and by the national ministries.
Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support provides funding for the work of UCC Conferences and for the work of the UCC’s national ministries. Each congregation decides how much of its individual members’ financial support it will contribute to Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support. Congregations send their OCWM gifts to the Conference. Each Conference decides what percentage of those gifts to keep for the work of that particular Conference, and what percentage it will send to the national setting of the UCC. Some of the National Basic Support money is returned to Conferences, Association, and local church ministries. It also supports ecumenical, prophetic and missionary ministries on behalf of the UCC.
Of every $100 your congregation gives to OCWM Basic Support, $40 goes to the Western Reserve Association to provide assistance to the congregations of the Western Reserve Association, $30 to the Ohio Conference and $30 to the UCC for national and international ministry. This support come from a portion of your annual pledge, as designated by you.
- Disaster relief at home and abroad e.g. Katrina and the Tsunami
- Youth programming
- Youth and Adult resources
- Guidance for churches seeking new pastors
- Ohio Conference camps
- Support for Churches in conflict
- Support new and re-visioning congregations
- Workshops on evangelism, church growth and stewardship
- Forums for addressing the pressing social and justice issues of our time
- Christian education curriculum
- Missionary work around the world
- Lay Ministries training
- Block Grants for mission priorities
In addition to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM), we support four special appeals:
One Great Hour of Sharing: Giving Help, Hope and Life – Supports partners in more than 70 countries with ministries that fund development projects, feed the victims of famine, provide services for displaced people, and respond to natural disasters. These ministries are the responsibility of Wider Church Ministries, Global Sharing of Resources. We support this special appeal annually on the fourth Sunday in Lent.
Neighbors in Need: Justice and Compassion Like a Mighty Stream – Supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States and Puerto Rico, including ministry carried out by the Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM) and by the national offices of Justice and Witness Ministries. We support this appeal annually on World Communion Sunday, the first Sunday of October. Two-thirds of the offering supports justice advocacy and direct service projects such as justice with peace programs and community grants. NIN reinforces our common commitment of justice and compassion and helps make another world possible. One third of the offering supports American Indian UCC congregations, helping to provide salaries for Native American pastors.
Strengthen the Church: Faithfully Building the Body of Christ – Supports church growth and leadership development in the conferences and through the national offices of Local Church Ministries. We do not currently support this appeal.
The Christmas Fund: Remembering Those Who Serve Our Church – Provides financial aid to retired and active ministers and their surviving spouses and children who face overwhelming financial demands, a ministry carried out by the Pension Boards. Received annually on the Sunday before Christmas. We do not currently support this appeal.
Click for more information on OCWM