Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM)

OCWM Brochure CoverOur Church’s Wider Mission support includes all congregational gifts that support wider UCC ministry in Conference and national settings. The Minnesota Conference sends 34.75% of all OCWM gifts to the national UCC office. Want more details?  Check out our OCWM Brochure, read stories about what OCWM has done, or view this video of Mary Caroline of First United Church in Northfield talking about her experience with OCWM giving.

You can find excellent OCWM resources for your congregation on the national UCC’s website.

Please mail or email a copy of your 2017 OCWM Goals Form for your annual commitment to the Minnesota Conference UCC office at 122 W. Franklin Ave. Ste. 323, Minneapolis, MN  55404 or info@uccmn.org.

Please make OCWM checks out to the Minnesota Conference UCC and send them to 122 W. Franklin Ave, Ste. 323, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Be sure to write “OCWM” in the memo line.

 

You may contact us at info@uccmn.org with any questions that you might have.  A Conference staff member will be glad to help in any way possible.


 

MN Conference Celebrates Wider Church Covenant Throughout the Weekend – OCWM at Work!
John Dorhauer in Robbinsdale
“The Holy Spirit envisions a future in which the United Church of Christ matters.”
Those words from Rev. Dr. John Dorhauer, General Minister & President (GMP) of the United Church of Christ, defined a weekend of events where Minnesota Conference clergy and lay leaders gathered to celebrate being part of the UCC and to reflect on how God is calling us to be Church in the future.Rev. Dorhauer, who began his leadership as GMP in August 2015, shared his vision for the UCC at an event attended by over 85 donors on Friday evening. On Saturday, Rev. Dorhauer delivered a key-note address entitled “Why the United Church of Christ Matters” to over 100 clergy and lay leaders from across the Conference at our “Church on the Move” event held at United Theological Seminary.
The weekend highlighted the value of our covenantal relationships in the UCC, from the local congregation to the Conference and national settings. Renee Pfenning, a member at Cherokee Park United Church who attended the Saturday evening, remarked, “I find the wider church events are meaningful and important to me. I leave encouraged and feeling more connected.”
Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) is the glue that binds us in this extraordinary covenant we share. It allows ministry in the local church to be equipped and resourced so that congregations can be the best church they can be. It multiples ministry beyond the local setting and empowers our wider UCC witness of radical hospitality . As Rev. Sandy Johnson, a retired pastor and advocate for OCWM giving, said at Friday’s event, “ What I love about the United Church of Christ is that we are pretty clear on which mistakes we are willing to make, and more importantly, which ones we are unwilling to make…Given the choice to be inclusive or exclusive, we choose to welcome everyone, no matter who they are or where they are on life’s journey.”
Your gifts to OCWM ensure that the ministry of the United Church of Christ in all its settings continues to matter and make a difference in times when our bold witness is increasingly important. Thank you to the 111 congregations that gave over $705,000 to OCWM in 2015, a slight increase over 2014. As your congregation makes budget decisions for 2016, please complete this pledge form and let us know what you expect to give to OCWM in the year ahead. This in turn helps the Conference appropriately develop its own budget and ministry plan.You may find the OCWM pledge form, stories, information and more on our webpage. Should you have any questions or concerns about how to submit your OCWM pledge, please contact us at info@uccmn.org.

 


 

OCWM Brochure CoverOCWM: Our Church’s Wider Mission. What exactly is that?

OCWM is the shared funds of the United Church of Christ that makes all we do at Association, Conference, national, and global levels possible. And it starts with local congregations!

Local congregations make important decisions about how much OCWM they will give to support the wider ministries of the United Church of Christ, and from there (in Minnesota) OCWM dollars are split between our local Conference and the national setting. In our case in the Minnesota Conference, we keep 65.25% of all OCWM gifts received from our local churches, and share 34.75% of all OCWM gifts received with the national setting.

That’s part of the story, but what DIFFERENCE does OCWM really make in our ministries together? :

  • Has your church ever been in a leadership transition and drew on the support and advice of Conference staff to help you find a new pastor? That’s OCWM at work!
  • Has anyone in your congregation attended a Vitality event or a Church on the Move event and benefitted from the resourcing provided and the chance to network with other congregations? That’s OCWM making a difference!
  • Has your congregation experienced some hard times over the years, perhaps some conflict or other crisis, and Conference staff showed up to help you navigate those turbulent waters? That was OCWM too!
  • Have you ever been grateful for the prophetic work of the UCC around LGBT issues or anti-racism or immigration or hunger, to name a few? Have you ever been proud to be associated with the UCC’s commitment to social justice and peace? That awesome work only happens because OCWM gifts make it possible!
  • Have you ever prayed for Minnesota natives Don and Mary Jane Westra, who are current mission personnel for the UCC in Honduras? Did you rejoice in the years of dedicated service provided in East Timor by Minnesotans Tom and Monica Liddle? Are you thankful for the dozens of personnel who serve on behalf of the UCC in countries all across the globe, providing critical presence in places of undeniable need? The global mission of the UCC is evidence of OCWM at work again!
  • Can you imagine what it would be like if you didn’t have partners in ministry to share your challenges, your joys, your hopes and your dreams, partners who can step in to help or offer an ear when needed? Generous giving to OCWM ensures that our community of faith in the UCC will continue to benefit from our covenantal partnering and mutual sharing. You are not alone.

The church treasurer at First Congregational UCC of Brainerd, Lisa Wigand, says this about that church’s giving to OCWM: “Our church members view OCWM as an important component of our overall budget. We value the idea that we can impact a larger community than just Brainerd, and do it effectively, by supporting Our Church’s Wider Mission. We place high value on it….”

Amen! Our Church’s Wider Mission. OCWM. It changes lives. Thank you for your prayerful and generous giving to OCWM in your congregations. It makes a difference, here in Minnesota and far beyond.