“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 (LINK) 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 Lese Wright, Development Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.