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.
“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.
Has your congregation provided your OCWM pledge information to the Conference office yet this year? Please fill out this easy 2016 OCWM Goals Form and let us know your estimate of OCWM giving for 2016. Thank you!!