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.
In the United Church of Christ, we affirm that, although the congregation is the fundamental unit of mission, mission is not just local. We are connected to one another, across boundaries of neighborhood, class, race, and national border.
Our Church’s Wider Mission, often referred to simply as OCWM, has two parts: Basic Support and Four Special Mission Offerings.
OCWM can be compared to a human hand. Basic Support is like a our thumb, crucial to the flexibility and dexterity of our hand. The four special mission offerings are like our fingers, helping us reach out. Together, OCWM Basic Support and the Four Mission Offerings allow us to reach out to impact the lives of our neighbors, near and far.
The Wisconsin Conference Annual Report provides stories from around the Conference highlighting OCWM at work, and offers charts showing how conference revenue is allocated.
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 members’ financial support it will contribute to Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support.
Congregations send their OCWM gifts to the Conference. Each Conference then decides what percentage of those gifts to keep for the work within that particular Conference, and what percentage it will send to the national setting of the UCC.
Some of the National Basic Support money is used for ministries to Conferences, local churches and members, as well as for ecumenical, prophetic and missionary ministries on behalf of the UCC. Contributions from individuals to their congregations comprise the funds from which OCWM Basic Support is given to the Conferences and national ministries.
Local churches can help individuals understand the mission and work of the denomination.
OCWM Special Mission Offerings
Our Church’s Wider Mission Special Support comprises gifts to the four Special Mission Offerings in the United Church of Christ, per capita dues, and gifts that are specially designated for the Conference, national setting or UCC-related institutions.
Local churches receive promotional material for the four Special Mission Offerings:
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons and emergency relief and rehabilitation. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response. Find promotional resources and learn more at www.ucc.org/oghs
Strengthen the Church is a special mission offering to reimagine and build the future of the UCC. Shared at the conference and national levels, STC largely supports youth ministries and full-time leaders for new churches in parts of the country where the UCC does not have a strong presence. It also provides support for existing church’s new initiatives. Find promotional resources and learn more at www.ucc.org/stc
Neighbors in Need supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States, including the Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM), justice and advocacy, and direct service projects supported by Justice and Local Church Ministries.
This offering is received on First Sunday of October as part of World Communion Sunday. Find promotional resources and learn more at www.ucc.org/nin.
The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund is a Special Mission Offering that congregations have been supporting for over 100 years. The offering is administered through the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance, the charitable arm of the Pension Boards. Funds provide direct financial support to those who serve the church and are facing financial difficulties. Active and retired clergy, lay employees, and their surviving spouses may be eligible for the Supplementation of Small Annuities, Supplementation of Health Premiums, Emergency Grants, and/or Christmas “Thank You” Gift Checks.
This offering is received on the Sunday before Christmas. Find promotional resources and learn more here.
5-for-5 congregations give to OCWM Basic Support and each of the Special Mission Offerings.