Written by Bennett Guess
A mid-year report shows some promising signs for National Basic Support for Our Church's Wider Mission, the UCC's common purse for shared ministries at the national and international settings of the church.
At the end of June 2007, OCWM National Basic Support stood at $2,793,617 or an increase of $316,705 over last year's mid-year total of $2,476,912.
In contrast, at this point last year, the UCC's national setting was look at a previous-year comparison of more than $485,000 to the negative.
OCWM National Basic Support is the amount forwarded on to the UCC's national setting in Cleveland by the UCC's 38 Conferences. Congregations first submit OCWM contributions to their respective Conference office which, in turn, retains an average of 65 percent before passing along the remaining 35 percent to support national and international ministries.
Church leaders have long been cautious about year-to-year comparisons, since Conference payments to the denomination's Cleveland offices can fluctuate significantly.
However, the report shows additional promising signs:
- More remittances could still be outstanding. Since OCWM offerings are remitted to the National setting from Conferences either monthly, quarterly or yearly, financial data regularly compares the total amount contributed to the number of remittance payments. Last year's mid-year totals were based on 162 payments, which is shy of the 149 payments processed so far this year – meaning mid-year totals are not skewed by ahead-of-schedule payments.
- Twenty of the UCC's 38 Conferences have remitted either increased or equal dollar amounts to date, when compared to this time last year.