To strengthen the United Church of Christ's ability to pursue its vision of a just world for all, the denomination is launching the public phase of a campaign that will support the diverse and life-changing work of the church.
The Shaping Our Future Campaign, announced at General Synod 2017 in Baltimore, aims to raise funds for immediate needs and to build a dedicated endowment over the next year that provides financial resources for mission and program initiatives for the Office of General Minister and President.
"The world is changing and we need to develop leadership programs that will sustain the church into the future," said Frank Bolden, incoming chair of the UCC Board of Directors. "Technology and innovation are needed to support our collective ministries, and funding is needed to launch emerging ideas that hold significant potential for our denomination."
In the 60-year history of the UCC, there hasn't been any long-term planning to endow the Office of the General Minister and President. The campaign already has $2.5 million in funding that has been raised quietly so far.
Members of the wider church are now invited to give to the campaign, via the donation page on the UCC.org website, designating their gift to 'Shape Our Future'.
The Rev. John C. Dorhauer, UCC general minister and president, said the financial resources raised by the campaign will fulfill two primary purposes: provide immediate support for initiatives that shape and create a church for future generations, and create an endowment fund to ensure future financial resources needed to support the ministry of the Office of General Minister and President.
Dorhauer said the endowment exists to "empower, inspire, and demonstrate the vision of the United Church of Christ. Income from the endowment may be used to provide financial resources for administrative and operating support for the Office of the General Minister and President, and to support programs and services of that office."
"The hope is to have funds available to support technological infrastructures," he added, "and to create revenues to enhance the ability to communicate, and to support leadership development."