Thank You for supporting Strengthen the Church, one of four special mission offerings within the United Church of Christ. Each day, visions and dreams are created in the hearts of many in the United Church of Christ. Through this offering they can become a reality. As God calls our congregations to be "church" in new ways, your gift will:
Plant new churches and awaken new ideas in existing churches
The Conference portion of Strengthen the Church offering has grown in the past three years and we hope will continue to grow in 2010. Doug Anders, Conference Minister, offers an exciting detailed picture of how the South Central Conference has used its portion of the STC offering to support the development of New and Renewing churches, sending 7 New Church Start Pastors and 5 Renewing Church Pastors to the national UCC New Church Leaders Institute and using any remaining funds to…
In the Southwest Conference Katrina Glenn is bringing a fresh new approach to our Youth and Young adult ministries. One of her projects for 2010 is to identify young adults in Flagstaff and Tucson, and mobilize them to create communities of faith that find support, meaning, and sustenance for and with each other. We’re not calling these churches – but communities of faith…
The Strengthen the Church offering in the Ohio Conference has a face. It’s the face of Jim Oates, recently called Coach for Church Development and Congregational Renewal. Coach Oates is working directly with church leaders across the Conference, leadership teams of new church starts, a select number of renewing churches, and potential additional coaches to work with additional congregations…
In the midst of a changing world and evolving church, Mary Sicher has been able to share her considerable gifts as Minister of Christian Education, Minister for Justice and Witness and the Conference Resource Center Director. As she grew in her field of service she also chaired both UCC and Ecumenical Resource Center networks. Every day she strengthens the church as she introduces many in Pennsylvania Southeast congregations to valuable resources…
In the past, funds have been awarded to help start a new music program in a church, create a community garden in another church, and start a playgroup ministry to families with young children in a third congregation. This year the Stewardship Missional Team of the Hawai‘i Conference has approved a Christian Investment Grant in the amount of $5,000 to benefit the youth from the Hawai‘i Conference attending the Western Regional Youth Event (WRYE) in Montana in July 2010.
The Vermont Conference asks, “Are you a Four for Five Church?” Don’t miss being honored as a Five for Five Church at the Conference Annual Meeting. Receive Strengthen the Church on May 23 and positively impact important initiatives, programs and/or ministries right here in the Conference via grants made by the Conference Make a Difference Grant Committee.
The Wisconsin Conference has used its half of the Strengthen the Church offering to support its Turnaround Church program. The Conference is eager for more churches to come aboard and experience revitalization like McFarland UCC has.
The youth and young adults in the Conference are invited to “come and sit together in a circle of friends”… and that’s just the beginning. The Youth Roundtable has captured their Stillspeaking Voices in a special video presentation created just to broadcast that youth and young adult ministries are the priority for the Conference’s half of the Strengthen the Church offering. See for yourself at “Want to see Strengthen the Church in Action?”
Media with a Mission is a grant program that supports local churches in their TV, radio, print and electronic advertising efforts to spread the message of the Stillspeaking God. An initiative of The Stillspeaking Ministry since 2006, Media with a Mission has awarded more than $120,000 to 144 churches in 33 states reaching more than 12 million people. See which churches in your area have recently received grants, with help from the Strengthen the Church offering.
New Church Starts
Take the Journey “Get out of the fast lane once a week. Come join us. Take the Journey.” This invitation is offered by Journey UCC, Prairieville, Louisiana, a new church start supported by Strengthen the Church. One of only eleven UCC congregations in the whole state, Journey UCC reaches out to people who have felt unwelcome in other churches. “Faith is a Journey – Not a guilt trip” is something many are eager to hear.
Making God’s Love Visible in Santa Rosa, CA First Congregational UCC puts God’s love into action through Unbinding the Heart groups, work at the area food pantry (FISH), homeless shelter (COTS), the “Living Room” shelter for women and their children, Habitat, and taking the lead in performing same-sex marriages in their area. The gifts of Adwoa Kudoto, Ghana’s only female master drummer, often enliven worship.
What does it mean to be a predominantly Filipino congregation worshiping in the Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel surrounded by military family housing? When you believe vital churches welcome ALL peoples from ALL walks of life because GOD IS A GOD WITHOUT LIMIT, you seize your strategic location by welcoming a very diverse and transient military population. That’s Moanalua Community Church UCC.
Programs for Youth and Young Adults
Thank a Teenager 18-year old Katie Vivona is charged – with passion for her church, confidence in her future and a desire to help others. At a time when the overwhelming majority of young people don’t attend church, how is it that Katie not only attends, but is a leader within her church, Dover UCC in Westlake, OH? Three words: National Youth Event…
The offering is typically received on Pentecost - the day we celebrate the founding of the Christian church - but churches may choose to receive the offering on any Sunday; some choose their local church's anniversary or Thanksgiving Sunday.