The success and sustainability of the United Church of Christ's national ministries is relying on your church's contribution to basic operating support and mission. Being 5 for 5 means that your church is a leader, providing support to Our Church’s Wider Mission and the Special Mission Offerings: One Great Hour of Sharing, Strengthen The Church, Neighbors In Need and The Christmas Fund.
Be A Leader, Become a 5 for 5 Church Today!
2017 5 for 5 Churches
Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support - the economic lifeblood of our church — is a fundamental covenant in the United Church of Christ. "Covenant Keepers" are UCC churches that support Our Church's Wider Mission (OCWM) Basic Support with "leadership generosity." They step out and take the lead in annual giving to the financial lifeblood of the United Church of Christ. Each one of them gives more than 10% of their operating budget to OCWM Basic Support.
According to the book of Acts (2:44; 4:32) the early church shared all things in common—both the costs and the joys of discipleship.So it is today as we must share increasing costs of being the church together. There will always be multiple demands on our financial resources. But when we know the joy, we accept the cost. "...for the joy set before him he endured the cross." (Hebrews 12:2).
Participating Conferences recognize Covenant Keepers based on percentages of the church's budget (current expenses) given to OCWM Basic Support:
- "Silver" Covenant Keepers give between 10 and 14.9%
- "Gold" Covenant Keepers give 15% and up.
Wherever your church is right now in giving to Our Church's Wider Mission, you can advocate to become a Covenant Keeper congregation by increasing your OCWM Basic Support annually - until you reach "Silver" or "Gold"!
Changing Lives:That’s Our Church’s Wider Mission
Order these resources from UCC Resources or calling 800-325-7061
Annual Stewardship Theme Materials
Newly designed every year, these colorful, coordinated materials based on scripture can greatly help your congregation with its annual stewardship effort. Materials include full-color poster, four motivational bulletin inserts (including giving chart), worship folder, letterhead and envelope, note card, and commitment cards. Check out these NEW materials: 2017 Stewardship Theme Materials & Supplemental Campaign Resources
Not Your Parent's Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship, a completely revised edition of J. Clif Christopher’s classic. Written with the needs of pastors and stewardship teams in mind, Not Your Parents’' Offering Plate provides immediate, practical guidance to all who seek to help God’s people be better stewards of their resources.
Stewardship for Vital Congregations, by Anthony B. Robinson Theologically and biblically informed, it offers particular strategies and "how-to's" relating to money and giving. Stewardship for Vital Congregations includes questions for reflection, discussion, and action in each chapter.
Are You Ready to Talk about Money in Your Church? is a humorous quiz that takes a light approach to the serious subject of money. A great ice-breaker for stewardship conversations! Format is small, 8-page pamphlet, suitable for distribution in pews or to groups. From the Stillspeaking Writers' Group.
The Gratitude Path: Leading Your Church to Generosity, by Kent Millard. A new approach for local church giving that is accessible, achievable, and effective.The Gratitude Path is a five-session study designed for use by churches, leadership teams, and small groups. This step-by-step guide helps congregations grow in generosity by focusing on gratitude for God's blessings.
Local Church Planned Giving Manual, 4th edition. From wills seminars to church endowments and more, you and your church can explore theological, rational, and hands-on worksheets enhancing your ministry through the stewardship of planned giving.
Funding Your Future: A Capital Campaign Manual from the United Church of Christ
A capital or major fund campaign can be the greatest faith-raising experience in the life of your church!The more challenging the campaign goal, the the more heightened the experience for your congregation.
God's Gifts, My Gifts
Teaches that God is the source of who we are and what we have, and is our model for being generous and faithful. Elementary-age children will have fun in class or at home using these five colorful and snappy foldout sheets with individual and group activities, including scriptural texts and prayers to reinforce the church; personal decisions, loving God, self, and others. Use for confirmation and new member classes. Set includes five active lessons: Share Love With Your Offering (available as a single sheet for $.75 each), Seek God with Your Whole Heart, Rooted in Love, Love is the Greatest, Dare 2BU. Set of all five activity sheets plus stickers: 1-10 sets, $5.00 each; 11-25 sets, $4.50 each; 26 or more sets, $4.00 each.
A Stewardship Resource for the Local Church
This resource looks at ways to understand and approach money and mission realistically, given the changing conditions in congregations of the United Church of Christ today. Intended for use by lay leaders as well as clergy, it includes the theological background on the motivation for giving, as well as four programmatic approaches to fundraising in the church.
The Gifting God
This compact, 5-session group study based closely on the Bible will break open the subject of giving for everyone-no matter how much or how little they are currently giving. Excellent for small groups, for ysing one session at a time with committees (especially stewardship or finance committees, and trustees). Also very effective as a personal Bible study/devotion. Available in print or as downloadable PDF, $1.50 each.
What Scripture Says about Giving
This brief brochure for distribution to all church members looks at the question of how much to give to the work of the church and why. Also available in Spanish. $3.00/50.
United Church of Christ Special Mission Offerings (SMOs) exist to allow congregations and individuals to meet people at points of critical need in their lives. Though many options exist for direct, individual support of these needs, the SMOs allow a common witness and make a collective positive impact. Our church has identified four areas where these critical human needs exist:
• in places lacking health and educational resources and/or where disaster has struck;
• within systems of injustice which oppress daily life and opportunity;
• in the lives of church leaders without sufficient resources to live with dignity;
• in the nurture of youth and congregations just beginning their lives of faith.
We believe these SMOs collectively serve to lift people closer to the abundance and wholeness to which Jesus Christ has called us to work together to bring about.
One Great Hour of Sharing
Supports partners in countries with ministries that fund health, education and agricultural development, emergency relief, refugee ministries and both international and domestic disaster response, administered by Wider Church Ministries, Global Sharing of Resources.
This offering is received on the Fourth Sunday of Lent.
Strengthen the Church
Supports church growth, pastoral and lay leadership development, youth and young adult ministries within conferences and administered by Local Church Ministries.
This offering is received on Pentecost Sunday.
Neighbors in Need
One-third of this offering supports the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM) and two-thirds is administered by Justice and Witness Ministries to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants.
This offering is received on First Sunday of October as part of World Communion Sunday.
The Christmas Fund
Provides direct financial assistance to retired and active United Church of Christ authorized ministers and lay employees and their surviving spouses, including pension and health premium supplementation, emergency assistance, and Christmas thank-you checks. A ministry of the Pension Boards, the offering is received annually on the Sunday before Christmas.
This offering is received on the Sunday before Christmas.
To order additional Special Mission Offering materials call United Church of Christ Resources at 800.537.3394 or to place or change a standing order call the Office of Philanthropy and Stewardship at 866.822.8224.
Gifts to the Annual Fund benefit the full range of the United Church of Christ mission across the country and around the globe.
Our faith is 2000 Years old but our thinking is not.
- Because of our belief in a continuing testament, we are attentive to God's creative movement in the world...
- We arrive early on issues of social justice, as evidenced by courageous "firsts" for racial justice, equality for women, and inclusion of gay and lesbian people.
- We prepare leaders who are open to and prepared for ministry in the present and future church.
- We train leaders who grow spiritually, who build up the church, and put their faith into action.
- We embrace and equip new kinds of congregations and new modes of leadership.
No matter who you are or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.
- Because we believe in extravagant welcome, we insist that God's table is open, not closed, and God's gift and claim in baptism are irrevocable…
- We demonstrate this through public professions of our identity/purpose: multi-racial, multi-cultural, open and affirming, accessible to all.
- We advocate justice for all as an extension and expression of faith.
- We are open to new ways of being church and forming Christian community.
- We affirm that cultural differences expand our ability to welcome more people.
- We strive to keep our perspective global in our partnership with people of faith around the world.
Never place a period where God has placed a comma.
- Because we believe in transformation, we believe the church's mission is changing lives - individually, systemically and globally...
- We support, encourage and uplift local churches where lives are being changed through worship, education, fellowship, mission, and justice advocacy.
- We identify, recruit, educate and support leaders who inspire others.
- We support churches and plant new churches as vital places of worship, learning, and justice advocacy.
- We change lives through our global partnerships, missionaries and advocacy.
Thank you for your partnership. Together we are changing lives!