Our Stillspeaking Voice is a monthly issues-oriented multimedia initiative, created to amplify the bold public voice of the United Church of Christ. Part of General and Minister and President John C. Dorhauer's first 90-day initiatives, Our Stillspeaking Voice is the product of all the UCC's national ministries –– the Office of the General Minister and President, Justice and Witness Ministries, Local Church Ministries and Wider Church Ministries –– in partnership with several UCC conferences, around a dozen issues that are part of the church's DNA.
Financial Wellness: Congregational and Personal
Bookmark this spot!
From this page we will be acquiring and sharing information for you, from you. Help us to create a viral site where the church helps all the people during tough economic times.
Financial Literacy: 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy, recommended by the UCC Pension Boards offers help for all financial stages of life.
Financial Literacy: Financial Security: Managing Money in Tough Times. Learning positive money management techniques can help you and your family adapt to tough economic times.
Financial Fitness: America Saves is a nationwide campaign in which a broad coalition of nonprofit, corporate, and government groups helps individuals and families save and build wealth. Through information, advice, and encouragement, they assist those who wish to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for a home, save for an education, or save for retirement.
Support for Seniors: Benefits Check Up offed by the National Council on Aging includes more than 1,550 public and private benefits programs from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
Support for Homeowners: If your congregation has struggling homeowners, let them know about the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's foreclosure prevention site.
Ohio State University Extension has a web-site where educational materials are available. More fact sheets about money management can be found here.
Below are some other links you may find helpful:
Job Search Tools:
(this page contains links to MANY resources)
Receipts are Up
Making Sound Strategic Choices in Anxious Times
Alban Institute Susan Beaumont and Alice Mann offer UCC pastors sound answers to tough questions.(click here)
The Church and Tough Economic Times:
What Should Congregations be Doing?
Anthony B. Robinson
The election is behind us, and the economic challenges? They continue. In fact, it seems likely that they will grow worse before they get better. In view of this, what should congregations and their leaders be doing? Get some answers here!
Religious Giving in Uncertain Times: Insights for Congregations and Faith-based Nonprofits
Prepared by The Lake Institute on Faith & Giving, The Center on Philanthropy at Indiana University
Keeping Faith Communities Vital in an Ailing Economy
Rising unemployment, gut-wrenching declines in the stock market and predictions of a recession worse than any since the Great Depression can spell sleepless nights for even the most faithful ministry leaders. (read full article)
From the UCC Writer's Group
Anthony B. Robinson: I Don't Deserve This!
You know what they say, "third time's the charm." But in this case, it was more curse than charm. It was the third kick that got my attention....
Lillian Daniel: God's Economy is Not a Roller Coaster
We've been riding a roller coaster in the financial world, and it has not been fun. This is not a roller coaster we stood in line for and got excited about....
Martin B. Copenhaver: Fear or Faith?
Fear in small doses can be a good thing. Fear is what told our ancestors to run from predators and spurred them on to go faster than they could have otherwise. And many of us never would have studied for math tests unless we had been motivated, in part, by fear of what would happen if we did not. So sometimes, in the short run, fear can prompt us to do the right thing....
Anthony B. Robinson: More of Everything?
"More of Everything" is the slogan for one of the big box retailers in our area. Its trucks roll by with those words emblazoned on the side: "More of Everything." Suddenly that slogan seems less like glad tidings than it does a haunting, sad chiding....
William C. Green: Looking Forward
We Americans are known for optimism and positive thinking. But now many of us are negative—and scared. Security as we've known it is being re-thought by all of us, government and citizens alike....
Donna Schaper: The Blessing of Limits
There is nothing like a good dose of reality to yield a blessing. Reality is always about limits, but in some centuries we obscure it with ideas about limitless growth and possibility....
(Click here for more tools and articles)
Stewardship Messages Online! In tough times giving can be difficult for people…even people of faith. Use these messages monthly to offer an inspiring, biblically-based reflection in your newsletter, on your bulletin board, your website, or use as an insert in your giving statement or Sunday Bulletin.
Share the blessings and love of this sacred season. Merry Christmas from the United Church of Christ.
Please share this UCC Christmas message on your church website, and through your social media channels.
On December 18, 2015 President Obama signed into law the PATH (Protecting American Taxpayers and Homeowners) Act, which includes not merely an extension of the IRA Charitable Rollover, but which makes it PERMANENT.
The legislation keeps in place all of the previous requirements that must be met in order for the charitable transfer to qualify:
- The donor must be at least 70½ years of age when the gift is made;
- Transfer must be made DIRECTLY from the IRA administrator to the charity;
- The gifts from the IRA cannot exceed $100,000 per person ($200,000 for a couple with separate IRAs) in a given year;
- They can only be outright gifts (can’t fund a life-income gift such as a Charitable Gift Annuity or Charitable Remainder Trust);
- There is no charitable deduction, but the donor does not include the amount distributed in their federal taxable income;
- The distribution counts toward the donor’s Minimum Required Distribution for the current tax year;
- The law is retroactive to January 1, 2015 and is now permanent (2015 gifts must be transferred by December 31st);
- The Rollover provision applies only to Traditional IRAs, not to 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and other similar retirement plans – gifts must be made directly to a qualified charity and may not be made to donor advised funds, private foundations or supporting organizations. Gifts may also be made from Roth IRAs, but distributions from a Roth are generally tax-free to the donor anyway, depending on the donor’s age and the length of time the Roth IRA has been in place.
Contact your IRA plan administrator to proceed with a Rollover gift.
What does Our Church’s Wider Mission Support?
Great for new board and mission committee members! This resource highlights work being done in the national setting which is supported by Our Church’s Wider Mission. Print and post for church bulletin boards, use in newsletters or on websites. Also great for stewardship and mission committees!
OCWM Brochure - Great for church members and church leaders. Order copies. Free.
OCWM Infographic – Great tool to share at Annual Meetings and Churches. Order copies. Free.
The United Church of Christ stresses giving a deliberately chosen percentage of income to support God's mission among people everywhere. Our church urges us to set at least 10% of income as our giving goal and suggests that we move toward that goal by giving an additional 1% of our income each year.
Using the information in this brochure, consider some of the ways that you, as a disciple of Jesus Christ, can cause God's mission to come alive through your action. Sections include:
- My Financial Contribution
- Increasing My Giving for the Future
- Weekly Percentage Giving Guide
Sold in 5-packs.
Use Mission Moments every week to tell a story about your congregation's connection with the wider church. Each issue - which is designed to be inserted with your newsletter or Sunday worship bulletin - is an effective way to inform your members about what they make possible through their gifts to Our Church's Wider Mission.
The United Church of Christ is the church the world needs today.
The world needs a church that proclaims, “No matter who you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.” The world needs a church bold enough to say, God is still speaking.
We believe the UCC is such a church.
In Christ we are invited to be transformed and to work with God to make a more peaceful, just, and loving world. Our Still-Speaking God invites us to be bold, to think creatively, and to be innovative in our ministries.
Our covenant with one another in the United Church of Christ means learning to be United even when we disagree, Church together even when we worship in different ways, and to see Christ revealed in beloved community. As over 5,000 local congregations across the country, together with the wider movement of UCC agencies and international partners, we strive to be a faith-forming, multi-racial and multicultural, open and affirming, globally minded movement to transform ourselves and our world.
In isolation, no single UCC congregation can be the church the world needs today. To be that world-changing church, we work together through Our Church’s Wider Mission to support and inspire each other.
Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support
Together we are stronger, our reach is wider,