As you have noticed, the Neighbors in Need offering envelopes have been in the pews for the last several weeks. Earlier we had Strengthen the Church and OGHS envelopes and before the end of the year will be the Christmas Fund. These are the four special mission offerings of the UCC. OGHS provides resources for international programs. Strengthen the Church funds new and renewing churches, youth and young adult ministries, lay and pastoral leadership formation and, most recently, the StillSpeaking Ministry. Neighbors in Need supports ministries of justice and compassion. The Christmas Fund helps provide pensions and health-premium supplements to low-income, retired church workers, emergency assistance to clergy families in need, and Christmas checks to hundreds of annuitants. The fifth offering is Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) which we support through our weekly envelope offering. Each year, our budget sets aside $1,500 of our offering for OCWM which provides funding for the work of UCC Conference and National ministries in support of the life and work of the local church and its members. By participating in all five offerings, we are knows as a “5 for 5” church, a number which is growing steadily. The concept began in 2003 as part of a “thank-you” for the stewardship display at the General Synod. Since that time, the number of churches giving to all five offerings has nearly doubled. Being a “5 for 5” church is a sign of congregational vitality by giving to Basic Support (OCWM) and Special Support (the four special mission offerings).

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