Your annual pledge informs and supports our church’s annual budget, which makes it possible for us to offer weekly worship opportunities, pastoral care, music and faith formation programming, opportunities for social gatherings, and mission and outreach. In other words—the annual budget is what makes it possible for us to “be the church” together, year after year. The narrative budget that follows was created for this budget year (2022-2023), and gives a thorough picture of how pledges and other (small) sources of income are put to use.
Our fiscal year begins on May 1st and ends on April 30th. As we do each year, the stewardship campaign to fund the budget for the 2022-2023 fiscal year kicked off in January 2022, with Stewardship Sunday. It concluded in February with Pledge Sunday. Based on the pledges raised during that time, the Council drafted a budget and presented it to the congregation at a Budget Hearing at the end of March. Following the Budget Hearing, the budget was finalized and presented to the Annual Meeting of the church membership on April 25th, where it was approved.
We recently completed a capital campaign of $200,000 to pay for much-needed maintenance work to keep our building water-tight.
Honor a loved one or friend.
Memorial gifts and honorary gifts are common ways that our members and friends honor someone. If you wish to give such a gift, simply make out a check to First Congregational UCC and put in the memo line who you are honoring/memorializing. If you prefer, you can pay online by clicking the Giving button on our website, following instructions, and highlighting the person’s name under “Other Offerings.”
Five Special Offerings Collected Throughout the Year
Participate in one of the five special UCC offerings.
At First Congregational UCC, we support the work of our denomination by participating in 5 special UCC offerings throughout the year.
In addition, we take an offering to support our Helping Hands Fund. This fund offers support to church and community members on a short-term basis. In November we offer our gifts to Stepping Stones of Dunn County.
Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support (OCWM)
OCWM Basic support enables associations, conferences, the national setting, and some of our affiliated partners to continue providing the care and services that are vital to the United Church of Christ. OCWM Basic support is generally given at local churches, where the funds are then sent to their associations and conferences before being forwarded to the national offices in Cleveland. (Individual donors are encouraged to give through their local churches for Our Church’s Wider Mission Basic Support)
Strengthen the Church
Strengthen the Church is a special mission offering to reimagine and build the future of the UCC. Shared at the conference and national levels, STC largely supports youth ministries and full-time leaders for new churches in parts of the country where the UCC does not have a strong presence. It also provides support for existing church’s new initiatives.
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS)
One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) works with international partners to provide sources of clean water, food, education and health care, small business micro-credit, advocacy and resettlement for refugees and displaced persons and emergency relief and rehabilitation. OGHS also supports domestic and international ministries for disaster preparedness and response.
Neighbors in Need
Neighbors in Need supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States, including the Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM), justice and advocacy, and direct service projects supported by Justice and Local Church Ministries.
This offering is received on First Sunday of October as part of World Communion Sunday.
The Christmas Fund
The Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund is a Special Mission Offering that congregations have been supporting for over 100 years. The offering is administered through the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance, the charitable arm of the Pension Boards. Funds provide direct financial support to those who serve the church and are facing financial difficulties. Active and retired clergy, lay employees, and their surviving spouses may be eligible for the Supplementation of Small Annuities, Supplementation of Health Premiums, Emergency Grants, and/or Christmas “Thank You” Gift Checks. This offering is received on the Sunday before Christmas.