The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls; on finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.
Matthew 13:44 – 46 NRSV
The church in all its settings – local, association, conference and national – manifests, at its best, God’s reign of peace, mercy and justice on earth. When your congregation gives through the wider church, it is investing in God’s reign, in the field with hidden treasure, in the pearl of great value. We provide you the following Giving Guidelines to assist your congregation in making wise investments of its outreach dollars in the distinctive mission of the church to make God’s love and justice real to everyone.
Your Church's 2015 Guide to Giving
A Practical Guide for Mission/Outreach Committees
How to Submit Contributions:
The church is different from all other humanitarian organizations. The church is distinctive. The church exists to bring love, hope and generosity to whatever suffering and need exist,always and anywhere. The church is alone in reflecting the steadfastness of God...The church offers people something that cannot be found anywhere else. Even the smallest struggling church has the potential to be a source of meaning in people's lives, because it is a place where everything that happens is intended to reinforce; people's best hopes for themselves and the world. It is a place devoted to that intent, for anyone and everyone, all the time. Where else in the world is that true?”
From Inspiring Generosity, published by UCC Resources
Because of its primacy in making God’s love and justice real for everyone, individuals should make their local church their priority in charitable giving. Likewise, the local church should make the wider church its priority in its mission giving.
Where does that giving go?
Visit Mission and Ministry Through the Wider Church for more.
Churches are asked to contribute at least 10% of total income to mission giving. Depending on available income, some churches will feel called to give even more. In fact, many churches give much more than 10% of their income to mission. Churches giving less than 10% are asked to prayerfully consider increasing their giving at an annual rate of 1/4 to 1/2% of total income.
Note: for years, Conference mission giving recommendations have been based on giving as a percentage of local church expenditures. As our Conference makes a transition to United Church Mission, these giving recommendations are re-framed as a percentage of income, since this has a biblical grounding
Because of its indispensable and comprehensive support of the entire ministry of the church across all settings – local congregations, Associations, Conference, and National – churches are asked to contribute 50% of their total mission spending – ideally, at least 5% of total income – to United Church Mission. This giving recommendation also applies to those churches still giving through the Fellowship Dues/OCWM Basic Support system.
Help us transform lives through these designated giving opportunities:
Designated Giving in the MACUCC, including the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment Fund, Hispanic Ministries and Disaster Assistance. 15% of total mission giving is considered a good goal for designated giving.
Churches are asked to consider using 35% of their mission giving to meet local needs, such as feeding programs, homelessness shelters, and other local ministries of compassion.
The Massachusetts Conference asks churches to consider taking a special offering for the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment Campaign each year on the anniversary of the pastor's ordination or call to the church.
The national setting of the United Church of Christ sponsors four offerings: One Great Hour of Sharing, Neighbors in Need, Strengthen the Church and The Christmas Fund.
Congregations engaged in capital campaigns or individuals interested in planned giving, may wish to consider a gift to one of the conference's special funds: the Sustaining Pastoral Excellence Endowment Fund, the Justice and Witness Fund, the 21st Century Congregations Fund and the Seeds of Faith Fund.