by Dawn Hammond
At their meeting on March 14th, the MACUCC Board of Directors voted to recommend that the 215th Annual Meeting adopt United Church Mission as a new mechanism for local churches to contribute to the shared ministries of the UCC beyond the local setting. The proposed vote may be seen here.
Since my last update in November, members of the Finance Committee of the Board have continued to present the United Church Mission proposal and to listen to the responses of local church leaders – in Association meetings, church cluster meetings, and a Super Saturday workshop at Ludlow. Two major changes have been made to the proposal in response to what they heard:
1. The proposal now bases United Church Mission on total income (as reported in a congregation’s internal Annual Report) rather than pledges and offerings. Total income is defined as general operating income from all sources, and general missions giving, but does not include special designated giving such as capital campaign contributions, disaster relief or special offerings.
2. If United Church Mission is established by the 2014 Annual Meeting, churches will be invited to opt in as soon as they are able. The Board is seeking congregations interested in taking the lead as ‘early adopters’ beginning in 2015. Information for potential opt-in churches is available here.
Many more cluster meetings and Association conversations are in the planning stages, as the Board wants congregational leaders to have ample opportunity to learn about the proposal and consider how their churches might participate . If the Annual Meeting votes affirmatively, this process of education and conversation will continue at least through the fall of this year.
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