Transitioning to United Church Mission will, in many cases, require some adjustments to a congregation’s current budgeting practices:
Churches that currently consider both OCWM Basic Support and Fellowship Dues as part of their mission budgets will have minor changes to their budgets, with these two lines simply combined into a single UCM amount.
Churches having a separate category for Wider Church Support – alongside operating expenses and mission spending – will only need to combine Fellowship Dues and OCWM into UCM.
Churches that have unified budgets (i.e., members make a single pledge to the church and then the church determines the amount given as mission spending), where Fellowship Dues are currently in the operating portion of the budget, may simply move this amount to the mission spending category. (This will more accurately represent the level of mission giving and increase the mission spending percentage of the overall budget.)
Churches with a split pledge (i.e., members make separate pledges to operating budget and mission budget) have two options. We strongly recommend a transfer to the mission fund of an amount equivalent to the old Fellowship Dues, making no change to the budget bottom line and providing the funds needed for all mission spending. An alternative – not recommended – would be to continue to confine mission spending to the amount pledged by members, freeing up funds in the operating budget for other projects but forcing decreased mission spending to maintain support for wider church mission
Churches That Ask Members to Contribute to Fellowship Dues
Some churches ask members to contribute to Fellowship Dues, income that is relied upon to help them support wider church ministry. It is suggested that such churches continue to invite these gifts, but instead of asking people to “pay their dues,” ask them to support United Church Mission by making an extra designated gift. Church leaders are encouraged to inform their congregations about how the work of the wider church supports their church and other churches, and changes lives. Then, explain how UCM replaces Fellowship Dues and OCWM. Finally, invite special gifts to United Church Mission. Churches may want to use the same suggested amount as they currently do with Fellowship Dues or perhaps encourage a higher level of giving.
Following is a narrated slideshow of the budgetary considerations churches need to make when changing to United Church Mission:
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