Special Donation Primer

The scenes from Texas of Hurricane Ike’s devastation have been terrible. A single home left standing in a town of 200, marinas destroyed, people cooking on gas grills while they wait for the power to come on and children carrying ice from relief trucks. Hubris causes one to stare in disbelief that this is possible in a major city in the United States. But, we have seen it, and worse, before, and we will see it again.

The United Church of Christ has a special fund for hurricane relief to which you may donate at http://www.ucc.org/disaster/ucc-2008-hurricane-response.html. Besides this special offering the UCC supports disaster relief through the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering that we collect each spring.

We support the basic work of the UCC through our church’s annual giving to Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). These funds (5% of our budgeted expenses) pay for the work of the UCC in New York State as well as the national office. Through these funds we support ministerial training and oversight, church development, communications, advocacy and all the other annual programs of the national church.

Another of the special offerings that we collect annually is Neighbors in Need (NIN). This offering, to be taken on October 5 supports justice and peace work of the denomination as well as Native American ministries. These programs help to heal the pain of past injustices and advocate for systems of compassion and care for all God’s creatures.

When we collect special offerings we send 100% of the monies collected to the designated fund. None of these collections supports the church. The congregation pays for its own work through our annual pledges and gifts.

While I’m talking about special offerings, don’t forget the Pennies for Peace effort that will benefit the work of the Central Asia Institute. Bring you pennies to church before November 1.

I did not intend for this note to be a primer on giving when I started writing, but this is where I ended up.

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