OCWM Bulletins and Newsletters Feed
What is Our Church's Wider Mission, or OCWM?
Our Church’s Wider Mission is a way for local churches of the United Church of Christ to help carry out God’s mission here in Hawai’i, across the United States and around the globe. Our gifts to OCWM multiply the power of each local church to change lives and transform the world.
Below are some examples of how OCWM is making an impact. Feel free to reprint these in newsletters and bulletins to help your church share the message of the importance of Our Church’s Wider Mission. And check back often for new stories and ideas.
National Youth Event
An estimated forty youth from Hawai‘i will join more than three thousand youth from across the country at the 2016 National Youth Event (NYE) in Orlando, Florida, July 26-30. Held every four years, the NYE is the United Church of Christ's largest, most inspirational gathering of youth. This year's event promises to be a magical week of Disney-inspired workshops, social justice activities, keynote speakers, worship, and community. Learn more at www.ucc.org/nye. Gifts from Our Church’s Wider Mission fund the event, but also directly support youth who attend.
The Friend, Coconut Wireless, and UC News
Did you know that gifts made to Our Church's Wider Mission support the oldest newspaper west of the Rocky Mountains? For 171 years, The Friend has been a monthly publication of the Hawai‘i Conference UCC, reflecting major happenings in the Conference and beyond since 1843. Other media sponsored by OCWM include the Coconut Wireless—a weekly newsletter of what is happening in and around Hawai‘i Conference churches—and the national UCC setting's United Church News, which reports on UCC affairs nationwide. OCWM helps our congregations stay abreast of all things Hawai‘i Conference and beyond!
For the past several years, Hawai’i Conference clergy have been gathering in Kailua-Kona for an annual retreat. These clergy retreats have brought in speakers to address important issues that affect our churches and pastors. The focus of the 2015 retreat, which was led by seminary professors and UCC national staff, was "Christian Theology of World Religions." More than forty authorized ministers from the UCC and other denominations participated in the event. In addition to support from Our Church's Wider Mission and the sponsorship of the Hawai‘i Island Association that make this retreat possible every year, Christian Investment Grants, which are also funded by OCWM, have provided scholarships to some participants for travel needs.
When the Hawai‘i Conference moved its offices from Craigside Place to nearby Nu‘uanu Avenue, the empty space did not go unused. Instead, Honolulu's newest retirement community, 15 Craigside, emerged from a partnership between the United Church of Christ and Arcadia Family of Companies thanks to funds received from Our Church's Wider Mission. Owned and managed by the Hawai‘i Conference Foundation, the 48-unit building offers residents access to healthcare services, meals, personal assistance, 24-hour security, housekeeping and convenience services, and numerous programs and entertainment. Arcadia is Hawai‘i's only nationally accredited continuing care retirement community, helping people live their golden years to the fullest in a place with a name they can trust.
For over forty years, the UCC’s Child Sponsorship Program has provided food, basic health care, clothing, and, in some cases, housing, school fees, uniforms, books, and training opportunities to poor and destitute children in Asia, Africa, the Caribbean, the Middle East, and Europe. One child at a time, this Global Ministries program is making a positive difference through its fifteen centers reaching out to 900 children across the world. Because gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission cover administrative costs for the Child Sponsorship Program, 100% of donations from sponsors go directly to meet children’s needs.
Stillspeaking Daily Devotional
God is still speaking, and one way God’s voice is heard is through the United Church of Christ’s Stillspeaking Daily Devotional. Every day 30,000 messages sent to inboxes inspire and offer thoughts for contemplation. Written by UCC pastors and prominent Christian educators, the short scripture-based reflections touch on important and timely topics relevant to readers of most ages. Funded by Our Church’s Wider Mission, the Stillspeaking devotionals are available free of charge at .
Church Leaders Event
Leadership is critical to church vitality, and no event in the Hawai’i Conference United Church of Christ promotes this more than the annual Church Leaders Event. More than a hundred people from five islands and 34 churches attended last year’s Church Leaders Event at Nu’uanu Congregational Church. The occasion brings together moderators, treasurers, committee chairs, youth leaders, clergy, and other church leaders for a day of networking and education. Sponsored by Our Church’s Wider Mission, the Church Leaders Event helps the UCC plan and implement a better future for our churches and congregations.
Anil Henry, Medical Missionary
When Anil Henry, a medical doctor from Brookmeade Congregational Church in Nashville, Tennessee, first arrived as a missionary at Christian Hospital in Mungeli, India, he found a darkened campus, windows without screens, and snakes and mosquitoes everywhere. Over time, he acquired beds and medical equipment. Today he performs up to twenty surgeries a day, and the hospital cares for more than 43,000 outpatients a year. He says, “We are making change slowly but surely through the blessings that we receive. We are thankful for what this hospital is able to do and the witness that we are able to give to the people around Mungeli by showing them God’s love through service.” Anil’s appointment is supported by gifts to Our Church’s Wider Mission and One Great Hour of Sharing.