As members of the United Church of Christ, Immanuel UCC affirms our covenantal relationship with the larger church body. The United Church of Christ works through Global Ministries to receive and share the good news of Jesus Christ by joining with global and local partners to work for justice, reconciliation, and peace. In addition, Immanuel participates in Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) and special offerings of the UCC which include Neighbors In Need, Strengthen the Church, Christmas Fund, and One Great Hour of Sharing. We continue to encourage giving to disaster response initiatives which supports immediate needs of those effected and also the ongoing rebuilding process.
Immanuel is committed to supporting the various settings and affiliate partners of the United church of Christ.
Meeting every two years, elected clergy and laypersons from across the nation meet to form The General Synod. It is the national decision-making body, responsible for giving general direction to the evangelistic, missionary, and justice programs of the UCC. Because in the UCC each church holds the power for making its own decisions, any decisions made by the Synod are not binding upon the UCC’s congregations (or its associations or conferences). Though, the national offices and the UCC’s Constitution and Bylaws expect serious consideration to be given to them.
The mission work of the National Church is supported through special offerings from local congregations. They are:
- One Great Hour of Sharing A special mission offering provides disaster, refugee/immigration, and development ministries throughout the world. When a disaster strikes or people are displaced or made refugees by violence or extreme poverty, OGHS is part of the immediate response and of the long-term recovery.
- The Christmas Fund provides relief for those who gave service to the church and are now need support either in their retirement or special circumstance.
- Strengthen the Church supports youth ministries and full-time leaders for new churches in parts of the country where the UCC does not have a strong presence. It also provides support for the existing church’s new initiatives.
- Neighbors in Need supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States and direct service projects supported by Justice and Local Church Ministries.
Our Churches Wider Mission provides the basic support to conduct the everyday business of the National Church as well as to support those special ministers who speak for the church on the national scene. OCWM supports not only the national church activities but also those of the Pennsylvania Southeast Conference.
Headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio, the national church offices provide help and support to every area of the United Church of Christ. This support takes many forms including The Pension Board which provides assistance to churches in managing employee benefits, retirement accounts, training future church leaders, and assisting existing leaders with educational debt. United Church Funds offers socially responsible investment funds designed to help faith-based organizations grow and preserve their financial legacies.
Pennsylvania Southeast Conference (PSEC)
Consisting of over one hundred and fifty churches and over 40,000 members, the PSEC is a unique blend of congregations, some that stem from the colonial foundations of our nation, to new ethnic and multicultural congregations that have become part of the UCC in recent years.
The mission of the PSEC is to: encourage local churches toward new and renewed ministries; nurturing strong pastoral and lay leadership while celebrating and developing the God-given gifts of all members; provide new opportunities for worship, Christian education, stewardship, evangelism, and Christian witness; affirm the ecumenical unity and inclusiveness of Christ’s Church; commit to the struggle for justice, mercy, and peace while praying for the healing of all that separates us from God’s love.
The Covenant Association consists of over fifty churches spread across Berks County. The Association has the responsibility of reviewing the credentials of clergy to ensure that they are in good standing and to oversee the professional pathway of Members in Discernment (students who seek to be clergy).