Our Church’s Wider Mission

“You crown the year with your bounty; your wagon tracks overflow with abundance.”

– Psalm 65:11

Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

When I began as your Conference Minister in 2021, I chose the Scripture passage above as the anchor for the vision we are building together as the South Central Conference of the the United Church of Christ. Over the past several years we have steadily lived into that vision, working through challenges along the way, and now we are on the cusp of what this new reality can mean for our clergy, our congregations, and the communities we’re called to serve!

These past two years I’ve also invited our congregations to “pick 3” areas of ministry and focus your energies on them:

  • Strengthen one aspect of worship, care, or discipleship within your congregation
  • Expand a ministry within your local community that positively impacts lives
  • Increase investment in a ministry or mission beyond your local community

To help your congregation identify and live into these areas, I’ve enclosed with this letter a personalized analysis of your mission field — and would welcome the opportunity to discuss what it means, why to utilize the data, and how to make an impact with it at your invitation for a Zoom or in-person conversation in the coming months!

As we enter into stewardship season, I invite you to live into an additional challenge, an initiative of the Conference called “The Big 3.” Just as we strive to live into three areas of focus in our congregations, the Conference is striving to do the same, and that is possible because of your ongoing support of Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM). Here’s how “The Big 3” will be lived out in 2024 in the South Central Conference:

  • Strengthen our relationships through the launch of new regional outdoor ministry sites for youth and quarterly regional visits to unpack, discern, and experiment with evangelism strategies with clergy and laity built on the report enclosed with this letter
  • Expand our footprint across Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi through direct investment in new church starts and revitalization grants for congregations engaged in evangelism projects with clearly articulated goals and benchmarks for growth
  • Increase our investment in the growth of our clergy through Scholarships and the upcoming Clergy Leadership Academy capital campaign, both launching in fall 2024

So I invite you congregation now, in this season of preparation for the new year to step out in faith and commit to Our Church’s Wider Mission, as well as to consider electing to make your 2024 contributions monthly via ACH transaction. If you are able to make that commitment, our Business Manager will reach out to your Treasurer to make the necessary arrangements.

Simply click here to fill out your 2024 OCWM Commitment Card online

Your participation will greatly help the Conference as we reorganize our work to live into the abundance of new possibilities God has placed before us. Our work is more effective because we do it together.


Rev. Phil Hodson
Conference Minister

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