When We All Get TOGETHER …

Together We Can

First Quarter Giving

The title of this blog is a paraphrase of the familiar song we sing, but the idea is the same. I was reminded of that song title as I looked through our giving trends for the first quarter of 2017.

This is the first year for the Central Conferences to contribute to apportionments in a formal way.  Work of the leadership in the Central Conferences, the Economic Advisory Committee, the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters and others helped us get to this point. Their work developed a formula that is being used this quadrennium to fully engage Central Conferences in general Church apportioned giving.  Developing this formula honors the tradition of many conferences outside the US that informally participated prior to this year.

We have started the year with great participation. Through March, the collections are 13.1% of the full year’s apportionment.  This rate is comparable to that in the U.S. and is a great beginning to this new process.  Globally, Special Sunday collections are 6.8% higher than last year thanks to the generous giving of our members on World Communion Sunday.

Apportionment Giving

Apportionment collections through March are $1.1 million, or 6.4%, higher than the same period last year.  We recognize that for many members, local churches, and annual conferences connectional giving is a priority even if locally finances are tight.

It is apparent that many recognize the value of “getting together” to support global ministries to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world in all the ways that we do this in The United Methodist Church. The evidence proves that the people of The United Methodist Church are committed to giving to supporting global ministries.

Each of the seven funds shows increased collections compared to last year. The overall collection rate through March is 12.4% compared to 11.9% a year ago. The highest collection rate is Africa University at 15.1% with its collection up 10%!  With over 6,000 alumni, this funding will provide an education for many more people in Africa.  It also demonstrates the importance of this mission to all United Methodists.

Other funds that show increases above 10% are the Black College Fund and the General Administration Fund.

All of these trends demonstrate the generosity and commitment to God’s mission by those in The United Methodist Church. When we all come TOGETHER for the benefit of the global ministries of the denomination, great things happen for those whom we serve.  Thank you for your faithful witness of fruitful giving.

Rick King

Chief Financial Officer

The General Council on Finance and Administration of The United Methodist Church

1 Doughnut, Numerous Savings

Doughnuts

 

What would you do to keep the doughnuts in your church every Sunday? When the finance committee had to cut the church’s doughnuts, Monte Chamberlin had seen enough budget cuts to last a life time. When the committee adjourned, Monte set out to save the cherished Sunday morning doughnuts—which served as a time of fellowship, sharing and caring. What he found was a way to leverage a coalition of churches to buy 200,000 doughnuts annually and reduce the church’s total expenses. Because of a doughnut, Monte founded Cost Stewardship, a company that finds abandoned or unknown refunds available from government agencies and utility providers.

Read more

Denominational Data

Denominational Data

Gathering Denominational Data

The annual gathering and compilation of United Methodist church statistics requires the assistance of numerous people across the connection. We are deeply appreciative of those persons and their efforts. Our gratitude goes out to the pastors and other local church leaders who give their time and effort to complete the Annual Statistical Reports. Their attention to detail makes it possible to publish an accurate resource of United Methodist Church Data.

We are also thankful for all the annual conference secretaries, statisticians and treasurers for collecting and submitting the information for their annual conferences. The denomination-wide collection of this data would not be possible without their administrative ministries.

The assistance of all these people makes UMData.org possible. Through their faithful and efficient work, UMData provides appointment information and statistical history of local churches, annual conferences, and jurisdictions. A sincere and heartfelt thank you to United Methodist employees who collect, vet and combine the voluminous information that makes United Methodist Data so readily available.

God bless you and may He continue to guide your work.

Ministry of Hospitality

Ministry of Hospitality

UMCmarket.com can help support ministries in the most unlikely places. In the respected halls of academia, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee wafts from the office of the Wesley Foundation at Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU), in Murfreesboro, TN. This smell of coffee helps to usher students into a ministry of hospitality.

When the MTSU Wesley Foundation meets, it is able to provide not only holy fellowship in the Wesleyan tradition to the students who attend, but also drinks and snacks.

Reverend Tyson Ferguson who oversees the Foundation says, “With the dollars from UMCmarket we are able to purchase fair trade coffee through equal exchange and provide free coffee and tea to students at the MTSU Wesley Foundation on a daily basis. Having drinks and snacks is one way we are able to be a ministry of hospitality to the students, build relationships, and share about their faith journey in a meaningful way.”

By using UMCmarket and designating the MTSU Wesley Foundation as their ministry to support, Reverend Ferguson points out that alumni, friends, and others have an opportunity to provide support in a new and innovative way.

He notes that “Extension ministries, like Wesley Foundations, have to raise funds and programs like the UMCmarket are helpful in keeping mission outreach possible.”

With UMCmarket.org, those who shop online can select from several thousand vetted retailers who offer a percentage-of-the-purchase-donation to a local church or other UM ministry.  Each purchase generates a donation to the ministry.  When several people select that ministry, the donation grows.

“… but whoever gathers money little by little makes it grow.”  Proverbs 13:11b (NIV)