Greetings. It is an honor for me to take this opportunity to address you through this blog. In my role as Chief Financial Officer, I get to see how the people of The United Methodist Church show their support of the Church’s ministry from a different perspective than most people – I get to see how we financially support making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
While there are lots of statistics available on the finances of the Church, I want to share a few impressions I have of the financial impact that supporters of United Methodist ministries have made and how it affects our ministries.
As a connectional denomination, United Methodist church give generously to the seven general Church apportioned funds. As a result, these gifts support ministries around the world We believe these gifts are based in scripture. I am reminded of 1 Peter 4:10 as I see the generosity of members in this area. For 2016:
- Total apportionment collections exceeded 2015 by eight-hundred thousand dollars.
- The collection rate of apportioned funds is 91.8% and surpasses the 2015 rate of 91.6%. This is the highest collection rate in at least the last 20 years.
- The collection rate for six of the seven funds increased compared to 2015.
- The highest collection rate was for Africa University at 94.8% followed by the Episcopal Fund at 93.3%
- A record twenty-seven Annual Conferences paid 100% of their apportionments.
Another of our roles is to responsibly invest funds given to the Church. The short term investment pool managed by GCFA earned just over 4% in 2016. The average return of the previous 7 years was 2.1%. The impact this will have on the ability of the general boards and agencies to serve the connection through its ministry provided $1.5 million in additional earnings on investment returns in 2016 compared the previous years’ average.
Generosity of The United Methodist Church
What does all this mean? The story really isn’t about the dollars. The story is about what those dollars do for our schools and universities, for our missionaries, our lay and clergy leadership and more. The results of financial impact shared here on this blog, paint a great picture of hope for The United Methodist Church. It is a very strong example of how, when we work together and support our ministries – and one way is through our finances – great things happen. The generosity of United Methodists is measurable – not only in dollars, but also in the good that is done around the world because of those dollars.