From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Steady growth in United Methodist giving pleases treasurer

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.UMC.ORG>
Date 20 Oct 1998 13:13:01

Oct. 20, 1998	Contact: Joretta Purdue((202)546-8722(Washington

By United Methodist News Service

United Methodists have continued to increase their giving to churchwide
ministries, despite stock market fluctuations and economic uncertainty,
according to the chief executive of the denomination's financial agency.

"The Sept. 30 report reflects a steadiness in the increase of giving,"
reported Sandra Kelley Lackore, general secretary of the General Council
on Finance and Administration (GCFA). "I think steady is a fine place to
be in a year when we've had economic fluctuations."

Receipts for apportionments - the amounts paid by regional bodies to
support the mission and administration of the denomination - have risen
more than 2 percent over the comparable figure for 1997. Income for
these eight apportioned funds totaled almost $57 million on Sept. 30. 

Churches have paid 48.09 percent of the apportionments requested of them
so far this year, representing an improvement from 47.11 percent for the
same period of 1997.

"We have seen improvement in several annual (regional) conferences, most
notably the Iowa Annual Conference, where giving for the first nine
months of the year has increased almost a half million dollars," Lackore

"That turnaround is contributing to a strong showing by the North
Central Jurisdiction," with 51.8 percent of its apportionment paid,
"followed closely by the Southeastern Jurisdiction with 49.9 percent,"
she said. The Southeastern Jurisdiction, the largest of the church's
five U.S. jurisdictions, has contributed the highest amount, more than
$19 million, to the apportioned funds this year.

When remittances for the six churchwide special Sundays with offerings
are added to the apportioned funds, $61.4 million has been given by the
denomination's 8.5 million U.S. members. That represents a 2.88 percent
increase over 1997 figures.

"I'm proud of what United Methodists do," said Lackore, who is also
treasurer of the denomination.

Donations to church-sponsored relief and outreach efforts - which vary
from year to year according to need - were $19.6 million, resulting in a
total of $81 million in giving for churchwide causes during the first
three quarters of 1998.

United Methodist News Service
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