From the Worldwide Faith News archives

United Methodist conferences increase apportioned giving

Date 13 Feb 2001 14:12:33

Feb. 13, 2001  News media contact: Joretta Purdue ·(202) 546-8722·Washington

By United Methodist News Service

When the books were closed on United Methodist giving to churchwide mission
and ministry for the year 2000, the denomination's apportioned funds had
increased by several measures - an achievement that resulted in part from 16
annual conferences giving 100 percent of the amount asked.

Apportioned funds - by definition those for which specific amounts are asked
of each conference - were up 3 percent, or $3.3 million, over the preceding

The $112.3 million given to the apportioned funds was 91 percent of the goal
set for the year by the denomination's highest legislative body, the General
Conference. In 1999, comparable giving had been 90 percent of a goal that
was about 2 percent smaller than the 2000 target. 

The largest of the eight apportioned funds is World Service, which supports
the mission of the church through the United Methodist general agencies.
Four outreach funds support specific ministries, such as Africa University
and ministerial education. The remaining funds are for administration and
include supporting the bishops, General Conference and interdenominational

The 16 of the church's 65 annual conferences that paid all of their
apportionments were Baltimore-Washington, Central Pennsylvania, Central
Texas, Desert Southwest, Illinois Great Rivers, Kansas West, Minnesota,
North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma Indian Missionary,
Peninsula-Delaware, Red Bird Missionary, South Indiana, West Michigan,
Western Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In addition, the autonomous Methodist Church of Puerto Rico paid 100 percent
of its voluntary financial commitment.

"It is always gratifying to see annual conferences continue unbroken records
of 100 percent support of the general funds," said Sandra Kelley Lackore,
treasurer of the denomination and chief executive of the General Council on
Finance and Administration (GCFA) in Evanston, Ill.

She observed that Red Bird Missionary has paid 100 percent yearly for two
decades. Peninsula-Delaware Annual Conference has contributed 100 percent
since 1986, and Wisconsin has done the same since 1989.

"Throughout this past quadrennium, we have been able to celebrate yearly the
addition of new annual conferences attaining the 100 percent level," Lackore
said. She cited the Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference, which paid 100
percent of its apportionments for the first time in 2000. "The effort of the
local churches providing this financial support is applauded."  

The West Ohio Conference increased its support of the churchwide funds by
more than 10 percent in 2000, resulting in a first-time 100 percent payment
of its World Service apportionment.

"There was a real effort on the part of local church and conference
leadership in West Ohio to affirm and value financial support of general
church ministry and mission. That renewed energy resulted in solid growth in
giving," said Bishop Bruce Ough, who leads the conference.

West Ohio paid 93.48 percent of all of its apportionments, compared with 78
percent in 1996. Ough explained that the conference council on finance and
administration established a goal of reaching 100 percent of West Ohio's
World Service apportionment as a first step toward 100 percent payment of
all funds.  

Along with West Ohio, five other conferences paid 100 percent of their 2000
World Service apportionments: Detroit, Kansas East, Rio Grande, Troy and

"The leadership of our bishops, conference treasurers, council on finance
and administration presidents, General Conference delegates and others to
meet the financial commitments made at General Conference is showing up in
the receipts from the annual conferences," Lackore said.

The North Georgia, North Texas, Western North Carolina and Virginia annual
conferences all paid more than 95 percent of their 2000 apportionments. 

Five conferences increased the percentage of their apportionments paid by
more than 5 percentage points, compared to the previous year. They were
Alaska Missionary (13.05 percent), California-Nevada (7.15 percent), Eastern
Pennsylvania (7.79 percent), Western Pennsylvania (7.0 percent) and West
Ohio (10.28 percent).
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United Methodist News Service
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