From the Worldwide Faith News archives

United Methodists give $10.4 million in response to Sept. 11

From NewsDesk <NewsDesk@UMCOM.ORG>
Date Thu, 13 Dec 2001 14:49:01 -0600

Dec. 13, 2001       News media contact: Joretta Purdue7(202)
546-87227Washington     10-21-71B{578}

By United Methodist News Service

United Methodists have given more than $10 million to the church's special
offering in response to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

More than $6.4 million was raised in November alone for the special fund. By
the end of November, gifts to the "Love in the Midst of Tragedy" fund
totaled $10.4 million. The church's response to the attacks is being
channeled through the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the
denomination's relief and development agency.

"When there is a need, United Methodists respond," said Sandra Kelley
Lackore, treasurer of the church and staff head of its General Council on
Finance and Administration (GCFA) in Evanston, Ill.

 From the time of the attacks, local churches in New York, the Washington
offer food and water, comfort and child care, and counseling and practical
area and central Pennsylvania have opened their doors and reached out to
aid, such as help in filling out claim forms for assistance from various

At the same time, UMCOR has provided relief at local, national and
international levels. UMCOR officials have committed to developing a three-
to five-year comprehensive response plan by January.

Contributions to the "Love in the Midst of Tragedy," as part of the
denomination's general Advance special gifts program, are not subject to
administrative or fund-raising costs. Such expenses are covered by the
church structure, so 100 percent of Advance special donations go to the
designated cause. By the end of November, UMCOR had received a total of
$22.3 million through general Advance specials, including "Love in the Midst
of Tragedy." 

In addition, Advance specials to other mission program areas totaled $13.2
million. Almost $1 million had come in for bishops' appeals. 

Together, these three areas of Advance specials had received nearly $36.4

"Giving has nothing to do with recessions or with downturns in investment
portfolios," Lackore commented. "It has everything to do with gratitude and
compassion. When United Methodists are excited about what we are doing, they

Other figures released Dec. 13 by Lackore and the GCFA support her
contention. More than $79.6 million had been received for the church's seven
apportioned funds, which do not include Advance specials. The 2001 figure is
almost $2 million or 2.6 percent greater than the comparable amount in 2000.

At the end of November, giving to apportioned funds - which are supported by
each annual (regional) conference by formula - stood at 62.6 percent of the
annual apportionment. This was almost the same percentage - 63 percent - in
2000, despite General Conference's approval of an increase in the budget for
this year. General Conference is the church's top legislative assembly.

Giving to six special Sunday offerings amounted to $5 million, up 7.8
percent over last year. 

Combined churchwide giving to the apportioned funds, special Sunday
offerings, general Advance specials and other outreach funds totaled $121.6
million, an amount that generally represents about 4 percent of the church
contributions of United Methodists. Much of their giving is used in
operating their local churches and for local and regional ministries of

"When people see that their giving changes lives, they faithfully respond,"
Lackore said. 

UMCOR continues to accept donations to Advance No. 901125-3, "Love in the
Midst of Tragedy." Checks so designated may be place in church collection
plates or mailed to UMCOR at 475 Riverside Dr., Room 330, New York, NY
10115. Credit-card contributions can be made by calling (800) 554-8583.

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United Methodist News Service
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