Apportionments and Church Giving
One of the unique and defining factors of the United Methodist Church is that we are Connectional. One way we show this connection is through our apportionments.
Apportioned giving is a term which describes how the money you give to your church each week is divided and distributed throughout the United Methodist Church. Through your support of apportioned giving, we are able to participate in the ministry and mission of the United Methodist Church both locally and around the world.
Apportionments are fuel for ministry.
Apportionments are fuel for ministry. They enable us to share the concerns of many people.
When we work together as God’s children and combine our giving, we are able to see the word ‘apportionment’ not as a constricting budget item but as a means of bringing God’s grace into our churches, our conference, and beyond.
When you give to your local United Methodist Church, your giving is divided into many pieces, and travels to many different places. It generally goes to support three significant areas: your church, the General and Jurisdictional Church Funds, and the ministries of the Detroit Annual Conference.
Why pay apportionments?
Jesus is recorded in the Bible as saying in a variety of ways that the first shall be last and the last shall be first. The apportionment process encourages local churches to become involved in ministries to the least and the last, through ministries that extend beyond the local church.
Another term used for apportionments is “missional giving” This term may be closer to true the meaning of the concept, and reminds us of the powerful fact that much of the “missional giving”—retirement homes, children’s homes, colleges, camping ministry, evangelism, and retiree support— come through our local churches. It’s difficult to imagine any one church that could do all this for our conference by itself.
Consider the following benefits of apportionments:
Our congregation’s apportionments help pay the cost for our United Methodist colleges and universities, with the hope that our students will become better educated and perhaps become faithful pastors and leaders within our churches. That’s missional giving!
Our apportionments help to afford care and support for children with AIDS, and to speak out against violence in the Middle East that is creating a new generation of orphans. Our apportionments are paying for teachers, pastors, and missionaries around the world—in Russia, Korea, and Africa, to name a few. The United Methodist Church is the only Protestant denomination allowed to maintain a permanent presence in Russia. That’s missional giving!
Africa and Korea are the fastest growing Christian communities in the world and the United Methodist Church has an active and visible presence in both of those locations. Our funds to the World Methodist Council have made it possible for Wesleyan churches to be established in 132 countries. That’s missional giving!
United Methodists gave $20.8 million to support victims of the 9/11 attacks. The funds raised for Hurricane Katrina relief have aided 120,000 families. The 2004 tsunami relief effort was the largest ever by the United Methodist Church. That’s missional giving!
When Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, FEMA realized that they were not prepared to deal with the on going process. They asked (first time in history) UMCOR to take over operations in Alabama because the United Methodist Church was the only denomination with the structure and resources to take on the task. That’s missional giving!