By Randy Bowman, Conference Treasurer

Apportionments truly are one of the most connectional parts of our church.  They allow us to do much more together than we could ever do on our own.  They support ministry beyond our own congregation, beyond our own community, beyond our own conference, beyond our own country, and throughout the world.  One of the best examples of this global ministry effort is Africa University.

Throughout 2017, Africa University will focus on the future and the past as it celebrates its 25th anniversary.  The vision came alive in 1988 when United Methodists voted to establish the institution.  It is still powerful and relevant.  “Africa University is equipping current and future leaders of Africa to be hope, however and wherever hope is needed,” says Bishop Marcus Matthews, interim chair of the Africa University Board of Directors and executive secretary of the Council of Bishops.

Located in Zimbabwe, Africa University currently serves nearly 1,400 students from 25 African countries.  Offering several degree programs in three different colleges, Africa University truly plays a significant role in developing future leaders across the African continent.  What greater definition of ministry could there be?

Through your apportionment contributions, our Conference has been able to support Africa University through 100% apportionment payments year after year.  And we are proud to do so.  We are grateful to all of you for supporting Africa University and all of our connectional ministries through your faithful and generous apportionment contributions.

Now, for those who want numbers, our year-to-date apportionment contributions through May are shown in the following graph:

Apportionments graph through May 2017

For the first 5 months of 2017, our churches contributed 34.3% of their apportionments. As you can see from the detailed report, this was 0.6% above last year and 0.2% above our average apportionment contributions through May for the last ten years. At this rate, we project an overall year-end apportionment contribution percentage of 86%-88%.

Remember that apportionments are a way to look beyond just ourselves.  Please do all that you can to help our churches and our ministries continue to change lives by contributing apportionments as fully as possible in the last 7 months of 2017.

Resources to help you succeed.

Are you looking for ways to incorporate stewardship principles and practices in your ministry with children, youth, and adults? Rosanna Anderson presents a curated collection of current resources to encourage generosity across the generations in this recording of this past summer’s webinar Stewardship Education: Learning to Live Generously. Discover tools to help your church draw closer together to talk about shared values and be inspired to reach out to neighbors as disciples of Christ. Check out the recording of her webinar here.

Find the most recent Desert Southwest Conference Apportionments report through May  2017 at https://dscumc.org/apportionments.

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