Our apportionment contributions are making a difference in our communities and the world in which God places us to serve. One of the ways they do this is by creating an environment of love.

One of the many great ministries supported by apportionments is the Conference camp and retreat ministry. For the second year in a row, both of our camps (Mingus Mountain in Arizona and Potosi Pines in Nevada) will end 2016 solidly in the black from a financial standpoint. More importantly, they are fulfilling their mission from John 10:10 as described in their annual report from last year:

“Camping ministries are a means to help participants experience life to the fullest. At the end of a recent summer camp session one camper captured this by sharing ‘Because of camp I feel physically, mentally, and spiritually refocused and recharged.’ Others shared about the joy, sense of community, and love they experienced as a result of being at camp.”

Photo by Potosi Pines Camp

Dominque Skinner (left) joins one of the campers at Potosi Pines Camp.

One of the most moving stories came from Dominique Skinner, a long-time camper, and counselor at Potosi Pines Camp:

“I volunteer at Camp Potosi because it, very literally, changed my life. I first came to Potosi as a camper at the age of 9. I was in foster care and had been bounced around from home to home. Some of those homes were not nice places and I was left feeling lost and unloved. I am so grateful that my case worker knew of Potosi and she made sure I got to summer camp. There I experienced a powerful love and acceptance, I knew that I belonged. It was on the last night of camp that I found my faith. Even at nine years old, I could feel God’s love and knew that there was a bigger plan for my life. That faith has helped me to stay positive even when life gets hard. Since then I have been dedicated to Potosi and to God.

A few years later my caseworker got me involved in the ‘Counselors 4 Christ’ teen leadership program through Potosi. There I made some great friends, learned valuable leadership skills and was blessed to be able to serve as a counselor for summer camp. I have served in leadership at Potosi for the past 6 years and each time I learn something new from the kids and other staff! I can see now how God has placed me at this camp to help reach out to kids who are struggling like I was. I have been able to love and support so many campers as a counselor. I feel that I can relate to many of their struggles because I have been there.

To me, camp means love. It is a place where is always love no matter what. It is a place where you can more clearly hear God and feel that love. Potosi is the place where I feel the most free; free from technology, free from negativity, and free from worries. I know that I can impact the lives of other campers, just as the staff did (and are still doing) for me. I love Potosi Pines, and I am grateful for the good work that happens there.”

We are grateful to Dominique. And we are grateful to all of you for supporting our camping ministries and supporting love through your faithful and generous apportionment contributions.

These lives changed are what are important. But for those who want numbers, click here to find the year-to-date apportionment contributions through November.

For the first 11 months of 2016, our churches contributed 71.7% of their apportionments. As you can see from the detailed report, this was 2.5% below last year and 2.3% below our average apportionment contributions through November for the last ten years. At this rate, we project an overall year-end apportionment contribution percentage of about 85%, which would be the lowest in our conference’s history and below the 86% average for all UMC conferences across the country.

Apportionments are a way to look beyond 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 month of 2016.

The cut-off for receiving 2016 apportionment contributions is Thursday, January 12, 2017. Please make sure that your final payments are received in the Conference office by that date.

Thank you all for your commitment; it truly provides the financial stability for our connectional programs to work.

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Author: Randy Bowman

Finance and Administration Assistant Treasurer
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