Our apportionment contributions are making a difference in our communities and the world in which God places us to serve. They do this because they represent giving beyond ourselves as individuals, and giving beyond ourselves as individual local churches.
For the past 5 years, I have had the privilege of serving on the Board of Directors for the Los Arcos United Methodist Building Corporation. LAUMBC was created in the early 1970s as an outreach of the former Los Arcos United Methodist Church to provide affordable housing for low-income residents in south Scottsdale, Arizona. That church had the vision and willingness to look beyond themselves and serve a great need in the community. So, even though the church closed several years ago, their outreach lived on through LAUMBC.
In December 2015, LAUMBC sold their affordable housing property and used the sales proceeds to continue the Los Arcos UMC legacy of giving beyond themselves. After an extensive evaluation process, the LAUMBC Board provided grants to 12 organizations that totaled in excess of $5.9 million. Many of these grants went to organizations near and dear to all of our hearts – generally organizations that we all help support through our own apportionment contributions. The list of donee organizations included:
- Coalition for Compassion & Justice
- Imagine No Malaria
- Justa Center
- Mingus Mountain Camp
- Potosi Pines Camp
- St. Mary’s Food Bank
- StreetLight USA
- TMM Family Services
- Trinity Opportunity Alliance
- UMOM New Day Centers
- Wesley Community Center
I found it to be a humbling and rewarding experience to be part of something much bigger than me and my own church. And I feel the same way about all of the great connectional ministries that our apportionments support. I truly feel blessed to be part of the United Methodist Church. I hope you do too.
Now on to our year-end apportionment numbers for 2016. The following graph illustrates the report details that are available on the Apportionments page (click here to view):
Our December 2016 apportionment receipts declined as a result of some financial challenges faced by several of our churches, particularly in the South District. For 2016, our churches contributed 85.4% of their apportionments. Click here to download the detailed report. As you can see from the detailed report, this was 1.6% below last year and 3.6% below our average apportionment contributions for the last ten years.
The West District and East District showed improvement from last year, the North District was down a little, and the South District experienced a significant decline. A summary of percentages paid by district is as follows:
|2016 % Paid||2015 % Paid||Change|
We congratulate the 73% of our churches that were able to contribute 100% or more of their apportionments in 2015. This was down slightly from 76% in 2015.
Remember that apportionments are a way to look and give beyond just ourselves. We hope that all of our churches are able to improve the level of connectional giving and contribute apportionments as fully as possible in 2017. Thank you all for your commitment; it truly provides the financial stability for our connectional programs to work.