2017 Apportionments – What a Difference a 13th Month Could Make

by | Jan 13, 2018 | East District Newsletter, Apportionments, North District Newsletter, South District Newsletter, West District Newsletter

By Randy Bowman, Conference Treasurer

When we think of God’s generosity it seems to stir our own generosity. As we look to the coming year, might each of us consider making a generous and extra gift to our church in 2018? 2017 was a challenging year financially for many of our churches, and it would help not only our churches but all of us as individual followers of Christ if we can do something extra and generous.

One suggestion that was made to parishioners at First UMC of Phoenix this past month was for them to consider making a year-end donation of a thirteenth month of their monthly giving. So, if they gave $200 per month to the church, they were asked to make a Christmas gift of $200 over and beyond their December regular offering.

The response at First UMC of Phoenix was excellent, and I imagine there would be good results at other churches as well. People yearn to give to something that makes a difference, that can change lives. We see that over and over again in our faithful response to natural disasters. It’s hard for me to imagine many things that can have a greater impact on lives than the Church.

So what if we asked all of our own parishioners to add a 13th month to the calendar in 2018? We may not be able to do that literally, but we could figuratively. Given the outstanding market returns the past two years, many people may be able to accomplish a 13th month gift by using just a small portion of their increased wealth. It certainly won’t work for everyone, but it might for many. And imagine what great ministry we could do, what lives we could change with a 13th month.

Now on to our year-end apportionment numbers for 2017, which are shown in the following graph:

For 2017, our churches contributed 85.3% of their apportionments. As you can see from the detailed report, this was 0.1% below last year and 2.9% below our average apportionment contributions for the last ten years. A summary of percentages paid by district follows:

Click here to find the detailed December report.

We appreciate the sacrifices made by all of our churches and congratulate the 71% of them that were able to contribute 100% or more of their apportionments in 2017. This was down from 73% in 2016.

Remember that apportionments are a way to look and give beyond just ourselves. We hope that all churches are able to contribute apportionments as fully as possible in 2018. 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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