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Our First Priority in Mission Giving

by | Jan 23, 2018 | Apportionments, East District Newsletter, East District Web Page

Dear Friends,

January 15th has come and gone. For those who don’t know the significance of that date, it was the date when all 2017 apportionments needed to be in to the Conference Office. I am excited to share with you that our District increased over what we were able to do in 2016. Eight of our churches increased significantly what they were able to contribute. Twenty five of our churches were able to provide full apportionment support. Four of our churches experienced a financial challenge that caused a decrease in giving. In an up and down year, your commitment to the connectional system is evident. Thank you!

I was with Bishop Bob Hoshibata in worship at one of our churches as he spoke about apportionments being A Portion Meant for Others. His deep Biblical and theological understanding of giving to God’s work was evident in his words. In the Book of Discipline ¶247.14 we read this statement: Payment in full of these apportionments by local churches is the first benevolent responsibility of the church (¶812).

The United Methodist Church is a connectional church. When we all hold hands through apportioned giving we are able to engage in ministry throughout the world. It is our way of living into John Wesley’s belief that “the world is my parish.” Together we are able to do far more than any of us could do alone. So let me say again, thank you for your commitment to the connectional system.

I was browsing through the Book of Discipline (I know, sounds like fun!) and found the words below. They call me to reaffirm my belief in the power and purpose of The United Methodist Church which believes in a strong connection. I invite you to read these words. Perhaps you may want to use them as part of your worship service the next time you talk about our connection and how apportionments play an important part in that connection.

I give thanks this day, for you, for our churches, and for all that we are able to accomplish together through apportioned giving – our first priority in missional giving.

May God bless you. You are a Courageous Church: Loving like Jesus, Acting for Justice and United in Hope.

From ¶125 of the 2016 Book of Discipline:

In covenant with God and with each other:
       We affirm our unity in Christ, and take faithful steps to live more fully into what it means to be a worldwide church in mission for the transformation of the world.
We commit ourselves to crossing boundaries of language, culture, and social or economic status. We commit ourselves to be in ministry with all people, as we, in faithfulness to the gospel, seek to grow in mutual love and trust.
We participate in God’s mission as partners in ministry, recognizing that our God-given gifts, experiences, and resources are of equal value, whether spiritual, financial, or missional.
We commit ourselves to full equity and accountability in our relationships, structures, and responsibilities for the denomination.
We enter afresh into a relationship of mutuality, creating a new sense of community and joyously living out our worldwide connection in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

A Companion Litany to Our Covenant for the Worldwide United Methodist Church
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we affirm our unity in Christ.
People: We will take faithful steps to live as a worldwide church in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we commit ourselves to be in ministry with all people.
People: In faithfulness to the gospel, we will cross boundaries of language, culture, social or economic status as we grow in mutual love and trust.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we participate in God’s mission as partners in ministry.
People: We share our God-given gifts, experiences, and resources recognizing that they are of equal value, whether spiritual, financial, or missional.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we commit ourselves to full equality.
People: We uphold equity and accountability in our relationships, structures, and responsibilities for the denomination.
Leader: In covenant with God and each other, we enter afresh into a relationship of mutuality.
People: With God’s grace, we joyfully live out our world-wide connection in our mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

N Susan Brims Signature

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