A few weeks ago I had the chance to sit down and catch up with an old friend. Betty Mathis has been the Executive Director of Wesley Community and Health Centers for the past 24 years, one of the great urban ministries that your apportionment contributions help support.
Betty shared some of the amazing history of Wesley. They started in 1950 when the Women’s Division of The United Methodist Church acquired their south Phoenix property and operated on a volunteer basis for many years. In 1994 they had 4 employees. Today they have grown to the point where they have 73 employees to provide all of the great services at their two campuses in south Phoenix and Maryvale.
The Wesley Community Center programs provide opportunities for personal and social growth within the respective community areas. These programs help improve and enhance the neighborhood resident’s quality of life. Programs like “After School – Strong Youth Strong Community,” Neighborhood Revitalization, Nutrition, Adult Education, and Financial Literacy programs offer opportunities for the population they serve to grow and improve. They have strong partnerships with business and community organizations that help us serve local families and members of the community.
The Wesley Health Centers offer an array of primary care services for the whole family, including primary care for children and adults. They also offer pregnancy and mental health services. As a delegate agency of the Arizona Family Health Partnership, Wesley provides free and low-cost family planning services. Wesley also provides health education and nutrition counseling.
I am proud of the support that all of you provide to Wesley Community and Health Centers through your apportionment contributions. And they are just one of the urban ministries that help change lives in our Conference. UMOM, Justa Center, and TMM Family Services, among others, do equally great work. So thank you for supporting these important ministries.
Those are some of the stories. Now for the numbers. Our year-to-date apportionment contributions through July are shown in the following graph:
July’s apportionment receipts declined for the first time all year. For the first 7 months of 2018, our churches contributed 47.5% of their apportionments. As you can see from the detailed report, this was 0.4% above last year and 0.7% above our average apportionment contributions through July for the last ten years. The North and South districts showed improvement from last year. The West and East Districts were down. At this rate, we project an overall year-end apportionment contribution percentage of 85%-87%.
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 5 months of 2018.
Thank you all for your commitment; it truly provides the financial stability for our connectional programs to work.
Visit www.dscumc.org/apportionments to find the previous month’s reports.