I recently read a book entitled “Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down” by Ida Keeling. Ida was born in 1915, lived through the Great Depression and many years after that in Harlem housing projects. She was an active member of the civil rights movement in the 1960s and saw the best and worst of humanity during that time. Ida suffered the heartbreak of having her two sons murdered in the 1970s with no one to answer for their deaths. She relied on her strong Christian faith to get her through. Her faith and running. Miss Ida began running at age 67 and hasn’t looked back, setting numerous world records in the 90-99 and 100+ age groups. She continues to be active today at age 103.
Many things struck me about Ida’s life – her determination, her commitment to family, her faith. And her sense of being connected. Read these two excerpts. The first comes from her involvement in the civil rights movement, the second from her running later in life.
“… I liked the calm Malcolm who came back after his realization that there was more kindness in the world than hatred. I underwent a similar change…I was different and I knew that I saw the world differently. It was a much more balanced view of how we are all connected as human beings. I think that is what happened to Malcolm.”
“Loss in life is certainly not new. Loss as human beings goes with the territory of traveling life’s journey. Still, there are some losses that can break the spirit. There are losses that rob one of the will to live, scramble the mind and emotions, or produce a depressed stupor that becomes a safe haven for enduring grief. For me, my tremendous faith in God and running, running, and more running keeps me connected, active, and I hope, serves as a foundation to inspire others.” (Keeling, 2008)
This feeling of being connected is essential to Ida, as it is important to all of us. And I continue to believe that apportionment giving is one of the best ways that we remain connected to each other in The United Methodist Church. So thank you for supporting all of the connected ministries accomplished through apportionment giving.
August’s apportionment receipts declined slightly, the second consecutive month of decline. For the first eight months of 2018, our churches contributed 53.4% of their apportionments.
As you can see from the detailed report, this was 0.5% above last year and 0.6% above our average apportionment contributions through August 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 four months of 2018.
Thank you all for your commitment; it truly provides the financial stability for our connectional programs to work. Click here to download this month’s report.
Video stories about our connected ministries made possible by Apportionment giving are available at www.dscumc.org/apportionments. Watch, share, or download the first of three videos of the amazing ministry in the Desert Southwest Conference! Does your church have a unique story of a courageous Church ministry at work? Contact DSCUMC Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeling, I. (2018). Can’t Nothing Bring Me Down. Zondervan.