I recently reviewed again The Spirituality of Fund-Raising by Henri Nouwen. This is a very short but powerful book developed from an informal speech the author gave in 1992. The messages still ring true today. The book contains discussions of various topics, including:
- Fund-Raising as Ministry
- Helping the Kingdom Come About
- Our Security Base
- People Who Are Rich
- A New Communion
- Prayer and Gratitude
- Your Kingdom Come
One of my favorite sections is Nouwen’s discussion of money as our security base. He says that we all need to understand our own relationship with money. Money is a central reality of family relationships, as well as our relationships with other people, institutions, and causes beyond family life. Money also reaches into our inner life. “Personal worth” can mean both the extent of our financial assets and our value as a human being.
Conversations about money are often considered taboo – even more so than conversations about politics, religion, or sex. The reason is that money has to do with that intimate place in our heart where we need security. We fear being dependent on others because the idea of that dependence is a threat to our security. So we worry about making sure we always have enough money to be secure. But Jesus knows we cannot place our trust in money or things for security. We must place our trust in God for real security. He is our true security base.
As I reflect on Nouwen’s wisdom, I am once again reminded how grateful I am for all of the faithful givers that realize they are called to make a difference with their time, their abilities, and their money. The same faithful givers that know that Jesus, not money, is their true security base. It is their generosity that supports all of the connectional ministries represented through our apportionment system. All I can say is THANK YOU!
Now for the numbers. Our year-to-date apportionment contributions through October are shown in the following graph:
October’s apportionment receipts improved slightly. For the first 10 months of 2018, our churches contributed 66.7% of their apportionments. As you can see from the detailed report, this was 1.5% above last year and 0.6% above our average apportionment contributions through October for the last ten years. The North and South districts showed good improvement from last year, but the East and West Districts were down. At this rate, we project an overall year-end apportionment contribution percentage of 86%-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 2 months of 2018.
Thanks again for your commitment; it truly provides the financial stability for our connectional programs to work.
Editor’s Note: Click here to download the October Apportionment Status Report or visit dscumc.org/apportionments to find the rest of the year’s status reports.