There were some positives and some no-quite-so-positives in the Desert Southwest Conference’s financial results for July.
The most amazing positive related to our 2020 annual conference mission project, where our churches impressively raised nearly $112,000 to help the Navajo Nation address its water challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Five churches gave over $6,000 each, and another 25 churches gave between $1,000 and $5,000 each. We truly are a generous and faithful church!
Another positive was that our strong cash position allowed our Conference Council on Finance & Administration to get back on track towards 100% payment of our general church apportionments through at least September 30. CFA hopes to maintain that 100% apportionment level through the fourth quarter as well. The nearly $400,000 apportionment payment we made in July did use some of our cash reserves, but we remain well-positioned in that regard.
On the not-quite-so-positive side, the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to affect our apportionment receipts as we remained down in July (at pretty much the same level as we were at the end of June). In total for the first seven months of 2020, our churches contributed 40.2% of their apportionments. This was 4.1% (and $311,000) below last year and 6.2% below our average apportionment contributions through July for the last 10 years. Based on these results, we currently project that we will receive about 73% of our 2020 apportionments by the end of the year. Apportionment receipts through July 2020 are shown graphically as follows:
Remember that apportionments are a way to look beyond just ourselves. They support great connectional ministries like urban ministries, campus ministries, camps, new church starts, missionaries, and many, many more. Please continue to 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 five months of 2020. Thanks again for your commitment; it truly provides the financial stability for our connectional programs to work.