Apportionment receipts declined slightly compared to historical averages for the month of September, although we improved a bit compared to last year.
As I reflect on 2020, I definitely think that COVID-19 has had a negative impact on our apportionment receipts. But in all honesty, it is much less than I would have anticipated six months ago. Our end-of-September apportionment receipts reflect that they have held fairly steady (compared to historical averages) for the fourth month in a row. We remain around 6% below our average apportionment receipts for the last ten years. And we are actually improving compared to last year’s results, although we will still remain a little below 2019.
I currently project that we will receive about 75% of our 2020 apportionments by year-end, which is probably 20% higher than the doomsday scenario my mind created when COVID-19 started over six months ago! Additionally, with COVID-19 altering the way we do our work, our expenses have been naturally reduced. The result is that I can honestly say that I don’t think that COVID-19 has had any significant negative financial impact on our conference ministries.
For those of you that want the specific numbers, here you go. In total for the first nine months of 2020, our churches contributed 52.8% of their apportionments. This was 2.7% (and $243,000) below last year and 6.4% below our average apportionment contributions through September for the last 10 years. Those apportionment receipts are shown graphically as follows:
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 three months of 2020. Thanks again for your commitment; it truly provides the financial stability for our connectional programs to work.