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Apportionment receipts exceed expectations

Posted: January 21 2022 at 05:32 PM
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Despite challenging times and strain on church finances because of the ongoing pandemic, apportionment receipts for 2021 far exceeded expectations and will allow the Conference to pay 100 percent General Church apportionments for the first time in a decade.

The Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CCFA) gives thanks to all the churches that faithfully paid their apportionments, which totaled nearly $5.6 million for the Conference budget and General Church funds. NIC Treasurer Lonnie Chafin says this year’s numbers improved $900,000 (19%) over 2020’s results.

“These are numbers we haven’t seen since 2018,” said NIC Treasurer Lonnie Chafin. “While CCFA reduced the Conference budget by making steep reductions in expenditures (more than 15% lower than 2015 levels) and local church apportionments were $200,000 less in 2021 than 2020, churches have shown remarkable resilience through the pandemic and stepped up to meet their obligations."

CCFA Chair Tammy Scott says the Council set its expectations for 2021 with hopes of local church giving improving, but not nearly at this level. She says it’s a cause for celebration.

“While the pandemic continues to affect how we gather for worship and what our ministry looks like, our congregations have blown me away with their commitment to our connectional ministry through their apportionment payments,” said Scott. “Meeting our Annual Conference budget obligations and being able to pay our General Church apportionments at 100% calls for celebration any time it happens. But to be able to do this in a year when our churches are still adjusting to life and ministry in a pandemic is absolutely amazing!”

The General Council on Finance and Administration says fewer than 10 annual conferences will pay in full this year. NIC’s Director of Connectional Ministries Rev. Arlene Christopherson says she was overjoyed to learn the NIC will pay in full and shows the Conference’s commitment to both global and local ministries.

“The work of our connectional system is stronger with our commitment,” said Rev. Christopherson. “Through these gifts, we engage in ways we could never do alone. Missionaries, African University, the Black College Fund are just a few of the ways we witness. Our presence is known in 136 counties because you have shared faithfully.

Chafin said CCFA is mindful of the uncertainty the pandemic continues to create and has set a very careful financial course. “The Conference structure is very thin, as a consequence. That has made it possible for full support of the ministries throughout the world.,” said Chafin. “We send the General Church funds out of our blessing with a blessing that Christ might be known in transformative ways.”

For more information on apportionments, visit umcnic.org/apportionments.

Read Bishop Hokins' February Column on lessons on generosity learned from his childhood.

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