United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Avenue S.
Nashville, TN 37203
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2009
Conferences and Churches Recognized for Reaching Apportionment Goal
Nashville, Tenn.: Seventeen of the denomination's 63 annual conferences paid 100 percent of all apportionments in 2008.
The 17 conferences paying 100 percent of all 2008 apportionments include Alaska Missionary, Baltimore-Washington, Central Pennsylvania, Central Texas, East Ohio, Eastern Pennsylvania, Illinois Great Rivers, Greater New Jersey, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma Indian Missionary, Peninsula-Delaware, Red Bird Missionary, Rio Grande, West Michigan and Wisconsin.
These conferences account for $34,151,073 in apportioned dollars that will help to educate clergy and laity, build new churches, pay missionary salaries, expand Bible studies, provide leadership for church ministries, work with members of other faiths, support the denomination's colleges and universities, and more.
Bishop Gregory V. Palmer, whose Illinois Great Rivers Conference paid all its apportionments, understands it is not easy to meet financial goals in today's economic climate. "Every day, we hear more and more disturbing news about the U.S. and global economy. The problems and threats are real," Palmer said. "In reality, in hard economic times, the ministry of local congregations and of United Methodists connectedly is needed even more, not less."
The United Methodist Church has seven apportioned funds considered avenues for congregational "first-mile giving." Those funds include World Service, Africa University, Ministerial Education, Black College, Episcopal, Interdenominational Cooperation and General Administration.
The General Conference establishes budgets for the denomination's general funds which are divided among annual conferences, based on a specific formula. Each conference, using its own approved formula, divides these fund requests, along with conference administrative and benevolence fund requests, among local churches. In addition, individuals, local churches, districts and annual conferences may make monetary gifts to the designated funds, of which 100 percent goes directly to a specific project or ministry.
Along with the conferences that paid 100 percent to all seven apportioned funds, several conferences remitted 100 percent to select funds. Iowa, Kansas East, Troy and Western New York conferences met their 100-apportionment obligation to the World Service Fund, while Arkansas, Iowa and New England managed to support the Black College Fund at 100 percent. Thirty-two conferences paid 100 percent of their apportionment to the Africa University Fund.
Thousands of individual churches throughout the United Methodist connection also met the 100-percent apportionment goal; however, data will not be available until this summer. In 2007, 23 annual conferences and 34,300 churches from conferences nationwide offered 100-percent apportionment support.
Media Contact: Diane Degnan
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell)