LMPN Session 9 Homework Understanding Connectional Giving Page 1 Understanding Connectional Giving In Session 2 (“United Methodism 101”), we learned that gifts of United Methodistssupport the work of the local congregation, district, annual conference and The United MethodistChurch here and around the world. The General Conference (the worldwide United Methodistlegislative gathering every four years) approves a budget for our connected ministries and setsthe share for each annual conference to give in support of the budget. Each annual conferencedetermines its own financial needs and “apportions” both amounts to local churches. Apportionments are sometimes referred to as “a portion meant for others.” Conferenceand general church apportionments are just one way people are connected, through their giving,to more than 11million other United Methodists. Through this connection, we share the needsand struggles of our brothers and sisters around the world. According to umcgiving.org, the costof our Christ-centered global ministry is significant, but it is only a tiny portion of a local church’sbudget. With every $1,000 given in offering: • $854 stays in the local church • $119 goes to jurisdictions: annual conferences and districts • $21 goes to general apportionments • $5 goes to other general funds. (e.g., the Advance for Christ, Special Sundays, etc.). (Your churchs expense figures will vary. depending on your support of annual conference benevolences.) Source: General Council on Finance and Administration data, May 2010. Seven general church funds are apportioned to each annual conference, representingthe goals and mission the church has adopted at the General Conference. The annualconference then apportions a fair share amount of that amount to each local church, using aconference-approved formula. The seven general funds of The United Methodist Church are:World Service Fund The most extensive of the seven funds, World Service dollars support the bulk of the mission and ministry of the global church. The World Service Fund helps to build new churches, pay missionary salaries, expand Bible studies, provide leadership for youth ministry, and much more. World Service is the financial lifeline to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination. By giving to World Service, we each play our part in doing God’s work in the world.
LMPN Session 9 Homework Understanding Connectional Giving Page 2Ministerial Education Fund From our very beginnings the Methodist movement has placed a high value on an educated clergy. The Ministerial Education Fund is essential for The United Methodist Church to continue its commitment to recruit and educate quality pastoral leadership. Helping to defray the steep costs of getting a seminary education, the Ministerial Education Fund also equips our annual conferences with local-pastor courses of study, continuing education and many other efforts to recruit, educate and support people called to ordained and licensed ministry.Africa University Fund Africa University is the only General Conference-approved degree-granting institution of higher education supported by The United Methodist Church on the continent of Africa. Men and women from 27 countries in Africa receive postsecondary education and postgraduate degrees. When we support the Africa University Fund, we nurture students in Christian values and develop visionary leaders.Interdenominational Cooperation Fund This fund enables representatives of our church to be in dialogue with persons from other faith communities. The Interdenominational Cooperation Fund enables United Methodists to have a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical and interreligious organizations. It provides the United Methodist share of the basic budgets of these organizations and pays travel expenses of United Methodist representatives to meetings that advocate for unity among the worldwide Christian church.Black College Fund Through the Black College Fund, The United Methodist Church helps the 11 historically Black United Methodist-related colleges and universities to maintain solid and challenging academic programs, strong faculties and well-equipped facilities. Their graduates— teachers and doctors, ministers and bishops, judges, artists and entrepreneurs—are leaders nationally and internationally.Episcopal Fund Bishops are an integral part of the spiritual and administrative leadership of The United Methodist Church. We elect and consecrate bishops to speak to and from the church. This fund pays bishops’ salaries and covers office and travel expenses. It also provides their pension and health benefits coverage.
LMPN Session 9 Homework Understanding Connectional Giving Page 3General Administration Fund This fund attends to the business of The United Methodist Church by ensuring trustworthy systems of oversight and financial accountability are executed and followed. The fund finances the administrative activities of the church, in addition to underwriting the basic costs of General Conference, funding the Judicial Council’s work, maintaining United Methodist official documents and historic artifacts, and designating historic shrines, landmarks and sites. These seven apportioned funds are the basic contribution of local churches and AnnualConferences for being “connected” to the church’s worldwide ministry. We call them our “firstmile giving.” We also offer opportunities to go “the second mile.” That’s where we find theSpecial Sundays, the Advance for Christ, and World Service Special Gifts.Special SundaysHuman Relations Day The Sunday closest to the Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, this offering supports work to strengthen the fabric of communities and to bring healing (social, economic, emotional) where needed and to improve the quality of life. This day of social action and raising awareness aims to heal social ills at the national level through community development, volunteer services, and youth offender rehabilitation programs.One Great Hour of Sharing The United Methodist Committee on Relief works to alleviate human suffering—whether caused by war, conflict or natural disasters—with open hearts and minds. Because UMCOR does not receive World Service funds or any other apportionments, the costs of doing business are underwritten by the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. This means that all giftsdesignated to specific programs can go 100% to those programs because UMCOR’s basic expenses are covered. The offering for “One Great Hour of Sharing” happens the fourth Sunday in Lent.Native American Ministries Sunday Native American Ministries Sunday recognizes and supports the contributions of Native Americans to the church and society. Native American Ministries Sunday gifts help develop and strengthen Native American ministries within the annual conference if the conference has Native American ministries. If an annual conference has no Native American ministries the offering is used to expand the number of target cities in the Native American Urban Initiative. It also provides scholarships for Native Americans attending United Methodist schools of theology and other schools approved by the University Senate of The United Methodist Church.
LMPN Session 9 Homework Understanding Connectional Giving Page 4World Communion Sunday World Communion Sunday funds World Communion Scholarships with at least one-half of the annual amount reserved for ministries beyond the United States. Gifts also provide for U.S. ethnic scholarship and ethnic in-service programs.Peace with Justice Sunday Peace with Justice Sunday offerings support programs that advocate for peace and justice at home and around the world. Half of the offering stays in the annual conference, retained to fund local peace with justice programs and the other half of the offering is remitted to the General Board of Church and Society to help fund U.S. and global work in social action, public policy education and advocacy.United Methodist Student Day United Methodist Student Day supports United Methodist scholarships and the U.M. Student Loan Fund. Annual conferences participating in the Rebate Program may award one or more merit scholarships to United Methodist students. Participating conferences may award scholarships to U.M. students who reside in the conference and who attend or will attend a U.M.- related college or university.The Advance Through The Advance, individuals, groups and congregations may choose to donate to any of many ministries and missions in the United States and around the world. The General Board of Global Ministries approves all projects, and 100 percent of all donations goes directly to the cause, with administrative costs paid by World Service – a clear example of first mile giving making possible second mile giving!World Service Special Gifts The 1984 General Conference approved World Service Special Gifts (WSSG) to enable general agencies to appeal directly to constituencies for specific project funding and second-mile, designated-giving, as authorized by the Connectional Table. The Lay Missionary Planting Network, one of only five authorized projects, is the most recent, approved in November of 2009. Half of the funds received for the Lay Missionary Planting Network support the conference trainees in active network areas; the other half supports the work of GBOD to sustain the project. To learn more about any of these connectional giving opportunities, please visitumcgiving.org. For specific information about the Lay Missionary Planting Network, or to supportthe LMPN WSSG fund (#11-19-09), please visit path1.org/lmpn.