Bishop Mike Coyner, who serves on the United Methodist General Council on Finance and Administration just received a report on apportionment giving, says he is pleased to report that our Indiana Conference leads the way in terms of the increase in our payment of apportionments to the General Church this year compared with last year.
Through May 2009, the former South Indiana and North Indiana conferences together paid $708,098 in General Church apportionments. Through May of this year, the new Indiana Conference has paid $1,726,051 for an increase of approximately $1,017,953 (60%). The only other conference who increase comes close to Indiana is Western North Carolina which increased during the same period by $64,759. Giving across the denomination was up a little more than one percent.
In response to this increase, Coyner said, “Truly our new Indiana Conference is leading the way in improved payment of our general church apportionments. I am proud of our new Indiana Conference. It is nice to hear that our new Tithing budget for 2010 is working well.
What makes us The United Methodist Church is our connectional nature. No congregation, no district, no annual conference is alone, but an integral part of the General Church as well, with a global mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” There are seven parts to the General Church Apportionment. They include:
- The World Service Fund – our share, as the Indiana Conference, in this fund is $2.9 million. WSF supports the basic denominational work of the UMC around the world, including all general agencies including Global Ministries, Church and Society, Communications, Discipleship, Higher Education and Ministry, and other smaller agencies.
- The Ministerial Education Fund – our share is $1 million. MEF supports our United Methodist seminaries, seminary grants to our ministerial candidates. One-fourth of this fund stays in Indiana for the continuing education of our pastors to such events as Our Life Together.
- The Black College Fund – our share is $402,000. BCF supports the educational ministry of our historic African-American colleges and universities in the U.S.
- The Africa University Fund – our share is $90,000. This fund supports Africa University in Zimbabwe which trains UM leaders for more than 30 countries across Africa.
- The Episcopal Fund – our share is $837,000. This fund supports the ministry of our United Methodist bishops, both active and retired, around the world, including those regions which cannot afford to support the cost of their own bishop. This fund also includes retirement benefits and health care insurance for many retired bishops and surviving spouses. Bishop Coyner’s salary and expenses are paid from this fund, not from the Indiana Conference tithe.
- General Administration Fund – our share is $325,000. This fund supports the general administration costs of running the denomination, including the infrastructure which allows Advance Special or second-mile giving which allows 100 percent of those projects designated by the donors.
- And finally, the Interdenominational Cooperative Fund – our share is $78,000. This fund supports our ecumenical cooperation, including the work of the General Commission on Ecumenical and inter-religious Concerns, and our cooperative work with other Methodist denominations around the world. This fund includes our participation in dialogues with the Roman Catholic Church and other Protestant church bodies.
Remember that only $22 of every $1,000 spent by congregations goes to the General Church apportionment. It’s a small price to pay for the global outreach of the denomination.