INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Conference Treasurer Jennifer Gallagher reported recently that our Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church had a very good year financially in 2012.
She said, “We finished in the black, paid all bills and paid 100 percent of the Episcopal Fund apportionment, 96 percent of the World Service apportionment, and 90 percent of all other general church apportionments.”
Of a projected $13.7 million in 2012 tithe income, the conference received $13.4 million or 97.8 percent of what was budgeted.
According to Gallagher, had the conference received the full $13.7 million estimated, the conference would have been able to pay out all its general church apportionments at 100 percent. Nonetheless, this is a huge percentage increase over 2009 income, when the two former Indiana conferences only reached 53 percent of the conference’s general church apportionments.
Hearing this good news, Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner responded, “I am so grateful for the generosity of the people of our Indiana Conference. It seems that our Conference Tithing model is working well, and I hope that even more indaividuals will discover the joy of tithing so that their congregations and the whole Indiana Conference can continue to grow in our stewardship and faithfulness.
“When I saw the financial report for 2012 of the Indiana Conference, I found myself wanting to say ‘Thanks’ – thanks for the faithfulness and generosity of the United Methodist people of Indiana. Because of your faithful giving, the Indiana Conference visited 2012 ‘in the black’ with all bills paid, and we also were able to pass along 100 percent of our general church giving to what is called the Episcopal Fund, which pays for bishops in the U.S. and more importantly pays for bishops in places like Africa, where most Conferences could not afford their own bishop.
“The Indiana Conference also paid 96 percent of its World Service general church apportionment and 90 percent of the other five apportioned funds – which allow the UMC to maintain its mission and aoutreach all around the world. The reason those numbers made me want to say ‘thanks’ is that we have moved from only 53 percent payment of our share of those general church funds in 2009 to the nearly-100 percent payment in 2012.
“That is an amazing turn-around, and it is due to the cost-savings structures of our new Indiana Conference and mostly it is due to the generosity and faithfulness of our pastors and people. So... Thanks,” said Coyner.
Coyner further pointed out that our churches gave many dollars beyond their conference tithes and district shares in 2012.
For example, in response to the tornados in southern Indiana, especially Henryville, Hoosier United Methodist gave more than $650,000 in disaster response offerings in just a few weeks. The Indiana conference continues to be a strong supporter of all kinds of missions and outreach ministries beyond our conference budget, beyond our local church ministries, and beyond the “first mile” giving which pays our basic bills.
“Our United Methodist people are generous, and so again I say ‘Thanks!’,” said Coyner. “As I have prayed and reflected about those excellent financial reports from 2012, I found myself picturing an offering plate being passed among our 1,100 plus congregations.
“I watched people put money into the plate, voluntarily, generously, oftentimes with joy and always with a conviction that our giving is above all a giving to God. Because God is so generous to us, we give out of gratitude. I watched those individuals giving, and I thanked God for each one. No one forces anyone to go to church, and no one forces anyone to give. And yet, it happens, and we don’t often enough pause to say ‘Thanks’,” said Coyner.
“I am so grateful for the generosity of the people of our Indiana Conference.”
– Bishop Mike Coyner