By Jessica Brodie
Year-end apportionment giving is looking good for The United Methodist Church in South Carolina.
As of Nov. 15, the apportionment collection percentage is running close to 2018 with 69.7 percent collected this year compared to 70.4 percent this time last year. That translates to $12.4 million collected so far of the budgeted $17.8 million for 2019.
To date, 309 churches have already paid 100 percent of their apportionments compared to 286 at this time last year—an increase of 23 churches, said Beth Westbury, conference treasurer.
“I am grateful for the South Carolina churches and their continued focus on mission and ministry, not just through apportionments, but in all acts of service and generosity,” Westbury said.
The Walterboro District is again leading the conference’s districts in percentage paid as of Nov. 15 with 84.3 percent The Rock Hill District is in second place, with 80.9 percent. But the Charleston District is showing the most improvement, Westbury said, with $84,085 higher collection and six additional points to its collection rate, now at 71.9 percent.
Apportionment monies pay everything the UMC is responsible for in South Carolina and throughout the global UMC connection, from clergy salaries, congregational development, campus ministries and United Methodist retirement homes in South Carolina to the global Africa University fund.
Westbury said giving to Extra Mile for United Methodist colleges and homes is up, at 31.4 percent for 2019 compared to 28.4 percent for 2018, an increase of 3 percentage points.
But she said special giving is down 11.9 percent, reflecting both the winding down of some initiatives from prior years, such as Imagine No Malaria, as well as decreases in still-active ministries such as Epworth Children’s Home and the South Carolina Disaster Response fund.
“These ongoing ministries continue to need our support,” Westbury said, urging churches to continue to do all they can to pay their full apportionments.
Some churches are doing special events to raise extra funds to pay their apportionments, such as festivals, special collections and other events.
The last day to pay apportionments is Tuesday, Jan. 14. Payments must be in the treasurer’s office by 4 p.m. If the church is paying electronically, the payment must be initiated by 3 p.m. the Friday before, which is Jan. 10.
Is your church doing something special this year to raise extra money to pay your apportionments? Share it with the Advocate, and we’ll give you a mention in our next edition. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 803-786-9486, ext. 338.