As of now we have paid apportionments through October of this year, which means that we are right on track to be able to pay our apportionment in full! In previous posts, we have discussed Conference Ministries and Conference Missions. Today, I’ll explain a little bit more about the category entitled General Church Apportionments. 4 out of the 9 areas receive the bulk of the money that is apportioned through General Church Apportionments, World Service Fund (42.1%), Contingency to pay our General Church Apportionments at 100% (16.7%), Ministerial Education Fund (14.5%), and Episcopal Fund (12.6%).
The World Service Fund is the essential core of our global outreach ministry, underwriting Christian mission around the world. World Service connects our church to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination in the work of the General Church Agencies and other national and international programs. It is the heart of our denomination presence, with 4 areas of focus: developing principled Christ Leaders for the Church and the World; Creating New Places for New People & Renewing Existing Congregations; Engaging in Ministry with the Poor; and Stamping Out Killer Diseases of Poverty by Improving Health Globally.
Support for the bishops happens through the Episcopal Fund. Bishops are elected and consecrated to speak to the church and from the church. Our bishops oversee and promote the church’s spiritual temporal interests. This fund covers the bishops’ salaries, their office and travel expenses and provides their pension and health-benefit coverage.
One significant way that we help men and women answer the divine call to ministry is through the Ministerial Education Fund. Our United Methodist seminaries lead the effort to proclaim God’s word in a world desperately in need of that message. A portion of the money goes directly to the 13 United Methodist Seminaries and is based on the number of full-time United Methodist faculty and senior administrators within; however most of the funds relate directly to the number of students in Master of Divinity programs who are registered candidates for ordained ministry, and how many graduates have been ordained in the United Methodist Church.
Our conference has made paying 100% of our General Church Apportionments (the conference is given their amount by the general church). In order to do this we have to leave an allotment for churches who don’t pay all of their apportionments, and that is the reason for the Contingency to pay our General Church Apportionments at 100% area of the budget.
My husband, Allan, and I moved to Estherville in June of 2015. We are excited to be here, and to be in ministry with Estherville UMC!