Do You Have Questions About Your Church's Apportionments? If so, you are not alone.
As I am in churches across the Annual Conference, I hear these basic questions again and again. "What are all these items in our apportionments?" "Who decides what we fund?" "How did you decide how much to apportion my church?" In the past few weeks it has been my privilege to travel to two of our churches to speak with the congregations about these matters. People are quite willing to be generous, but they want to know more about what they are supporting.
A really basic question is, "Where do the apportionments come from?" The quick and easy answer is, the apportionments are just the Annual Conference budget apportioned to the churches. Your pastor and your lay delegate to Annual Conference vote on the conference budget every year. Once the budget is set, we use the formula referenced below to determine what your church's portion is.
You can find much information about the apportionments on this webpage. I have included our "Budget At A Glance" for 2018, which has details about each line item of your apportionments. I have posted the popular "How Your Church Dollar Was Spent" charts, which help you get a good overview of what happens to a dollar placed in your church offering plate. The page has other useful information and links also (want to look at data for your church over the past 10 years? It's there.)
If you have questions about how we calculate the precise amount of your church's apportionments, you can find that information here. I not only cover the formula (including the rationale behind our formula), but also tell you which lines on the annual Statistical Report matter. Fundamentally, we calculate your church's strength relative to that of every other church in the Conference, and apportion you the share relative to your church strength. Big churches pay more than little churches. Churches with more money pay more than churches with less money.
Which leads to the comment I hear most often: "We're just a small church ..." Many people do not have a good idea of how large most of our churches are. So I share this bit of data to help you get a good overview. In 2017, 67% of the churches in the South Georgia Annual Conference had 50 people or less in average worship attendance. 45% of our churches had 25 people or less. We are an Annual Conference full of small churches! If your church is small, you have plenty of company! Small churches form the majority of our Annual Conference.
If you still have questions once you have looked over this information, do not hesitate to contact me. If you would like me to come to your church to discuss the askings, it would be my pleasure. Let me know how I can be of service.
It is preferable that churches send in their apportionments on a monthly basis. The agencies and ministries which these apportionments support have monthly expenses, so a steady income enables them to focus on their ministry more readily.
If you receive special mission offerings intended for one of our agencies (Magnolia Manor, Vashti, Wesley Glen, Open Door Community Center, etc.), please send those funds on. These agencies often operate with VERY lean budgets, and your prompt gift will make a difference for them!
Many congregations have moved to the 10-month plan. They divide their annual askings into 10 equal payments. This allows them to skip a payment in July or August (whichever month has the lowest church income), and still make their final payment in November!
We now can accommodate online payment of apportionments. We partner with Vanco for our online payments, because we wanted to know that bank information was secure! Your church can pay their askings online from this webpage. (Note -- you can only pay via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT or ACH; we do not accept payments using credit or debit cards)).
Your 6-digit GCFA # is your username; your 5-digit SGA church # is the password. You can find these numbers on your remittance form and benefits bill. For example, your statement night say "Church number 12345 (654321). The 6 digit number in parentheses is your username (654321), and the 5 digit number is your password (12345).
To remit the funds, you will need to establish an account with Vanco, our online payment vendor. When you click "pay" it will take you to a portal where you will either sign in to your already established Vanco account, or it will lead you to set up a Vanco account. You will use the routing and account numbers from your check in this process. Be sure to put your email address in when you set up the account, as your receipt for payment will be emailed to you directly from the vendor, within minutes of making your payment.
One peculiarity to note: Many of you will bookmark the online payment link after you log out. THAT WON'T WORK, as the logout page is subtly different from the login page. Click the link above, then bookmark it BEFORE you have logged in, if you want to save the link for future use.
Do you have questions about your apportionments, or about the monthly statement you receive from us? Need to know where you stand on your 6-Lane giving? Hunting for a mission fund number? Please contact Beth Acuff, who handles local church receipts for our office. Call her at 1-800-535-4224 (478-738-0048), or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You'll find that on our Conference Advance Specials page.