By Kara Witherow, Editor
The numbers are in, and South Georgia’s United Methodist churches paid 89.5 percent of their apportionment giving for 2018.
Given the devastation many in the conference experienced from Hurricane Michael and the tenor of the times, conference leaders are pleased.
“To have people come through like this, especially considering what’s going on in their personal lives, is astounding,” said Dr. Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services. “The Southwest District paid almost 93 percent. That’s amazing considering the turmoil they’ve had with the weather and how much it’s damaged the economy. It’s pretty exciting.”
Cash totals on conference apportionments for 2018 were $9,543,587.14, up $96,877.92 over 2017. An increase of almost $100,000 should be celebrated, Dr. McAleer said.
Apportionment giving is one of the many ways United Methodists show their connection with each other and their communities, conference leaders say.
“I celebrate the strong payment of apportionments because apportionments are one of the ways that we are Alive Together in the world,” said South Georgia Bishop R. Lawson Bryan. “It is through our apportionments that we actually participate in the global ministry of the Methodist Church.”
Apportionments support United Methodist efforts such as campus ministries, camps and retreats, new church starts, and the revitalization of established churches.
And they extend the conference’s ministry beyond the bounds of South Georgia through such higher education efforts as the Ministerial Education Fund and the Black College Fund and international efforts like the World Service Fund and Africa University.
In addition to apportionment giving, South Georgia United Methodists gave $84,599.92 in gifts for approved Special Sundays and $686,884.55 in advance specials and other missional giving.
“Every local church, doing wonderful ministry in its own area, also is doing ministry around the world through the apportionments,” Bishop Bryan said. “It is a thrill to me to know that we, together in South Georgia, support our United Methodist seminary in Russia. We are turning out Methodist pastors there through our apportionments. In Africa, Africa University and all of our other Methodist ministries are supported by apportionments. Everywhere we go, around the world, we see the work of each local church being multiplied through the apportionments to touch lives all over the world. That’s very important to me. And when we talk about being Alive Together in the World, apportionments are one of the ways we touch the whole world through The United Methodist Church.”