March 2018 Newsletter
Back in November I preached a sermon on Apportionments and what it means to the United Methodist Church. As your pastor, it is my responsibility to encourage each of you to pay towards our apportionments. Give me a minute of your time to explain.
The United Methodist Church is a connectional church because it shares its resources across all levels of the denomination and beyond to improve the lives of many through mission and justice work. These dollars help alleviate hunger, create jobs & contribute mightily to helping transform the world to look more like God’s kingdom here on earth. General agencies such as United Methodist Committee on Relief are often on the front lines when disaster in faraway places & here at home strikes.
Our General Church Apportionments goes for the Bishops and their offices & the pastors for education and training. The World Service Fund is a global outreach ministry program. The General Church also includes the Black College Fund and the African University.
Our Conference Ministries apportionments include the District Funds which is for grants that Iowa churches can apply for to help with church projects.
Other ministries include: Clergy Support Ministries, Commission on Archives & History, Commission on Equitable Compensation, Pastoral Care & Counseling, and Connectional Ministries. The Connectional Ministries team of the Iowa Annual Conference is here to help local churches be more effective in mission and ministry, in your own communities and around the world. The Connectional Ministry Council is a network of groups engaged with the poor, with students, with social justice, with hands-on mission projects, and with disciple-making in all its many variations.
Lastly is the Conference Missions. Most of them are self-explanatory.
Camp & Retreat Ministries, Higher Education & Campus Ministry, Persons with Disabilities, Religion & Race, Status & Role of Women, Council on Older Adult Ministries, Matthew 25 Fund, and Emerging Ministries.
I could tell you how much our 2018 apportionments are but if I do you might have the feeling that there is no way we could ever pay this amount. So here is what I am going to do instead.
I am telling each of you that at Grace UMC there are 87 giving units whether it is 1 person or a family, each is called a unit. If each of the 87 giving units (which are people) give $20 beyond what you give in tithing a month for this year our apportionments would be paid in full. If you saved $5 each week of each month you would have the $20 for that month. So, $20 a month for 12 months for each giving unit would pay for our apportionments! I am saying that I can do this! And I know that you can too! I have faith that each of us can step up to make this a reality.
I know it is already March so we will have to play catch up which would mean we would need to pay $20 for January and $20 for February.
But we can do this, you & I. I have faith that we can and will.
Pastor Joyce Proctor