NASHVILLE, TN – The General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) reports that 17 annual conferences paid 100 percent of their general apportioned funds for 2011.
In addition, five annual conferences gave 100 percent to the World Service Fund in 2011. They are Rio Grande, Texas, Upper New York, Western Michigan and Wisconsin. The World Service Fund supports work in all four areas of focus for The United Methodist Church.
Annual conferences giving 100 percent of their denominational share for worldwide ministries include Alaska, Baltimore-Washington, Central Texas, Desert Southwest, East Ohio, Greater New Jersey, Holston, Illinois Great Rivers, Iowa, New York, North Carolina, Northern Illinois, Oklahoma Indian Missionary, Peninsula Delaware, Red Bird Missionary, West Virginia, and Western Pennsylvania. In 2010, 15 conferences gave 100 percent to all seven general apportioned funds.
This past year, many annual conferences experienced a continuation of financial challenges from the previous years. Even with those challenges present, there was a slight increase in the total number of annual conferences giving at the 100 percent level, and significant increases for several. For example, Holston Conference, which encompasses parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia, increased from its payout from 61 percent in 2010 to 100 percent in 2011.
"We have made a concentrated effort over the past several years to pay the general and jurisdictional apportionments which support connectional ministries at 100 percent," said John Tate, director of financial services for the Holston Conference, commented. "We felt it was important to make the adjustments in budgeting and ministry as an example to the churches that we are asking to pay 100 percent as well."
In 2010, giving to Advance Special funds was significantly higher than the previous year as United Methodists responded to many major disasters for which the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) provided emergency help. The number of such events declined significantly in 2011, resulting in less donated to those funds.
However, United Methodists' giving in 2011 was still up more than 30 percent over 2009 when the greater number of disasters occurred.