Dear Campbell United Methodist Church,
A part of our identity as United Methodists is being connected in tangible ways with a world-wide denomination. This connectional identity allows us to do more toward the mission of God in the world than we could ever do on our own. It calls us to recognize John Wesley’s affirmation, “The world is my parish.”
One of the ways we do that is through apportionment giving, our congregation’s equivalent of the personal discipleship giving of each individual. We give money to the Ozark South District, the Missouri Conference, and to the United Methodist denomination that supports a wide variety of ministry endeavors all over the world. There is a lot of information at www.umcgiving.org that highlights many of our denomination’s global ministries. Please check it out if you want to know more!
One of the best ways I’ve ever heard to help think about apportionment giving is a little play on words. “Our apportionment is ‘a-portion-meant’ for others.” (You have to say it out loud for full effect.) Grounded in a theology of stewardship, we give resources because we know that they do not belong to us, but rather to God. And as a part of a global denomination, we have a rare opportunity to give with a powerful effect.
Consider that when a need arises – a natural disaster, large-scale violence, extended drought, etc. – we are equipped to respond more immediately than many organizations, and most denominations because apportionment dollars provide the infrastructure through which it happens. I am proud of the way the United Methodist Church responds to humanitarian ministry needs all around the world, ensuring that every penny of extra giving goes directly to ministry.
Moreover, evangelism events like new church starts, Bible studies in neighborhoods where no congregations exist, university campus ministries, and so forth, comprise a big portion of our apportionment resourcing. We are indeed a part of a global endeavor when we contribute our apportionment.
Campbell UMC has not given 100% of our apportionment for a few years. I’d like to change that, and I know that many in the congregation do, too. The Church Council has affirmed our commitment, the Finance Team is working on the issue, and together we are striving toward that 100% goal. Let us keep at the heart of who we are as Methodists the idea that we are not isolated, but rather the world is our parish.