Apportionment Goal update 11/12/17

UMCSC poised to hit 94 percent apportionments goal (for 2017)

Apportionment dollars support a variety of missions and ministries supported by the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, from congregational development and pastor salaries to campus ministries, retirement homes, camps and youth programming.

 “I continue to be thankful for the spiritual commitment of the UMCSC,” said the Rev. Mitch Houston, chair of the conference Council on Finance and Administration. “They take seriously being the hands, feet, voice and heart of the Gospel in so many ways.”

The Rev. Chris Lollis, pastor of Trinity UMC, Darlington, said he knows many churches struggle to pay 100 percent of their apportionments, and Trinity struggles with that.

“It isn’t that Trinity doesn’t want to pay, but the decline in the church makes it impossible,” Lollis said. “However, we have made a commitment to increase our apportionment payments each year.  This year it has been a challenge, but we continue to stretch ourselves.”

Lollis said it is important for churches to pay apportionments because it allows the UMC to do much more than it could individually.

“There is power in the connection,” Lollis said. “I currently serve on the Commission on Equitable Compensation.  In this area I have seen firsthand how apportionment dollars help local churches to be in fruitful ministry.  Without the apportionment dollars, some great ministries/churches might not exist.”

As Greg Adams mentioned last week were are a smaller church. But each year we have continue to step up and pay our budgeted apportionment. Last week you had a bulletin insert which highlighted our financial challenge. It explained in detail each area of the National United Methodist Church apportionment giving. Here is a list of the SC Conference budget lines which includes our District Office directed by Joe Long, Jr. Our annual commitment in 2017 is $28,157. As our church numbers have decreased so has this commitment. In 2011 we paid $37,801.

Here are the South Carolina apportionment budget line items:                                         

Campus Ministry
Conference Administration
Conference Benevolences
Congregation Development
District Administration
District Office Parsonage
District superintendent’s compensation
Equitable Compensation
Jurisdictional Mission-Ministry
Methodist Homes Residents; Assistance
Retiree Health Insurance Grants
Senior college Scholarships
Spartanburg Methodist College


This is quite a list of ministries, programs and personnel that we support within our home state. We have been blessed each year as our congregation has been able to meet this budget challenge. Over the next few weeks I will continue to give you updates. Parker Carter our church treasurer has reported stronger offerings the past two weeks. But he will wait to see if this Sunday’s offering numbers are strong enough to cover this month’s payroll before making any apportionment payments. Thank you.

Steve Nyberg, Stewardship/Finance Chairperson


“Everyone is God’s steward. One receives from God more than what one gives to God.

Like good stewards, we must give according to how God has prospered us, not according to what we have left over. Give according to what we have felt in our hearts. To give is a privilege. God will provide and multiply. God wants us to give, not because God is poor or needs it, but because God wants to bless us.” —Ivette Perez, Asbury United Methodist Church, Camden, N.J.

We give so our congregations can be in ministry and mission. We also give for the ministries and missions that we only can do together, or that we do better when we do them together. Our giving through the connection of The United Methodist Church takes many forms.  Among the most significant are:

• Apportionments

Apportionments are our first mile of mission giving. They form the framework for the rest of our connectional ministry and mission. When we give our money so our congregation can pay its apportionments, we give to these causes:

• World Service Fund—The World Service Fund helps to build new churches, pay missionary salaries, expand Bible studies, provide leadership for youth ministry and much more. World Service is the financial lifeline to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination. By giving to World Service, we each play our part in doing God’s work in the world.

• Africa University Fund—Africa University is the only General Conference approved degree-granting institution of higher education supported by The United Methodist Church on the continent of Africa. Men and women from 27 countries in Africa receive postsecondary education and postgraduate degrees. When we support the Africa University Fund, we nurture students in Christian values and develop visionary leaders.

• Ministerial Education Fund—This fund is essential for The United Methodist Church to continue its commitment to recruit and educate quality pastoral leadership. Helping to defray the steep costs of getting a seminary education, the Ministerial Education Fund is one way The United Methodist Church supports those called into ordained and licensed ministry. The fund also equips our annual conferences with local-pastor courses of study, continuing education and many other efforts to recruit, educate and support people called to ordained and licensed ministry.

• Black College Fund—Through the Black College Fund, The United Methodist Church helps the 11 historically Black United Methodist-related colleges and universities to maintain solid and challenging academic programs, strong faculties and well-equipped facilities. Their graduates—teachers and doctors, ministers and bishops, judges, artists and entrepreneurs—are leaders nationally and internationally. 

• Episcopal Fund—Bishops are an integral part of the spiritual and administrative leadership of The United Methodist Church. We elect and consecrate bishops to speak to and from the church. This fund pays bishops’ salaries and covers office and travel expenses. It also provides their pension and health benefit coverage.

• Interdenominational Cooperation Fund—The Interdenominational Cooperation Fund enables United Methodists to have a presence and a voice in the activities of several national and worldwide ecumenical and interreligious organizations. It provides the United Methodist share of the basic budgets of these organizations and pays travel expenses of United Methodist representatives to meetings that advocate for unity among the worldwide Christian church.

• General Administration Fund—This fund attends to the business of The United Methodist Church by ensuring trustworthy systems of oversight and financial accountability are executed and followed. The fund finances the administrative activities of the church, in addition to underwriting the basic costs of General Conference, funding the Judicial Council’s work, maintaining United Methodist official documents and historic artifacts, and designating historic shrines, landmarks and sites.

Stewardship Notes 10-29-17

Over the next few weeks we will put into the bulletin and newsletter some information regarding stewardship and giving. We do have a congregational need that we must address.

·       As of 5/14 our givings were just short of budget $659.

·       As we moved into the summer months giving normally drops and we were short of budget $5,628 by 7/16.

·       We looked for a turnaround and it didn’t happen. By 9/10 we were below budget $7,798

·       Since then we have continued to fall and we are now at a budget shortfall of $15,014 as of last Sunday. 

We have expense savings in other areas to have cash in our bank account to pay bills, but have not been able to pay our monthly apportionments. What do we owe as of today?

$2,815 was due in August

$2,815 was due in Sept.

$2,815 is due this Month.

So basically we are $8,445 behind.  We need everyone’s help to reach this important commitment by the end of the year.  It works out to be an additional $1,000 over the remaining Sundays of the year.  Last year we fell short also and we had additional giving in late Nov and Dec to meet our apportionment commitment. We are starting earlier this year.

“Together, we do more”. That is the theme for the United Methodists as we pool our money from many congregations to make an impact both in our local communities, state, nationally and worldwide. That is what apportionments are all about.  Please prayerfully consider additional giving over the next few month.

Thank you, Steve Nyberg, Stewardship/Finance Chairperson


Current Blog — Giving

Is writing about money and giving and generosity and stewardship for two months in a row too much?  I don’t think so.  Jesus spoke more about money than any other subject.  The Bible speaks about it in many places.  “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and render unto God what is God’s.”  “The root of all evil is the love of money.”  Do you remember the story of the widow who gave her last two coins to God and how Jesus praised her faith?  “Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor.”  “To whom much is given, much is expected.”  “The Lord loves a cheerful giver.”  Jesus spoke many messages about the ways a follower of Jesus is to think about money and use it for the building of God’s kingdom here on earth.  So will I, especially at this time of the year when next year’s budget is being prepared, ministries are being planned, and power bills continue to arrive in the mail.

                My understanding of giving to God has grown in measure as to how much my faith has grown through the years.  Early in life, I knew I was supposed to put something in those gold plates as they were passed around in church.  I wasn’t sure how much was enough but I did know that I was giving to God because God had given so much to me.  Later, I was taught that the Bible says that 10% of all I

received was what God expected of me.  10% seemed very fair to give to the God who saved my life (over and over again).  I was, however, a pastor with a salary that qualified me for food stamps.  I had to start at far less than 10% and work my way up to it. 

        My faith grew some more and I realized that I felt a yearning to give God more.  10% was the tithe that God expected but the other 90% also belonged to God.  The other 90% taught me that I had to think of God in every financial choice I made.  When I spend money on my family, I am living up to my

responsibility as a Christian father.  When we spend money on a vacation, am I mindful that I am blessed with a beautiful Creation?  School supplies, health and retirement plans, meals to provide nourishment for a miraculously made body, gas in the truck, everything from books to birthday presents, are a way to honor God as I spend the money I’ve been given with God in my heart and on my mind.  In the United Methodist Church, pastors do not receive salaries.  We receive “financial support,” recognizing that our lives and 100% of everything in them belong to God and are for support of ministry and service, to God, to church, to family, and to the world.

        For the longest time, I could not imagine a higher level of giving or better way of honoring our God.  Then my faith grew.  I learned about second-mile giving and next-step giving.  On top of that, I heard a pastor say that we should not give what our checkbooks tell us we can afford but should look at our blessings and give accordingly.  And I thought to myself, “What a joyful way of giving to God, out of our blessings!”  And I knew this had to be the highest possible level of giving for any Christian.

        And then my faith grew.  I encountered a man in a magazine article who said, “Jesus suffered on a cross for me so I give an amount every year that causes me to suffer.  It is a sacrifice I make willingly and joyfully to show God my love and gratitude.”  This person knew that God does not need our money but that our lives are changed when we give.  I can’t wait to see what the next level of giving will be!

        Money and giving are the only places in our lives where the Bible tells us to test God, even

commands us to test God?  Give, and watch what happens.  I guarantee that you will be amazed.  I am sure of it, because my faith has grown.  Pastor Steve