South Georgia UMs continue to give despite denominational discord
By Kara Witherow, Editor
In a year of heightened uncertainty and denominational discord, South Georgia United Methodists continued to faithfully give.
While total apportionment giving is down slightly from 2018, giving to conference and district askings was close to 2018 levels. General church apportionment giving was down significantly compared to 2018 levels.
Overall apportionment payments for 2019 were at 87 percent, compared to 89.5 percent in 2018. The Northeast and Southwest Districts led in overall percentage of apportionments paid, paying 98.32 percent and 93.6 percent, respectively.
Local congregations understand that the majority of apportionments stay in their districts and the conference, and the strong giving shows that, conference leaders say.
“We are grateful for the strong investment of our churches in our conference ministry,” said Dr. Derek McAleer, Director of Administrative Services. “Our conference askings do ministry right here in South Georgia. Our churches love our retired pastors and care for disabled clergy. Congregations continue to serve in their own communities, to reach out with new churches and Hispanic ministries, and to keep our campus ministries going. We want to keep our own evangelistic work going here in South Georgia, no matter what is happening somewhere else.”
Apportionment giving is one of the many ways United Methodists show their connection with each other and their communities, supporting 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 efforts as the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), and Africa University.
In addition to apportionment giving, South Georgia United Methodists gave $81,597 in gifts for approved Special Sundays and $460,052 in advance specials and other missional giving.
“I thank our District Superintendents and Bishop for their hard work relating to pastors and local church leaders this past year,” Dr. McAleer said. “With so much going on, it can be easy to lose focus on the day-to-day ministry. I’m so appreciative of our pastors and church leaders who are leading our churches.”