Little children orphaned by the impact of war in East Congo are being cared for. Refugees left homeless and unable to feed their families by war and poverty are being welcomed in Europe and provided shelter, food and spiritual support. Young people hearing God’s call to ordained ministry are being given financial assistance to enable them to say Yes to God who calls them. United Methodists are still helping in Haiti, the Philippines, Saipan, and in the U.S. in areas devastated by earthquakes, typhoons, tornadoes and floods. New communities of faith are being planted throughout the U.S., Africa, Europe and the Philippines so that more people and younger people can come to know the love of God. 119 colleges and universities around the world including 11 historic black colleges and 13 seminaries are being undergirded by much needed dollars and prayers. Prayerful gatherings are happening all over the world every day among United Methodists to consider how to move out into the world as life-transforming followers of Jesus the Christ. These are but a few of the things that our apportionment dollars helped us do as United Methodists in 2015. It happened because of the faithfulness of local congregations throughout our church who with grateful and hopeful hearts brought their gifts to the table of the work God has called us to.
It is my great joy to report to you that this week the California-Pacific Conference fulfilled its 2015 General and Jurisdictional Apportionments 100%!
We are not able to determine when Cal-Pac last reached this wonderful goal but we do know this is the first time in the last 17 years. Records do not exist prior to 1998, according to the General Council on Finance and Administration. Perhaps some of you who have been around a longer time than some of the rest of us can help us recapture our fuller history. What is most important though is that we thank God for this amazing accomplishment and look forward knowing that God has blessed us.
Here is a break-down of how we were able to reach our 100% apportionment contribution in 2015:
Your total 2015 apportionment giving was 84.75% of our conference’s apportionment budget of $12.8 million. This was an increase of 2.7%, $352,267 more than was contributed in 2014. 207 churches gave 100%, or more, of their apportionment, an increase in comparison to 203 churches in 2014. All districts showed an increase in total apportionment giving.
After all apportionment funds were collected and having paid off the expenses funded through apportionments, we found ourselves with a surplus. Our Conference Treasurer, Archana Carey, also reviewed our budget and expenditures and realized that it would take only $154,000 and only $3,336.20 to reach a 100% contribution on our General Church and Western Jurisdiction Apportionments respectively. She then boldly recommended to me and Dan Griffin, President of our Council on Finance and Administration, that we support her in taking the leap of faith in fulfilling our apportionment contribution at 100%. Through an examination of our financial situation, dialogue and prayer, we extended our support. Archana at our request then consulted with the Executive Committee of CFA which unanimously supported her recommendation.
Our Conference Treasurer’s word in reaching this mighty and faithful goal expresses the sentiments of those of us who first knew of this accomplishment:
My joy has no bounds. We have witnessed that the commitment to the ministry of Jesus Christ has increased as evidenced in the sacrificial giving of the people of the California-Pacific Conference.
The infographic at the bottom of this page gives you a snapshot of our General Church and Western Jurisdiction apportionments for 2015. It is but a snapshot. The good work that these dollars have made possible is immeasurable. Go to the websites of The United Methodist Church or our Western Jurisdiction for stories of faith and witness.
I am so very grateful for the hard and intentional work of our local congregations, our pastors and laity. I am aware of the fact that some churches after completing their full apportionment contribution partnered with other churches to help them meet their apportionments. Other churches gave more than 100% inspired by God’s goodness in their congregational life. With very few exceptions the churches of the California-Pacific Conference demonstrated that they are committed to a connectional ministry that is world-wide, big and beautiful, and that gets done better when we do it together as United Methodists!
I am also grateful for the work of our District Superintendents who have labored alongside our local churches and pastors extending their support for strengthening the stewardship of our conference. These colleagues in ministry have committed to helping raise our apportionment giving by 1% each calendar year. A reflection of their work is summarized in the infographic at the bottom.
Our CFA should also be commended for its faithful work. Under the leadership of Dan Griffin, CFA has led us in assuring that we are responsible stewards of the fiscal resources God has placed in our hands, while also working collaboratively with our Connectional Table so that dollars follow and undergird ministry rather than serve as a constraint to ministry.
Our Conference Treasurer, Archana Carey, and her staff should also be thanked for all of their hard work in receiving and administering your gifts for ministry. Archana leads a team that is Christ-centered and thus that seeks every good way to help us serve our Lord through every gift, small and large.
Above all, thanks be to God for God’s faithfulness. God has blessed the California-Pacific Conference with all we need to inspire the world as passionate followers of Jesus Christ so all may experience God’s life-giving love.
Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
The United Methodist Church