The following letter from our California-Pacific Conference Resident Bishop Grant J. Hagiya and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration was sent to all churches of our Conference in order for our churches to make the best decision on giving faithfully to the Connection. This information serves as a guide as to the connectional giving options available and not as a directive as to which giving decision to make. The California-Pacific Conference continues to embody a spirit of “one church” in all possible ways.
The harm and pain that the Special-Called Session of the General Conference caused continues to weigh heavily on many of us, laity, clergy and Bishops alike. Leadership within the Western Jurisdiction and the California-Pacific Annual Conference are actively working on responses that will allow a grace-filled and welcoming Methodism to continue to exist and serve in our region as well as beyond. We welcome more conversation about this in our churches and at all levels of our life together.
In the meantime, one of the ways many individuals and congregations have indicated they want to demonstrate their rejection of what happened at General Conference is through withholding or redirecting their apportionment contributions. We understand that desire as apportionments are one of the ways we live out our connectionalism. Signaling to the General Church that congregations will not help sustain an unjust system or broken structure is an important act of resistance and a testimony to the conviction that God’s love is for all people.
To that end, the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) will adjust the Apportionment Remittance form beginning with the May 2019 remittance to assist congregations who want to make such a demonstration. Under the General Church Apportionment category there will be two new options, allowing for congregations to contribute to an alternative World Service Fund and an alternative General Administration Fund; these alternative apportionment funds will be sent on to support the General Church ministries we value only after we determine that they do not support leadership or agencies that further exclusion or judgment against LGBTQIA persons.
The Western Jurisdiction leadership has asked the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) for a detailed breakdown of the World Service fund. Once that is received, our Conference Connectional Table will recommend to which ministries the Cal-Pac alternative World Service Funds will be given. This may well include ministries not currently being funded.
There are important ministries that our apportionments sustain and which align with our values for an inclusive, diverse and welcoming church. We seek to not increase the harm of the General Conference by impacting those critical ministries to which we are committed; yet, CFA also wants to be responsive to congregations that want to make such a witness. As a reminder, 76% of local church apportionments stay within the Annual Conference. This is a time when we need every congregation to step up in faithful giving by funding our local mission and ministry at 100% and to support the work of the Western Jurisdiction by contributing the small percentage asked for that work as well. Those amounts for each congregation are stated on the monthly remittance form.
If any congregation would like to make additional adjustments or would like more information about the impact of these decisions, please contact the Conference Treasurer’s office (626.568.7306).
Together, by God’s grace, we will continue to be disciples of Jesus Christ in our communities and the world around, living out the best of who we are called to be as shaped by our Wesleyan roots. God is doing something new in our midst, and in joy, let us go into the future with love and faith.
In Christ’s service,
Bishop Grant J. Hagiya
Los Angeles Area Resident Bishop
Howard Hudson, President
Cal-Pac Council on Finance and Administration