By Melissa Lauber
“91.66 percent!” The Council on Finance and Administration meeting are usually serious times of reporting and reflection. However, in the recent meeting on apportionment giving in 2015, the numbers
91.7 percent is the highest collection rate for apportionment giving in 15 years, as congregations gave money to fund ministries beyond their local churches. “This
Eichelberger singled out the Cumberland-Hagerstown District for its faithfulness in paying 98.4 percent of its apportionments. Eighty of its 83 churches paid 100 percent. He also praised the Greater Washington District, which had its highest collection rates in five years and the Baltimore Suburban District, which rose from 89.1 percent in 2014 to 96.3 percent in 2015.
He also lifted up seven local churches who gave significantly more than they originally projected they would be able to. The churches that gave more than $5,000 than they initially reported they might include Sharp Street Memorial UMC in Baltimore; Ellerslie –St. Andrews in Baltimore; Calvary in Mt. Airy; Cresaptown UMC, Lincoln Park UMC in Washington; Emanuel in Catonsville and Francis Asbury National Korean in Rockville.
While there was much cause for celebration, it was noted that the annual conference members voted to set the collection rate at 92 percent when they adopted the $17,331,386 budget. The collection rate of 91.7 brought the budget within $52,000 of its goal.
In 2014, the churches paid only 90.77 percent of their apportionments, causing a $264,000 shortfall.
This year’s giving really is a great news story, Eichelberger said. “It acknowledges the great capacity of our conference.”
A church-by-church report on 2015 apportionment giving is on pages 8-11 of the Feb. 2016 issue of the UMConnection.