News and Views

Churches give generously to shared mission

Posted by Melissa Lauber on

Connectional giving in the Baltimore-Washington Conference is strong. In 2018, 83.6 percent, or 521 of the conference’s 623 churches, paid 100 percent of their mission shares and the overall collection rate was 90.6 percent.

Speaking at a meeting of the Council on Finance and Administration, Bishop LaTrelle Easterling praised the people of the Baltimore-Washington Conference who continue to support mission and ministry beyond the walls of their local churches. “We had two record years of giving in this annual conference and a 90.6 percent collection rate is reason to keep our heads up,” she said. “Thank you for your stewardship. The best is yet to come.”

In 2018, churches contributed $14,045,685 in mission shares, which was less than expected. In fact, giving was down by $243,000, or 1.7 percent less than last year. However, conference leaders cut expenses by $125,000 and received more income from grants and other sources than expected, bringing 2018 to a close with a $138,000 surplus.

Mission shares, also known as apportionments, are that portion of a local church’s budget that is given to the annual conference and General Church, acknowledging that we can do different and larger ministries together in our shared vision of making disciples for the transformation of the world.
Most churches contribute less than 11 percent of their total donations to mission shares.

This year, the Annapolis District had the best collection rate, contributing 97.2 percent to mission shares. Washington East was the most improved district, moving up 2.8 percent to 92.3 percent.
In 2018, 30 churches moved up to paying 100 percent of their mission shares, while 35 stepped away from paying 100 percent.
The goal, Bishop Easterling said, is to have 100 percent, paying 100 percent. “In the Baltimore-Washington Conference, every dollar, every hour, should be about building bridges to support local churches to be mission centers in their communities and beyond.”