Apportionment giving by South Carolina United Methodists climbed yet again in 2017, with the percentage of collections hitting 92.34 percent – a slight increase over 2016’s 92.04 percent rate.
“Connectional giving is never about the money; it is about doing as a Connection what no one person, church, district or conference can do alone,” said Bishop L. Jonathan Holston, resident bishop of the South Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church. “Generous giving is one important way we share in doing Christ’s work.
“Thank you for your faithful commitment to a ministry of making disciples, training leaders, creating new places for new people, and addressing the needs of children and those who live in poverty.”
Leaders had set a Conference goal of 94 percent for 2017.
“While we did not reach our goal, we are appreciative of the continuing improvement in giving,” Conference Treasurer Beth Westbury said. “We were short of the 94 percent goal by $290,803, but we collected $41,867 more than in the prior year.
“Our special giving increased as well. It is amazing how our churches continually soar to new heights in every way, not just in their giving.”
Of the 989 churches participating in the apportionment system, 800 paid 100 percent, compared to 789 in 2016. Quite an improvement when you consider the number of churches that were closed after the apportionments were calculated.
Special giving also increased in 2017 by more than $88,000.
“We were moved by the natural disasters in 2017 and increased our giving to the United Methodist Committee on Relief by more than $500,000,” Westbury said. “The homeless project associated with Annual Conference collected more than $167,000 across 2016 and 2017.
“Giving to Epworth Children’s Home through the Conference was down $51,000, but this might be due to churches’ contributing directly to Epworth through its capital campaign.”