Apportionment giving by South Carolina United Methodists surpassed 90 percent for the fifth consecutive year in 2019.
The 2019 rate of 90.1 percent was down slightly from 90.9 percent in 2018, said Beth Westbury, conference treasurer and director of administrative services for the South Carolina Conference.
Apportioned funding – one of the main pillars of the United Methodist Connection – is a way of giving that proportionally allocates the churchwide budget for payment by local churches and annual conferences. A local church’s assigned portion of giving supports conference, national and international ministries.
“I am extremely proud of the commitment shown by our churches,” she said. “We have churches like St Matthew/Greenville, whose final payment for 2018 was late, so we applied it to 2019. When they hit 100 percent for 2019, they kept sending checks. When we tried to explain that they were all paid up, they stated they wanted to overpay their 2019 apportionments in order to make up for not getting it all in 2018.
“That kind of commitment is extraordinary.”
And while fewer churches paid 100 percent in 2019 (770) than in 2018 (778), Westbury said, fewer churches also paid zero percent (20 in 2019 vs. 27 in 2018).
“We look forward to a day when every church participates in apportionment giving to support the mission and ministry that goes beyond the local church,” she said. “I hope that each church will look at 2020 as a new opportunity to transform the world through apportionments.”
Other highlights from 2019 apportionment giving included:
- The Walterboro District had the highest giving rate (98.3 percent), followed by the Rock Hill District (97.9 percent), and the Columbia District (94.1 percent).
- The Greenville District showed the most improvement when measured by dollars collected ($83,899 more than 2018), followed by the Florence District ($83,255 more) and the Walterboro District ($52,511 more).
- The Florence District showed the most improvement when measured by percentage increase (5.8 percent more than 2018), followed by the Rock Hill District (4 percent more) and the Greenville District (1.7 percent more).