The Commission on Equitable Compensation supports ministry by providing grants to churches to help pay their pastors, especially in new churches and mission churches.
“The commission funds churches to make sure the minister is paid the minimum salary established for that clergy person’s status and years of service,” said Beth Westbury, treasurer of the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church.
“It assists in funding clergy for mission churches where there are long-term needs for reaching the population for disciple making.”
The commission gets its funding almost exclusively from apportionment dollars, Westbury said. Its budget is about $500,000.
Chairman Skipper Brock said the Commission on Equitable Compensation’s work falls roughly into two categories: working with Congregational Development staff to support church starts and church revitalization projects, and making sure ministers in the S.C. Conference are paid the minimum standard established by the commission, with input from other UMC agencies.
“When we help the ministers, we’re helping the church body,” he said. “Since we’re a connectional church, that’s important to everyone involved.
“I like to think of us as a Band-Aid, particularly with a church facing a financial emergency. We’re there to help make sure that the pastors get compensated. We’re not a permanent safety net; we’re there to help them through rough times.”
The 16-member commission includes eight ministers and eight laypersons, with leadership alternating between clergy and lay every four years.
“I thank the conference for all the backing they give us,” Brock said, “because we couldn’t do it without the support of generous apportionment giving by our churches and individual members.”
Over “10 Days of Connectional Giving” – leading up to the Jan. 10 deadline for churches to pay their 2016 apportionments to the conference treasurer – we are sharing short stories to remind you what your church’s annual contributions mean to your fellow United Methodists and to those whose lives are touched by their efforts.
We hope this will encourage your congregation’s leaders to make sure they have submitted your church’s 2016 apportionments so the good work of all of the conference’s ministries can continue.
And to those churches that already have given 100 percent of their apportionments: