What do you do when you find a mistake?
Written by Pat Otstot, First UMC, Billings, MT
Member, Council on Finance and Administration
The Conference Council on Finance and Administration is taking the steps to correct a mistake. Over the past year, we have tried a new system to manage Mission Shares and General Church Apportionments. Because of General Conference 2019, we changed our method of collecting funds for the conference and general church to a two-part system, Mission Shares for the local conference of 10 percent, and Apportionments for the General Church of about 3 percent on average.
After much analysis, including the complexity of the new system, the misunderstanding of the new system, and the pandemic, we have determined there is a huge shortfall in the amounts we have collected for the General Church Apportionments. We currently have collected less than 20 percent of the amount we will owe the General Church in January, 2021. In 2019, we were able to collect 80 percent of that funding, due January 2020.
Therefore, we have determined that there are too many drawbacks to the new system, and we are going to return to the old method of processing connectional giving payments. In 2021, there will be a return to one Mission Share, the 13 percent rate, as in previous years, which will include the General and Jurisdictional Apportionments. This process change will be effective Feb. 1, 2021.
There is a caveat – if a church truly wants to remain in control of the General and Jurisdictional Funds, they may express that desire no later than January 15. Those churches will be asked to pay the 10 percent Mission Share for the local conference, AND the General and Jurisdictional direct assessment.
We tried a new process, and it didn’t work out as we had hoped. So, besides going back to the 13 percent Mission Share starting in February 2021 (based on your Adjusted Gross Revenue), please remember the two important dates coming up at the end of the year – Dec. 31, 2020
is the date your General Apportionment amounts should be paid into the conference for this year’s commitment, so we can pay those in January. Also, Jan. 31, 2021
is the deadline to get your 2020 Mission Shares in to the Conference office, and get credited for 2020.
If you have any questions about mission shares, apportionments, 2020 or 2021, please let us know by contacting Angela Thomas, Conference Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer, at email@example.com
or 303-325-7051; or Bruce Berger, Chair of Responsible Stewardship and President of the Council on Finance and Administration, at firstname.lastname@example.org
. Thank you for your work in ministry of all kinds during an especially difficult year. Take care of yourselves, and stay safe.
This article about Mission Shares by Pat Otstot, First United Methodist Church, Billings, MT, and Member of the Council on Finance and Administration