Message from SWTX Conference Treasurer – 2012 Apportionments

Trinity paid 100% of our 2012 apportionments, and was a Five-Star Church .  This letter is from the treasurer of the Southwest Texas Conference, David Seilheimer:

United Methodists in the Southwest Texas Conference continue to amaze me with their faithfulness and generosity.  The Conference historically is a strong supporter of the Connectional Church.  For the last several years, each year giving has been slightly higher than the year previously.  The same is true for 2012.  Total giving to apportioned causes increased to $10,994,245 in 2012.  This represents 96.79% of total apportionments and is an increase from 2011 of 0.65%.

Why is this?  There are many reasons.  The primary one is that our people and our churches continue to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts, and I believe are continuing to grow in understanding stewardship as an essential element of personal and corporate discipleship.  Beyond that, there are other factors that are important.  There seems to be a general understanding that all apportionment requests are prayerfully set for one of two purposes, either to directly support mission efforts or to do something to further the mission of the local church that can be done more effectively by all the churches together than by any one church alone.  I believe that there is also an appreciation of the fact that the Conference Finance Committee has worked very hard to avoid any increase in the amount apportioned, and has consistently been able to bring forward an apportionment budget that is smaller relative to local church spending than it was in the previous year.

So, what is done with your apportionment giving?

  • Several thousand children and youth grow in faith and leadership through taking part in Mid-Winters, Camps, Retreats, and other events.
  • There is an effective ministry to children and youth leaders in the local churches that continues to improve our ability to help our children and youth grow in faith.
  • There are scholarships offered to United Methodist Students at Southwestern University, Texas Wesleyan University, and other United Methodist Schools in Texas.
  • There is a United Methodist presence in colleges and universities across the Southwest Texas Conference offering ministry to young adults at a time that is particularly critical in their lives.
  • Pastors and their spouses who have served the church faithfully for many years receive sustainable pensions for their work in the United Methodist Church.
  • There is an Africa University that trains native church leaders for the fastest growing Christian church in the world.
  • Your church is led by the most effective pastor the Conference is able to supply.  If that pastor becomes ill and is unable to continue, she receives a disability benefit that allows her to continue to support her family and the Cabinet immediately acts to supply new pastoral leadership and the moving expenses of the both pastors are paid by the annual conference.
  • It means that the United Methodist Church has one of the most, if not the most, effective disaster relief and recovery support in the world.  Whenever a disaster strikes, we are there immediately and we stay until recovery is complete.  We are still supporting tornado recovery efforts in Missouri, hurricane relief efforts in New York, fire recovery in Bastrop, and hundreds of other areas around the world.  We are the first in and the last out.

Blessings in the name of Jesus Christ our Savior.

David A. Seilheimer

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