Tsunami, hurricane relief drive UM giving to record level


(UMCom) - United Methodists gave more generously than ever before in 2005, surpassing the previous year’s total giving by more than 50 percent. This assessment of 2005 giving was reported Feb. 15 by Sandra K. Lackore, general secretary and treasurer of the General Council on Finance and Administration.

Lackore stated, “In a year that brought much natural devastation to so many of our local congregations around the globe, we have a great deal to celebrate."

“We celebrate the overwhelming generosity of the people of The United Methodist Church,” said Lackore. Explaining that total giving in 2005 was $85 million more than 2004, a 53.6 percent increase, Lackore reported that $80 million of the increase was given for tsunami and hurricane relief efforts.

Fifteen annual conferences were recognized for participating at the 100 percent level of all apportioned funds, an increase of three conferences over 2004. These conferences included:

Alaska Missionary (per adjustment in 2006)
Baltimore Washington
Central Pennsylvania
Desert Southwest
Illinois Great Rivers
New York
North Carolina
Northern Illinois
Oklahoma Indian Missionary
Peninsula Delaware
Red Bird Missionary
Rio Grande

Six additional annual conferences were recognized for participating at the 90 percent level or higher of all apportioned funds. These conferences were:

North Texas
Southwest Texas

Lackore noted the faithfulness of the denomination to the connectional covenant of apportioned giving, citing the Mississippi and Louisiana conferences that, in the midst of extreme devastation and hardship, maintained their apportioned giving at or slightly above their 2004 levels. The Alabama-West Florida, Florida, and Texas Conferences—greatly impacted by the hurricane season as well—were recognized for maintaining or slightly increasing their participation rate in apportioned giving.

In closing her report Lackore concluded, “We celebrate the faithfulness of so many local congregations and conferences in meeting their commitment to the apportioned general funds in 2005. These funds drive the financial mission statement of our denomination. By working together and fully participating in the general apportioned funds, we make possible the mission and ministry of Christ.”

To learn more about Mississippi churches' apportioned giving and second-mile giving in 2005 see the 2005 Giving Report.