This month we begin the second half of 2007. It is a good time to pause and see where we are in our shared stewardship of the ministries of the annual conference and the global connection of United Methodists.
Here are some of the mid-year facts. Some confront, some encourage, some inspire:
• We are 1.24 percent ($229,389) ahead of last year in apportioned giving, yet we are down $282,070 in total giving compared to last year.
• Our second-mile giving is down $511,459, most of which is related to Katrina recovery. We continue to receive amazing support from the connection of United Methodists in Katrina response; however, our giving to the general church apportionments and Board of Global Ministries are both down about 6 percent.
• Six districts are down from last year. Only three districts were down at the end at May.
• The New Albany District is leading the way in percentage paid on apportionments.
• The Seashore District has the highest percentage increase for the month over last year.
• 120 churches are at 100 percent!
• 498 churches (including the 120 above) are systematically giving, up from 476 in May!
• 187 churches are still at zero. We had 222 at the end of May, so 35 churches have moved forward in giving. The apportionments total $1,105,083 for those churches, or 5.9 percent of the budget.
We rejoice over the signs of spiritual strength, generosity, and vitality. It is our hope to show radiant faithfulness in 2007 as a people blessed greatly by God.
Thank you for your leadership in generosity.