The Office of the Mississippi Conference Treasurer
"Congratulations Mississippi Conference, you had an increase over 2012. Our challenge is to see how we can increase our giving in 2014. It's a high hill to climb, but we can do it," said David Stotts, treasurer of the Mississippi Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
Generosity in the Mississippi Conference was alive and well in 2013 and continues to grow overall reports the conference treasurer, David Stotts. A total of $19,107,785 was received from the gracious givers of the local churches for the connectional work of the conference. That is $92,142 more than 2012.
Stotts said "As I think about this sign of generosity, I believe the
|David Stotts,Treasurer of the Mississippi Annual Conference|
churches have given partially because of what they received. To me, that means more work was done in the local community because more funds must have been given. That lives out fully the mission of the United Methodist denomination which is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Paragraph 120 of The Book of Discipline continues, "Local churches provide the most significant arena through which disciple-making occurs." With the understanding of that statement and the number, not only is generosity alive and well in Mississippi, so is disciple-making in the local community.
The funding plan for 2013 was a total of $21,392,141. This includes the mission shares of $15,345,979 and the clergy pension of $6,046,162. Receipts for mission shares totaled $12,529,482 or a 81.70 percent pay out. The churches paid $6,022,652 toward the clergy pension invoices or 99.6 percent. This totals an overall payout for 2013 at 86.72 percent.
In 2012, the conference received 82.70 percent payout for the mission shares. For the same period of time the clergy pension invoices were paid at 96.57 percent. That means we had a payout rate for the 2012 funding plan of 86.44 percent.
"Congratulations Mississippi Conference, you had an increase over 2012. Our challenge is to see how we can increase our giving in 2014. It's a high hill to climb, but we can do it," said Stotts.
To climb that hill, Stotts adds that the conference will need to continue to pay clergy pension invoices at the 99 plus percent level to honor clergy. That should easily be done with fewer dollars because the percentage for pension invoices is less in 2014 due to the reduced pension plan offered to clergy.
Stotts explained that laity can honor clergy for their gracious gift by using those funds to increase their giving to the mission shares. By doing so, the result would be an increased payout on the mission shares.
"If your church was one of the 598 churches that were at 100 percent, thank you. If not, how about using that clergy pension invoice savings to pay on your mission shares to get closer to 100 percent," said Stotts.
The mission work done beyond the local church in the conference and the whole denomination is funded by what is known as turnarounds. That term means that we "turnaround" the money received for the mission shares and send it directly to the mission partners withholding nothing for administrative costs.
Stotts said, "That means every dollar given for God's work by a gracious giver goes directly 100 percent to that ministry. No other charitable organization can boast that.
In 2013 the conference had $9,211,539 in turnarounds that were funded by the gracious givers with $7,663,674 or at an 83.2 percent rate. This means that the conference gave more money to others than it did for our internal work as a conference.
"Now that is generosity, to give away more than we spend on ourselves," said Stotts.
To view the 2014 funding plan for the Mississippi Annual Conference, click here.