Bishop Webb pens Ministry Shares letters
Editor’s note: Corrections have been made to the fact sheet that accompanied the letters sent to churches from Bishop Mark J. Webb. Please click here to review an updated version.
The Upper New York Conference has faced some challenges reconciling the difference between the ministries agreed upon at the 2015 Annual Conference session and the funds received to make those ministries possible. As the final Ministry Shares figure for 2015 was tallied, the Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) and Conference Leadership Team determined which ministries to fully fund in 2016.
Upper New York Area Resident Mark J. Webb recently penned a letter to the UNY churches that paid at least 100 percent of their Ministry Shares. The letters were sent to pastors, treasurers, admin chairs, and SPRC chairs.
“This is not an easy time for Upper New York, but I am writing first to thank you,” he wrote in the letter. “Your church gave at least 100 percent of its Ministry Share benevolence in 2015, and in some cases even gave beyond the 100 percent ask. Because of you we increased our General Church Apportionment giving to 65 percent, and we funded Africa University, the Black College Fund, and the Northeastern Jurisdiction at 100 percent. Moreover, we have been able to do ministry here in Upper New York that no individual church could do alone. Your giving has been a blessing to countless people in our mission field.”
In the letter, Bishop Webb assures congregations that have paid 100 percent of their Ministry Shares that the Conference is working to assist those churches that have not paid their Ministry Shares at 100 percent. The plan is as follows: Each church that has not paid 100 percent of its Ministry Share must draft a one- to three-year action plan – with help from its district superintendent and district teams – which outlines the steps the church will take to increase its Ministry Share giving to 100% within 1- 3 years.
Additional letters are being sent to churches that did not reach 100 percent that detail how to create this plan as well as what resources will be available to help them meet the 100 percent Ministry Share goal.
Bishop Webb emphasized that the most important step for churches paying 100 percent is to continue to pay at that level. He also made a “bold request,” asking these congregations to consider giving more than 100 percent of their Ministry Shares.
“This act of missional giving could make a great difference, especially since our work is only starting with the churches not giving at 100 percent,” he wrote. “Together, with God’s grace, we are able to do things none of us can do alone.”