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    The Upper New York Conference of The United Methodist Church

    news article

    Mission church values their Ministry Share giving over comfort

    December 2, 2016 / By Rose Kingsbury

     “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs."  1 Timothy 6:10

    Many Christians leave monetary stewardship to other people. I am no different in that respect. Yet the need to pay our bills and provide for the work of ministry is at the heart of ministry. Until I attended Annual Conference, I had no idea about what Shared Ministries (formerly known as apportionments) were, and why the church collects and uses them. I had a chance to reflect on the usage of shared ministry, and started to put a line on my check to indicate that one dollar each week would go to paying our share. At that point, my home church wasn’t paying its ministry share.

    I am now a lay appointment to the Onondaga Nation Mission Church where 100 percent of our Shared Ministries are paid. We are not a wealthy church by any means. Last winter, we went for two weeks without any heat. Shared Ministry got paid though. When our friends at the Committee of Native American Ministries (CONAM) heard of our shortfall, they gave us an emergency grant. CONAM is also a recipient of Shared Ministries funding.

    I asked our treasurer, Debbie Jacobs, how we did it, and she replied, ”We make it a priority, ahead of even heating ourselves. We understand that there are other people in need too, and it is what the creator wants us to do: share.”

    Our Native American Transportation Outreach Program is also a recipient of Shared Ministry.

    We currently are the only transportation to serve the elders and the disabled on the Onondaga nation. The program is administered by CONAM and the people of our church.

    All three of our native churches are challenged by aging congregations. We wish to remain current with our neighbors.

    Our congregation, like many small churches, seeks to be in community with their neighbor for the transformation of the world through Jesus Christ.

    Shared Ministries help make that happen.

    With more than 144,000 members, the Upper New York Annual (Regional) Conference of The United Methodist Church comprises 865 local churches and 91 new faith communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our mission is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."