CF&A reports positive news about 2017 Ministry Shares
The Upper New York Conference Council of Finance & Administration (CF&A) is happy to report that 638 churches have contributed 100 percent of their Ministry Shares in 2017; this is up from 632 in 2016. The amount of Ministry Shares collected is over $100,000 more than Ministry Shares collected in 2016 ($8,625,795 in 2017 compared to $8,507,208 in 2016).
The Rev. Susan Ranous, chair of CF&A said, “It has been such a blessing to work on the narrative budget with the various Conference teams. I believe the stories that CF&A has been able to hear about and share because of that information has been a great incentive to local churches to understand that their Ministry Share giving isn't an act of ‘paying a tax’ or ‘paying a bill,’ but is, instead, an act of giving to God for mission and ministry through the Upper New York Conference.”
Pastors across the Conference whose church paid at least 100 percent of their Ministry Shares concurred with the Rev. Ranous.
Pastor Bob Lindsay is the pastor of Newport UMC and Middleville UMC in the Mohawk District, both of which have paid 100 percent of their Ministry Shares every year. He explained that “Ministry Shares are every church’s responsibility because each church is a member of the Methodist Family and responsible for funding the Church as a whole.”
The Rev. Patience Kisakye is the pastor of Lyons UMC and Newark Emmanuel UMC in the Finger Lakes District. Both churches gave 100 percent of their Ministry Shares in 2017 and it was the first year that Newark Emmanuel has done so.
Rev. Kisyake acknowledges how her congregations are seeing the importance of Ministry Shares in supporting the Connection. Among the many examples Rev. Kisakye supplied of how Ministry Shares support the United Methodist Connection, she said, “The knowledge that brothers and sisters are giving in partnership with other United Methodists around the world and that together we are making an impact that no single congregation could do alone is encouraging. Empowering and trusting the young people to manage the youth service fund is a plus that enables the Conference to see that the church is captivating leaders and planning for tomorrow. Folks have appreciated seeing how connectional giving continues to make programming possible in distressed communities like Lyons and Newark and so they give generously on Special Sundays with the hopes of enabling vital ministries that change the world. There is increased gratitude for visits from the District Superintendent and the Bishop's day in the District. They understand that without connectional giving these visits may not take place.”
The Ministry Shares collected in Upper New York helps support the Connection beyond the Conference. Because of the Ministry Shares collected, the UNY Conference was able to give 100 percent of our General Church apportionments for the second year in the row.
Rev. Ranous said, “I was so excited to learn that, because of the increase in Ministry Share giving by our local churches, and the great work done by CF&A, our Finance staff, and the various teams, the Upper New York Conference was able to pay for the second year in a row 100 percent of its General Church apportionments. Just as many local churches struggle to pay its Ministry Shares to the Conference, the Conference has struggled in paying its General Church apportionments as well. CF&A made a commitment to strategically increase its General Church apportionment giving each year until we were able to pay 100 percent. Because of the hard work of so many, we were able to do that in only two years!
Thank you to all the churches who have prioritized their Ministry Shares. Because of you, great things are happening across the United Methodist Connection.