Two Texas Annual Conference Districts Pay 100% Apportionments
By Lindsay Peyton
During Annual Conference this year, the East and West Districts were recognized for paying 100% of their apportionments. TAC Treasurer Rev. Carol Bruse and Chair of the Council on Finance and Administration Rev. Dr. Deborah Vaughn commended both districts for their commitment and dedication.
Rev. Bruse explained that each year, local churches are obliged to pay costs to continue shared mission and global ministry for the General and Jurisdictional Conference of the United Methodist Church – as well as expenditures for the Texas Annual Conference, including programs, operations, buildings, staff salaries and benefits.
Each church’s ability to share “a portion” of their financial resources is considered – and is part of how “apportionments” are calculated, after the TAC’s annual budget is approved.
The Treasurer's office sends a detailed statement to each church, with their apportionments for the following year, requesting a monthly payment to the TAC.
When all the churches in a District pay in full, or one church helps cover the costs of another, the result is 100 % apportionments paid to the TAC.
Rev. Bruse explained that the payment covers the salaries of District Superintendents and Campus Ministers, as well as funding Campus Ministries.
“These churches ensure that we can pay the faithful servants, who are helping local churches Love All God's Children, youth and young adults,” she added. “These churches make it possible for us to pay the faithful servants who recruit gifted clergypersons and empower and encourage lay leaders, foster healthy Hispanic and African American churches and keep us ready to respond to disasters.”
The apportionments also cover the TAC website and newsletters – and support pastors and new faith communities.
“Just as families count on consistent income to meet their commitments, just as churches are counting on those families to continue to faithfully give a portion of their income to support church commitments, so the Texas Annual Conference counts on churches to pay 100 % of their apportionments -- particularly during this difficult season of pandemic and economic downturn,” Rev. Bruse said.
Dr. Richard P. White, District Superintendent of the East District, considers apportionments as a church’s tithe to the conference and commitment to the Lord.
He explained that as a child his parents instilled in him the importance of both. “By paying our apportionments, that’s one of the ways we could do work around the world, even though we were in a little church in East Texas,” he said.
Sometimes, smaller congregations struggle to pay the fee, and a larger church in the district will step up to help, White added. “I’m pleased when a group comes forward,” he said. “I’m fortunate to be in a place where we got into this habit, one that we will continue.”
Rev. Wanda Bess, District Superintendent for the West District, also considers apportionments as essential and is proud of her district for its ongoing commitment to pay in full.
“This is our responsibility in a connectional system,” she said. “That’s a legacy I hope to pass on to the next District Superintendent.”
Bess has witnessed as churches that received help from other congregations in the past have returned pay it forward.
“It’s all because we understand our commitment,” she said. “We love our conference, and our district is faithful. We want to do our part.”
Chair of the Council on Finance and Administration Dr. Deborah Vaughn said that the TAC celebrates every dollar paid by its churches.
“The commitment expressed by Districts with all churches paying 100 % inspires a heightened level of hopefulness for the work entrusted to our care across the connection,” she said. “Their faithfulness, and in some instances, their sacrifice, revitalizes our faith, especially during these challenging times.”