Ministry Shares - What are they?
As a United Methodist congregation, Liverpool First United Methodist Church is “connected” to other United Methodist congregations worldwide. One of the ways we support this network of churches is by making monthly Shared Ministry payments. In past times these were known as Apportionments. These payments are currently set at 14% of the prior year’s annual income, and for 2021 we are assessed $51,084, and that expense is a part of our operating budget funded by your offerings. One of the decisions made when we became the beneficiary of the April 2020 PPP loan (which became a grant) was to pay 100% of our Shared Ministry obligations faithfully, and we have done that since June 2020. The funds that LFUMC and other UMC (Ministry Shares cont.) churches furnish are used in a wide variety of ways. A few that you may not be aware of are:
• Disaster Response teams are formed to address relief efforts for natural and human-made disasters. In recent years floods, hurricanes, forest fires, and earthquakes have been frequent needs. The flooding in New York’s southern tier in August and the recent Haiti earthquake are relevant examples.
• Africa University is the first and only fully accredited institution of higher learning established on the African continent by the General Conference of The United Methodist Church in 1988. Africa University has shaped the lives of thousands of young people all over the continent of Africa by equipping them with the knowledge to alleviate poverty, build peace, increase stability, and drive development. Most of the graduates return to their home country to make a difference.
• VIM (Volunteer in Mission) teams construct and renew mission facilities in the US and internationally. Examples of these efforts are teaching at schools, conducting medical clinics, holding children’s Bible school, and volunteering at the Mission Central HUB, located at the Upper New York Conference headquarters on Henry Clay Blvd in Liverpool.
• Following the Civil War, the former Methodist Episcopal Church organized the Freedmen’s Aid Society to help educate African Americans who could not read or write. In 1972, The United Methodist Church established the Black College Fund to provide reliable support for UM-related, historically Black colleges and offer a chance to everyone with a dream and a commitment to excel, regardless of race, class, gender, or ethnic heritage. Unfortunately, many of these students, often the first in their family to go to college, would fall through the cracks and never earn a college degree, even though they have the intellectual capacity to do so. As a result, the United Methodist Church supports the most significant number of fully accredited, historically Black colleges and universities in the United States.
The next time you make an offering to “Budget,” remember that some of your dollars are going to these. And many other essential needs, all in the name of Jesus Christ.
Thank you all for your generosity.
UNYUMC description of Ministry Shares: https://www.unyumc.org/about/ministry-shares