2015 Mission Shares: 339 churches paid 100 percent or more

March 07, 2016

“As generous distributors of God’s manifold grace, put your gifts at the service of one another … – 1 Peter 4:10 
I am pleased to announce that for the second year since becoming the New England Conference we have paid 100 percent toward our General Church Apportionment.
On behalf of the New England Conference, I would like to offer congratulations and thanks to the 339 churches (up from 333 last year) that paid 100 percent or more of their mission shares. We are grateful to all of the churches that paid as they were able; thank you.
Our churches’ commitment to connectional giving is something to celebrate. Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, the Cabinet, and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration share that commitment, and paying 100 percent of our apportionment demonstrates that. 
Unfortunately, we could not fulfill this vital obligation to support the work of the church worldwide through mission shares alone. It was necessary to supplement what we received in mission shares by drawing $325,000 from our reserve funds. We were able to partially offset this by lower expenses in other mission share areas, primarily in retiree health insurance, but we were still $162,580 short of what was needed. 
The Conference received 76.2 percent of mission share receipts in 2015. That’s a 1.8 percentage point increase from 2014, but a 2.7 percent decrease from 2013. 
In 2015, we had more churches paying 100 percent of mission shares and received a higher percentage of mission shares than the year before. That’s great news, and we need to keep that trend going.
As members of a connectional church, we are able to be in ministry in New England, across the country and the world in ways that we could not hope to be without each other’s support. Our ministries are making disciples for the transformation of the world, and connectional giving is the foundation of that work.
Our Conference apportionment of $1,568,621 supports the following: 
  • World Service Fund 
  • Ministerial Education Fund 
  • Episcopal Fund 
  • Black College Fund 
  • Interdenominational Cooperation Fund 
  • Africa University Fund 
  • General Administration Fund 
 Back home in New England, mission shares support a wide range of ministries and opportunities. Here are some examples: 
  • Supports congregational development work in forming new congregations – such as Simple Church in Grafton, MA, and re-invigorating existing faith communities such as Mathewson Street UMC in Providence, RI. 
  • Through equitable compensation, assures pastoral leadership for congregations all across the New England Conference who are otherwise unable to provide the minimum clergy salary. 
  • Provides support for our outdoor ministries with youth at Camp AldersgateCamp Mechuwana, and Wanakee United Methodist Center and for new and emerging ministries in Vermont. 
  • Helps lower the cost to churches hiring New England Parish Consultants, who offer guidance and tools to local churches. 
There were 29 churches that paid more than 100 percent in mission shares and 310 that paid 100 percent in 2015. See that list.

See the full list 2015 mission shares payments by church.
Thank you again for your support and prayers; know that you continue to be in our prayers. 
Hope and blessings be with you,  
William V. Burnside II 
Conference Treasurer