To: Pastors, Church Treasurers and SPRC chairs
Subject: Mission Shares
Date: December 18, 2017
I can’t believe that almost 6 months have gone by since my arrival in New England. I am contacting you to first thank you for your commitment to being a connectional church. It is through your generosity and work of ministry that we can reach the world.
In visiting with the churches in our district and presiding over church conferences, a common concern has been shared regarding Mission Shares. In an effort to address some of those questions, I thought I’d remind you of how Mission Shares are determined.
“The Conference budget, as determined by the Annual Conference, enables ministry and allows us to fulfill our vision and mission. Local churches’ participation in the budget is expressed as Mission Shares. Mission Shares, or Apportionments, enable the mission and ministry of our local churches, our Conference and our denomination, locally, regionally and throughout the world.
Since the creation of the New England Conference in 1994 the same formula has been used to determine your Mission Shares.
“…the Church is either faithful as a witnessing and serving community,
or it loses its vitality and its impact on an unbelieving world.”
The Book of Discipline ¶ 130
Beyond the reaffirmation of faith, each local congregation is an expression of the ministry of Jesus Christ and bears witness to reconciliation with God and one another. As each congregation prepares its annual financial program, the language of numbers gives shape and dimension to faithful response to ministry. These responses connect our denomination in a dynamic multi-dimensional way.
Overall, our resources are apportioned to various distinct, but interconnected, programs and ministries. While they may vary in priority, each one is worthy of your careful, prayerful and responsible consideration and decision.
To assist you in your review of how your apportioned resources work, we have divided the fundamental needs of our Conference and denomination into three fund areas. Each fund represents an important area in which we are keeping faith with the Discipline and our commitment as a connectional people:
Mission Share Funds
- Fund 1 – World Missions
- Fund 2 – New England Mission
- Fund 3 – Ministry Support
Your response to each of these funds will truly be an expression of faith; for all these funds address not only current, but also future needs. As such, they are the substance of things hoped for. In allocating apportioned funds, we are making tangible our confidence of the things we hope…for our communities, for our Conference, for our church, and for our world.” (Taken from New England Conference Website – www.newumc.org/missionshares)
Finally, if your church is struggling to satisfy your 100% obligation, please consider the following:
- Send 10% (a tithe) each week or month of your pledged income
- Take up a special offering this Christmas and send to the conference treasurer
- Commit to send in Mission Share payments on a consistent basis
It is my prayer that all our district churches will strive to meet our connectional obligation. Thank you for your commitment and your continued support. Remember, this is our Comeback!
Rev. Dr. Andrew L. Foster, III.