By Jessica Brodie
Apportionment payments continue to exceed last year’s performance, and church financial leaders are hoping to reach 90 percent for the year.
As of Nov. 17, the total apportionment percentage is 70.78 percent collected this year compared to last year’s 62.90 percent.
That translates to approximately $12.21 million collected so far of the budgeted $17.3 million for 2021.
In comparison, last year at this time we had received $11.08 million of the $17.6 million budgeted for last year.
“We are very pleased by the improvement seen in the current year,” said Beth Westbury, treasurer and director of administrative services for the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church. “Our churches showed an amazing commitment to supporting mission and ministry during the peak of the pandemic, and they continue to give to and support the connection. We are on target to reach 90 percent, perhaps more, in 2021.
“I am very thankful for the churches and their participation in mission and ministry beyond their home community.”
To date, 319 churches have already paid 100 percent of their apportionments compared to 248 at this time last year—an increase of 71 churches.
The Walterboro District is leading the conference’s districts in percentage paid as of Nov. 17 with 83.92 percent. The Florence District is in second place, with 78.8 percent, and the Columbia District is in third with 75.85 percent.
In addition, special giving and other askings are up more than $200,000 over last year, with $909,617 collected to date this year versus last year at $703,355. These are for anything from extra mile giving for college and homes to ministries such as Epworth Children’s Home or Aldersgate Special Needs Ministry.
Friday, Jan. 14, is the last day to pay apportionments. Payments must be in the treasurer’s office by 4 p.m. that day. If the church is paying electronically through Vanco, the payment must be initiated by 3 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12, to allow time for payments in process to clear and for staff to prepare for the 2022 year.
Westbury urges churches to pay electronically or mail their final check by the end of December because of changes made to United States Postal Service first-class delivery time frames.
“We have noticed that some mail is arriving two weeks after the postmark,” Westbury said. It is not the postmark that determines when the church pays; it is when the payment appears in the treasurer’s office.”
Wires can be initiated and received on the same day, so the deadline to send a wire is Jan. 14 by 2 p.m.
Is your church doing something special this year to raise extra money to pay your apportionments? Share it with the Advocate, and we’ll give you a mention in our next edition. Email email@example.com, or call 803-786-9486, ext. 338.