By Jessica Connor
It's official: United Methodist churches paid 84 percent of apportionments for 2011.
That percentage is 1 percent higher than the 83 percent paid last year, though it is 1 percent shy of the 85 percent goal set by Conference Treasurer Tony Prestipino for 2011.
When you don t meet a goal, it s a little disappointing, but at the same time, it s better than last year, and it was really close, Prestipino said. We saw a lot more churches get to 100 percent than ever before.
The 84 percent translates to about $15.2 million paid of the $18 million total conference budget for 2011.
The Columbia District had the strongest percentage, paying 98.83 percent of apportionments. The Orangeburg District was next at 89.81 percent, followed by the Marion District at 85.97 percent. The Florence District had the lowest, at 61.64 percent.
Apportionments support conference and district administration and efforts of the General Church, as well as ministries such as United Methodist colleges and retirement homes, camps and retreats, advance special ministries like Rural Mission or the Bethlehem Center, and new or struggling churches who need support.
For more on the 2011 percentages, visit www.umcsc.org/treasurer.html .