Apportionments even with last year

By Jessica Brodie

With a little more than a month until 2023 books close, conference financial leaders are still looking to achieve roughly 90 percent collection of apportionments.

That’s the word from Beth Westbury, treasurer and director of administrative services for the South Carolina Conference of The United Methodist Church, who said Nov. 15 her office had received 72.03 percent of 2023 apportionments, compared to 71.97 percent for 2022. This is on a total budgeted goal for 2023 of $15.6 million.

“We are about even with last year,” Westbury said, noting the conference finished 2022 at 89.22 percent. “I think we can reach 90 percent.”

Apportionment funds support the ministries and missions of the annual conference, from campus ministries and congregational development to, partially, this newspaper.

As of Nov. 15, Westbury said, the Columbia District is leading the conference’s districts in percentage collected with 79.8 percent. The Walterboro District is in second place, with 76.36 percent, and the Hartsville District is in third with 74.81 percent.

“We have great churches that are motivated to do mission and ministry in this state and beyond,” Westbury added. “This is always evident in the way they respond to disasters with gifts to UMCOR and the way they support Epworth. I have faith they will support the ministry areas supported by our apportionments.”

She said that, on a personal note, she is asking churches that are considering separation in 2024 to pay their 2023 apportionments in 2023.

“My motives are entirely selfish. If they pay in 2023, the payment can be handled within our normal routines. If it is paid as part of the separation fee, I have to do more work. So, as a Christmas gift to me, I ask they pay in 2023,” Westbury said.

Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024, 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. Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2024 to allow time for payments in process to clear and for staff to prepare for the 2024 year. The treasurer’s office strongly encourages churches to make all apportionment payments using Vanco because of the recent mail delivery problems it has experienced. Information about paying by Vanco can be found at

The 2024 budget is $13.2 million.

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