Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Better Together: understanding your Shares of Ministry

What Are Shares of Ministry?

As United Methodists, we believe the church is bigger than any one congregation. In the Susquehanna Conference we are over 900 congregations sharing a mission and a ministry to our communities and to the world.

By sharing our resources, amazing ministries can touch the lives of people down the street or half way around the world.

It’s simple mathematics ... when your church fulfills its covenant to pay its Shares of Ministry, you are fulfilling Christ’s command to go into all the world to make disciples for him and transform the world in Christ’s name.

Shares of Ministry pay our combined cost of being in ministry in central and northeastern Pennsylvania.

80 cents to Local Church || 15 cents to Conference || 5 cents to General Church
About 80 cents of each offering dollar your church receives stays in your local church for its immediate mission and ministry.

About 20 cents of each offering dollar is sent in to the conference treasurer to be used as Shares of Ministry, providing support for the cost of being a connected
church, support of current and retired pastors, and for local and conference shared ministries. They also help in providing tools and training for effective local church ministry.

Of those 20 cents, 5 cents covers our conference share of the larger general church operating expenses and world-wide mission.

How are Shares of Ministry calculated?

In June of each year, pastors and lay members from each of our congregations gather for Annual Conference. Together they decide on which ministries will continue to be our priorities and, in so doing, set the conference budget for the coming year. A formula is then applied and each church is assessed its share of the total amount. That amount is its “Shares of Ministry.”

What Do Your Shares Do?
Your Shares of Ministry help support such ministries as:
  • United Methodist Children’s Home
  • Benevolent Homes
  • Our Camping and Retreat Program, Including Four Camping/Retreat Facilities Across the Conference
  • Volunteers in Mission Training and Support
  • Neighborhood Center
  • Congregational Revitalization / Matthew 28
  • New Church Development
  • Campus Ministries
  • Prison Ministries
  • Parrish Development Grants
  • Congregational Health Ministries Grants
  • Youth and Young Adult Ministries
Your Shares of Ministry help your church become more effective in mission and ministry through:
  • Discovery Place Resource Center
  • Consultations:
    - Christian Education
    - Small Groups
    - Visioning and Planning
  • MissionInsite   (demographic tools)  
  • Information and training on how to reach people in the church’s community
  • Safe Sanctuary training
  • Communications:
    - The LINK (Newspaper)
    - Susquehanna Xpress
    - QuikLINK (email)
    - Social Media presence
    - Video Production
    - Local Church Communications
    - Conference Website
  • Disaster Response Training
Shares support the basic cost of operating our connected ministry:
  • Bishop’s Office, Staff and Residence
  • Conference Center Operations
  • Finance and Administration Office
  • Stewardship Foundation
  • Connectional Ministries Staff and Offices
  • Congregational Development Staff and Office
  • Information Technology Department
  • Annual Conference Sessions
  • Five Ministry Resource Teams:
    - Congregational Development
    - Discipleship
    - Finance and Administration
    - Leadership Development
    - Mission and Outreach
    And more ...
Shares provide funding for leadership development and for recruiting, training, assigning, supervising, and supporting pastors:
  • Pastoral Leadership Development I & ll
  • Equipping God’s People  (Lay Servant Training)
  • Equitable Salary Support
  • Small Membership Church Salary Support
  • Pensions for our Retired Pastors
  • Health Insurance for our Retired Pastors
  • Clergy Moving Expenses
  • Emergency Support Funds
    And more ...
Your Shares do even more ... they support global and national missions too!
  • World Service Fund (Amazing ministries around the world)
  • UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief)
  • Africa University
  • Black College Fund
  • Youth Service Fund
  • Interdenominational Cooperation Fund
    And so much more ...
Check out www.umcgiving.org to discover what God is doing with the gifts we provide through our Shares of Ministry!

Remember

Shares of Ministry exist because of who we are and what we believe as United Methodists. While not perfect, they are the best way we know to bring about the making of disciples and the transformation of the world.
Shares are built upon the decisions your leadership makes in holy conferencing with those from each of our congregations at Annual Conference each year.
Shares of Ministry are not optional expenses. They are the real cost of doing ministry and being faithful to Christ. Each church has a covenantal responsibility to pay its Shares. Beyond even that, Shares are a gift to One who has made our lives possible.

Your Shares connect with millions of other United Methodist Christians around the world to make possible ministries none of us could ever do on our own. We are Better Together!
When any one church doesn't pay its Shares of Ministry, the burden becomes larger for everyone else!

Second Mile Giving

Churches are reminded that Shares of Ministry are the primary responsibility to be paid before local churches give to other ministries.
After a church fulfills its obligation of paying 100 percent of its Shares of Ministry for the calendar year, designated giving through the Advance is possible.
Gifts to the Advance are especially powerful in that no administrative expenses are taken for a church’s gift. That means 100 percent of every dollar given to the Advance is used for the fulfillment of that ministry.
A listing of Advance giving opportunities are available in the Conference Journal and online on the conference website. These ministries are approved for this kind of special giving and include ministries of the district, conference and general church levels. 

For more information

If you have questions about your Shares of Ministry, contact:

Rev. Mike Minnix, Chairperson, Conference Council on Finance and Administration, mminnix@susumc.org

Gary Smith, Conference Treasurer
gsmith@susumc.org or 717-766-7441

For more information on giving and finances, check out our Website:
www.susumc.org

For more about the United Methodist Church and giving, go to
www.umcgiving.org



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