Church giving improves in first quarter of 2010
News of an Oklahoma increase in Apportionment giving for the first quarter of 2010 brought a smile by Conference Treasurer Brian Bakeman.
"This is the first time since 2008 that we have approached our average giving levels," he reported in the April edition of Treasury Notes.
That’s a good sign for the Oklahoma Annual Conference, within the current national climate of economic scarcity. The United Methodist News Service reported on March 30 that the Apportionment total collected in 2009, from all U.S. churches, was $24 million short of the $150.3 million budget set at the 2008 General Conference.
Apportionments are the fuel that makes it possible for the Church to make a difference in the world, the news agency noted. In the average congregation:
In the Oklahoma Conference, Rev. Bakeman said, "giving to Apportionments through March increased to $2,903,644, or 18.16 percent of our annual total." The five-year average for the first quarter is 18.46 percent.
He also listed the top five reasons people give to their congregations, according to an article by Cynthia Woolever in the newsletter of the Lewis Center for Church Leadership. She wrote that people give:
"How are you teaching your congregation to give?" Bakeman inquired. "Giving is something that must be taught. We can never assume that everyone knows how to give."