Recently, Jeff Pospisil, executive director of Finance and Administrative Services for the Dakotas Conference, posted on his personal Facebook page, “The Dakotas UMC was able to pay General Church apportionments in full. This is only the third time we’ve done so during my tenure.”
One of the unique and defining factors of the Dakotas Conference is that we are connectional. One way we show this connection is through apportioned giving.
"Our United Methodist connection is a powerful witness to the world of God's love," says Rev. Bob Ruedebusch, who serves as the dean of the Dakotas Conference Cabinet and Southwest District Superintendent. "Through the power of our connections and our collective gifts of generous resources, we bring the love of Jesus to many."
Apportioned giving is a term that describes how the money you give to your church each week is divided and distributed throughout the Church. Through you and your support of apportioned giving, we can participate in the Church's ministry and mission both locally and around the world.
Apportionments are fuel for ministry. They enable us to meet the needs of many people through collaborative ministry. As the United Methodist Church faces tensions from the COVID pandemic and possible separation, sustaining a culture of generosity is tenuous.
When you give to your local church, your giving is divided into many pieces and travels to many different places. It generally goes to support two significant areas: your church and the ministries of the Dakotas Conference.
Here are some ways apportionments fuel collaborative ministries in the Dakotas:
- Launching new worshipping communities, five digital ministries that have just begun during the pandemic.
- Fostering a culture of call with 3 Elisha interns and 14 participants in licensing.
- Supporting the total wellness of 198 pastors serving local congregations, during these trying times, through mentoring and coaching, training, and spiritual support.
- Sustaining our five signature Dakotas Conference mission ministries—Bakken Oil Rush Ministry in Watford City, Bakken Out in Faith Ministry in Williston, Solar Oven Partners, Spirit Lake Ministry, and Tree of Life Ministry.
- Maintaining our three camp and retreat centers—Lake Poinsett, Storm Mountain, and Wesley Acres, as they suspended the camping season during the pandemic.
“Apportioned giving is not just about the local church. It provides a means for collaborative witness and ministry across the Dakotas and into the world," said Ruedebusch.
By paying General Church apportionments the Dakotas Conference is contributing to seven apportioned funds that support the global mission of the church. The seven funds are: The Africa University Fund, The Black College Fund, The Episcopal Fund, The General Administration Fund, The Ministerial Education Fund, The World Service Fund
Connectional giving is making a difference in the Dakotas Conference. The 2021Missional Report, framed around the 2021 Annual Conference theme “Jesus Waymaker,” highlighted all the way God is at work across the Dakotas Conference.
Dakotas Annual Conference website
This story represents how United Methodist local churches through their Annual Conferences are living as Vital Congregations. A vital congregation is the body of Christ making and engaging disciples for the transformation of the world. Vital congregations are shaped by and witnessed through four focus areas: calling and shaping principled Christian leaders; creating and sustaining new places for new people; ministries with poor people and communities; and abundant health for all.