United Methodist leaders and churches are being urged to demonstrate their confidence in Africa University (AU) by increasing their support. With AU's 25th anniversary celebrations culminating in March 2018, university leaders view giving to the Africa University Fund (AUF) apportionment at 100 percent in 2017 as the perfect way to rally around a flagship global ministry.
Local church contributions to the AUF for 2017 exceeded $1.5 million, or 64.12 percent of the amount mandated in the general church budget, at the end of October. Overall, giving to the AUF is up by almost two percent over the October 2016 level. Three annual conferences—California-Nevada, Red Bird Missionary, and Tennessee—have already invested 100 percent or more of their asking to the fund.
"Despite the economic challenges facing countries like Angola and Nigeria and recent developments in the governance situation in Zimbabwe, Africa University continues to operate effectively and without interruption," said Munashe Furusa, AU's vice chancellor and chief executive officer.
"Contributions from The United Methodist Church and other partners have helped AU to launch new programs and enhance its infrastructure so that the students and faculty can continue to innovate and improve the quality of life in African communities," Furusa said.
"Today, there is no doubt that through God's grace we United Methodists can do great things," said Bishop Minerva Carcaño, the chair of the Finance Committee of the AU Board of Directors and resident bishop of the San Francisco Area.
"Every annual conference in the connection would do well to contribute its 2017 apportionment for AU at 100 percent as an expression of gratitude to God and a commitment to the future of our Africa University," said Carcaño.
The California Nevada Conference has set quite an example. By February 2017, the conference had contributed 100 percent of its asking to the AUF. In June, California Nevada United Methodists presented Africa University with a 25th anniversary celebration gift that has surpassed $150,000.
The Tennessee and Red Bird Missionary conferences lead in the Southeastern Jurisdiction with 2017 AUF contributions of 126.10 percent and 104.12 percent, respectively. Although apportionment receipts are traditionally sent to the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) in late December/early January, nine other annual conferences have current contributions to the AUF that exceed 80 percent of their asking.
Andra M. Stevens, Director, Communications, Africa University Development Office
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Africa University Fund transforms Africa by educating and empowering students from across the continent through Africa University, the first fully accredited, United Methodist-related educational institution on the continent. The Africa University Fund supports the general operating expenses of Africa University including faculty and staff salaries and vital infrastructure. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Africa University Fund at 100 percent.