Central Texas Conference Meets Its Connectional Mission Giving Goals With Extravagant Generosity (Again!)

In his most recent "This Focused Center" blog post, Bishop Lowry announced that the members of the Central Texas Conference have paid 100 percent of our Connectional Mission Giving commitment to the General Church. The churches of the CTC gave $10.6 million towards our Connectional Mission Giving (aka: apportionment) goal in 2011. This generous giving combined with the deep budget savings realized by the changes occurring via the Exodus Project allowed us to meet our 2011 requirements.
Of course, the Central Texas Conference has a remarkable record of meeting our Connectional Mission Giving (CMG) goals nearly every year. As such, this news may come as no surprise to many of you. Last year was a rare exception, but even in the midst of the global recession finally fully coming to roost in our neck of the woods, we did extremely well in 2010. Bishop Lowry provides a 2010 – 2011 payout comparison on his blog post.
And your “extravagant generosity,” as Bishop Lowry termed it, did not end there. You also provided close to $190,000 towards our Fair Share Goals and another $380,000 in special offerings to support Glen Lake Camp, UMCOR, Imagine No Malaria and the victims of the Central Texas wildfires, the spring storms in Missouri and Oklahoma and the Tsunami and related disaster in Japan. There is a breakdown of the specific amounts given to each of the above in Bishop Lowry’s blog post. What an amazing accomplishment and one that we all should celebrate.
It is easily argued that anyone who takes a few moments to think about it would agree that charities and non-profit organizations are a vital part of a well-functioning society. But do you know just how much –these organizations – like your church, the Central Texas Conference and/or the United Methodist Church at large – are relied upon to meet the needs of the world? To put it (probably too) simply: without charities and non-profits, the United States, and subsequently the global economy, would simply not be able to operate. The needs met by these charitable operations has grown so big that during 2010 – the last year for which giving statistics are available – total giving by Americans was a few Benjamins shy of $291 billion.
To be specific, in 2010, total charitable giving was $290.89 billion – that is about 2 percent of our entire Gross Domestic Product or GDP. And did that money come from big, well-funded foundations and Fortune 500 corporations? Well sure, some of it did. But it was the American individual who, as in most years previous since these stats were kept, who made up the bulk of these gifts. Specifically, individuals gave $211.77 billion, or 73 percent of the total giving.
Why do these stats hold any relevance regarding the announcement that we, as a conference, met our CMG goals? It is all summed up in the word “connectional.” The stats above prove what we all know in our hearts that Americans are among the most generous tribes this planet has ever seen. So the fact that you give is not breaking news, it is how we as United Methodists give that makes your accomplishment stand out. By paying 100 percent of our CMG, and giving faithfully to the six church-wide Special Sundays, we become a part of something big and accomplish wonderful things in Jesus’ name. To see a great breakdown of our CMG dollars at work in the world, visit umcgiving.org.
By giving as a connectional body of Christ, we can make a real difference and we can transform the world. Check that, we ARE TRANFORMING the world.