Shares of Ministry are funds collected by the local church that enable the 795 churches of the Susquehanna Conference to support and initiate ministries which are not possible by the local church. These funds are divided into three budget lines:
- The first is Conference Benevolence. This is a large share of ministry for Grace UMC at $27,553 for 2012. This budget line includes expenses for the World Service Fund, Board of Global Ministries, Conference Programs, the Black College Fund, Africa University, Health Ministries and Russia Theological Seminary. The World Service Fund comprises a little more than 50% of our Conference Benevolence and is the essential core of the UMC’s global outreach ministry, underwriting Christian mission around the world. Because of its importance to so many lives and the life of our church, the General Church Conference has made paying this share of ministry the number one priority for all United Methodist churches.
- The second is Connectional Ministries – a large share of ministry for Grace UMC at $31,731 for 2012. This budget line reflects conference expenses related to supporting churches with programs and activities that encourage growth in education, stewardship, mission and spiritual ministries. In addition, a Board of Trustees is funded to maintain conference properties and funds are collected for Jurisdictional and General Conference expenses.
- The third is Connectional Clergy Support. This is the largest share of ministry for Grace UMC at $47,169 for 2012. This budget line is high because it has to meet both health care and pension expenses for current and retired pastors and their spouses. This fund also covers expenses related to our Bishop, our District Superintendents and ministerial education. Finally, funds are set apart to help small churches meet minimal salary requirements for their pastors.
It is our hope that you better understand the importance of funding our shares of ministry at 100%. Right now, there are doctors, nurses, teachers, farmers, fisherman, students and pastors counting on us to do our part in supporting the mission and ministries of the United Methodist Church. Please consider prayerfully contributing to
the 2010 Shares of Ministry Campaign.