The United Methodist Church is connectional. The connectional nature of the church commits us to support its leadership and ministries of the Church. One way to do this is through our connectional apportionment system. This is when the Church pools its dollars and connects local churches around the world to create bigger and lasting impacts. Together, through our connectional congregations and apportionment system, we accomplish what no single church, district, or annual conference could ever hope to do alone.
Originally scheduled this year for each month prior to the opening of the postponed General Conference in 2021, UMC Support scheduled to detail each of the 7 general Church apportioned funds, so that General Conference delegates and members of The United Methodist Church like you have a deep understanding of the fund and what each one does. Though the General Conference session has been postponed to August 2022, we wanted to continue featuring a fund each month. In January there was a spotlight on the Africa University Fund, which supports more than 1,800 students from 29 countries. Next, we spotlighted the Black College Fund, which supports 11 historically black college and universities (HBCUs) relating to the church – the largest number of black colleges and universities receiving funding from any church body in the United States.
This month we spotlight the Episcopal Fund, which helps fund the episcopal leadership of the Church. Bishops are an integral part of the spiritual and administrative leadership of our Church. To do their work effectively, there are many costs to support the work of the Episcopacy. Below is what generous giving to the Episcopal fund supports:
- 46 Jurisdictional active bishops
- 20 Central Conference active bishops
- 93 Retired bishops
- 34 Surviving spouses and dependent children
- 6 Council of Bishops (COB) office staff persons
- Health insurance and pension benefits
- Life insurance
- Business insurance
- Supports housing grants to the annual conference
- Supports office grants
- Official COB travel expenses
- Office furnishings and equipment grant per quadrennium
- Continuing Education
- Renewal Leave
- Moving costs for newly elected, retiring, or transitioning bishops
- COB Office operation costs
- COB and College of Bishop meeting costs
During this time of separation due to the pandemic, the Episcopal leadership of The United Methodist Church continues to find ways to reduce costs, meet strategically with Church leadership, and connect with the people to whom they minister. The leadership of the Council of Bishops is continuing its efforts to reduce those costs. Your support helps continue the vital leadership provided by the Council of Bishops.
Wednesday, March 3, 2021