Update on conference tithing and finances

July 15, 2021 | by Rev. Kristen Stoneking

Update on conference tithing and finances

The Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) met in a special meeting on July 8 focusing on a review of financial data in the first half of 2021 and the preparation of the conference spending plan for 2022. The good news is total tithing in all districts is above where it was in 2020 after the second quarter! And, two districts (Los Rios and Great Northern) are above where they were in 2019 in their tithing! Praise God and thank you for your constancy and generosity!
 
At the same time, we know that we are facing some significant headwinds going into the second half of the year. While the economies of California and Nevada are opening up, many churches and individuals are still struggling financially due to impacts of the pandemic. The current drought hits our agricultural communities especially hard. Last year we received Payroll Protection Program (PPP) funding of almost half a million dollars. As a conference, we did not fall under income thresholds for the second round of PPP. The gap covered by PPP funding last year will not be available to us this year.
 
But God is always good! As a connectional church, help is available. If your church is struggling financially, please reach out to your superintendent, executive director of finance and administration Diane Knudsen or to me. We still have six months to work with in 2021.
 
Giving in churches begins with individuals. As we emerge from the pandemic, many in our congregations may be looking for ways to set new financial habits. Wespath is offering a new program, “Saving Grace,” a biblically-based, Wesleyan tool that can help members and congregations meet financial goals. To learn more about this program, two info sessions will be offered in July. You can learn more about Saving Grace here.
 
As always, thank you for your faithfulness! May God’s abundance guide you, be present to you, and give you peace.
 


Rev. Kristen Stoneking serves as the pastor for Epworth UMC in Berkley CA, and as chair of the California-Nevada conference Committee on Finance and Administration.