A Call from Our Bishop and Lay Leader to the people of the California-Nevada Annual Conference
It’s a case of good news – and challenging news, according to Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño and the Lay Leader for the California-Nevada Annual Conference, Micheal Pope.
The good news, they report, is that conference tithing is up, overall. The challengin
g news is that, according to Council on Finance and Administration projections, it still will fall short of what will enable Cal-Nevada to fulfill its connectional responsibilities.
“Though we are making great strides as an annual conference, these increases [in tithing] will likely not be great enough to fund 100% of our 2018 General and Jurisdictional apportionments unless we act now,” the Council predicted, in an email sent this week.
CFA is taking on the challenge by launching an unprecedented short-term campaign, asking for individual contributions.
“We have based our 2018 budget on 100% tithing in faith,” wrote the Rev. Kristin Stoneking, CFA chair, and Diane Knudsen, Executive Director of Finance and Administration. “We believe that within the annual conference, there are resources sufficient to cover the full tithe of every church.”
In a video from Africa University in Zimbabwe, where she sits on the board, Bishop Carcaño spoke of how people there have been praying for our region for a year, because of the 2017 wildfires – and also collecting resources, sacrificially, to assist the conference in providing aid to those impacted by the fires.
“We are United Methodists, and this is how we work,” she says. “We take our resources and pool them together, and resource each other for the kingdom work that God has given us.”
The bishop and lay leader are joining the CFA in calling on congregants to extend comparable generosity. They request that each worshiping member give $50 between now and December 15. If that can happen, it will close the $600,000 gap that’s projected for end of year.
“Each year the California Nevada Annual Conference pledges to do our part: Not just to continue the incredible work of Africa University, but to also fully support all the ministries of the United Methodist Church – including the World Service Fund, our first benevolence responsibility,” says Stoneking.
“If we do not fulfill our commitment, the vital mission and ministry – and the people impacted by it – will suffer.”
In this week’s email, Stoneking and Knudsen called to mind that in 2017 giving, Cal-Nevada fulfilled 100% of its commitments to the greater United Methodist Church, “for the first time in living memory.”
“The sense of pride and joy we felt as we celebrated at annual conference this last summer in Modesto was sweet … We want to make sure that we can fulfill our commitments this year as well,” the email reads.
Both Bishop Carcaño and Lay Leader Pope have committed to individual gifts, and also have pledged to personally match the first 20 $50 contributions – with an understanding that for some, a $50 gift would pose great hardship. The bishop notes in her video that for others of us, however, “$50 is just the beginning of what we can give.”
She asks that each person give “with open hearts and with a deep commitment, knowing that as connectional people in The United Methodist Church, God uses us in powerful ways.”
To participate in Fulfilling Our Commitments to Mission and Ministry, please send a check to the CA-NV Annual Conference, P.O. Box 980250, West Sacramento, CA 95798. Note “Bishop’s appeal” in the memo line.
Or donate here
Watch Bishop Carcaño’s video from Africa here