By Diane Knudsen
Executive Director of Finance and Administration
Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus! I’m grateful to all churches that faithfully tithe 10% of their operating income every month. The number of churches tithing at 10% or more has increased every year since the California-Nevada Annual Conference replaced the apportionment calculation with the tithe. In 2013, the Annual Conference Session adopted the tithe, recognizing its theological significance as one of John Wesley’s means of grace. Our hope was to help churches create a culture of tithing as we live out all aspects of our Wesleyan faith. I hope you and your church find the practice of tithing a source of joy in God’s grace.
At the end of the third quarter, tithe receipts again exceed their 2017 level. Four circuits have an increase in their tithe giving for three years in a row as of October 15th. They are the Tri-Valley Circuit in the El Camino Real District, the Plumas-Lassen Circuit and the Shasta Circuit in the Great Northern District, and the Santa Cruz Circuit in the Los Rios Circuit.
A semi-monthly report on church/circuit tithe giving can be found here (under the heading "For Churches").
Not all churches are tithing, however, nor are all churches growing. At the end of the third quarter, 52 churches show a decrease in tithe giving for each of the last three years. Only 28 churches currently show an increase in tithe giving for three years in a row. The total operating income of our churches has been relatively flat since 2015. In addition, we still have a few churches that struggle to complete their year-end statistical and financial reports.
The Cabinet, in partnership with the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA), is working toward the goal of full tithing for all churches. Projections for 2018 indicate we will fall short of this goal. As a result, we are at risk of not repeating our 100% payment on general and jurisdictional apportionments in 2018. In response, CFA, Bishop Carcaño, and Lay Leader Micheal Pope are making an appeal to all United Methodists in the Cal-Nevada Conference to contribute $50 or more toward fulfilling our commitments to the larger ministry of the church. (For more information about the appeal, read the story “Fulfilling Our Commitments to Mission and Ministry” by clicking here.)
The graph shows how close we are to closing the gap between the total amount budgeted and the total amount received. Please consider a tax-deductible gift to the California-Nevada Annual Conference to help us close this gap.
The Council on Finance and Administration continues to explore ways to resource local churches in the areas of stewardship, financial management, and year-end reporting. If you have any questions or requests, I can be reached at email@example.com.