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Finance agency thanks church members for support

Praise God for the creative thinking of United Methodists, church leaders said in an open letter assuring members of the denomination’s continuing commitment to mission . A UMNS photo by Ronny Perry.

By Kathy Gilbert*
July 17, 2009 | NASHVILLE, Tenn. (UMNS)

The financial agency of The United Methodist Church is sending a letter thanking members for their continued support in hard times, and assuring them of the denomination’s commitment to mission work.

“We are all aware that giving within the church has decreased, which diminishes the amount of monies available for mission and ministry,” stated the letter from Bishop Lindsey Davis, president of the General Council on Finance and Administration, and A. Moses Rathan Kumar, top executive of the agency. “It is OK to be concerned.”

The church is responding with “bold and deliberate” actions by annual conferences and denominational agencies, the letter said. These include salary freezes, lowered budgets and adjusted spending plans for this year and 2010.

There is no reason for despair, the letter said. Giving to apportionments in 2009 and 2010 will be below the levels of previous years but are similar to lower levels experienced in other recessions. “United Methodists are still a generous people,” the letter said.

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Now is the time for the faithful to take action, church leaders said.

“As faithful followers of Jesus Christ, we know that during these times, God continues to show us a new thing: Mission work around the world is still continuing, leaders are developing in their effectiveness to shepherd congregations into a new path of growth, donations are being made to purchase life-sustaining supplies that will help stamp out killer diseases associated with poverty.”

*Gilbert is a news writer for United Methodist News Service in Nashville, Tenn.

News media contact: Kathy L. Gilbert, Nashville, Tenn., (615) 742-5470 or newsdesk@umcom.org.

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