I believe in the future of the Wisconsin Conference! Never has the world been so in need of the gifts that we United Methodist's bring! Never has Wisconsin so needed our ministry! Other denominations emphasize either evangelism or social justice, but we have learned from John Wesley to unite these two!
Your Giving Makes an Impact in Your Community and Beyond
As a bishop, I have been privileged to travel to many other states, as well as to the less developed world, I have been amazed at the work being done in our name as United Methodists. God's people are being served; and justice in the street is made possible by the giving we call "apportionment"! I dislike the term "apportionment" since it speaks more of duty than opportunity, but we're stuck with the terminology. Here in Wisconsin, we prefer the term "Shared Offering." In reality it is giving for the outreach of congregations well beyond the communities in which each is located. Even though some congregations may not think of themselves as having impact in their community, they can know that they are making a difference in the world through their apportionment giving.
I appreciate each congregation’s dedication to giving and to supporting Christ’s mission in the spirit of the Great Commission. With our apportionments, we witness to Christ’s ministry through our Annual, Jurisdictional and General Conferences. God is calling us to reach out to those who are the least, the lost and the last in the world.
It's a common question raised by many a congregant to his or her pastor: “Why do we pay “apportionments?” Paying the utilities bill makes sense to everyone; providing funds for outreach through the Conference and denomination is too abstract in the minds of many who have not been exposed to the wonderful things the United Methodist Church is doing around the world! Unfortunately, many United Methodists don't know the impact they are making through apportionments. We call upon congregational leaders to spread the good news of what The United Methodist Church is doing around the world! We can be proud to be United Methodists!
Dozens of congregations give more than 100 percent. They do so because they are grateful to harvest God’s blessings. With grateful hearts, they help relieve the hardship of sister churches.
Together We Can Transform the World
As a servant leader, I celebrate the abundance in God and the strengthening of mutual trust between congregations and Conference leadership. I am called to guide our ministry to be vitally relevant to the needs of the world. I commit to working with you to grow the realm of God and to transform the world through the power of the gospel. I am with you in sharing the joy of harvest in your life and ministry wherever you are. We will be strong in love of God.
Our United Methodist Church is faithful to God’s movement in the world. We take the bold step to bring God’s love and justice for all creation.
We focus on four areas of ministry, and are excited that we have been called to be part of God’s work in this world! I prayerfully invite Wisconsin to again celebrate 100 percent giving to the General Church. Through our giving, we can extend our support for the United Methodist Church’s bold vision by: a) developing principled Christian leaders, b) creating new churches and renewing existing ones, c) engaging in ministries with the poor and, d) stamping out the killer diseases of poverty by improving global health.
Henri Nouwen speaks of gratitude as basic to the Christian: “Gratitude flows from the recognition that who we are and what we have are gifts to be received and shared. Gratitude releases us from the bonds of obligations and prepares us to offer ourselves freely and fully for the work of the Kingdom.”
We Need to Make Giving a Priority
I invite each congregation and its leaders to make apportionment giving a priority! Let us generate together the story of transformation! Through pulpits, small groups and Church leaders’ gatherings, let us live out our common mission to reach out to the world! Let us extend our best to fulfill giving goals! We are connectional people and it is our pride as United Methodists. May God be glorified!
Bishop Hee-Soo Jung has served as resident bishop of the Wisconsin Annual Conference since September of 2012. Prior to leading the Wisconsin Conference UMC, Bishop Jung served eight years as bishop of the Northern Illinois Conference (Chicago area).