ALCOA, Tenn. (Nov. 19, 2015) -- As Holston members approach “Giving Tuesday” on Dec. 1, they can be proud their conference leads others throughout the Southeast in participation and per capita giving to United Methodist missions.
> Holston also leads the jurisdiction with January-to-June per capita giving, with donations of $2.31 for each of its 164,481 members.
The Rev. Michael Sluder, director of connectional ministries, said he was recently informed of Holston’s achievements during a meeting with the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM), the mission agency of the United Methodist Church.
“I’ll be interested to see how we end out the year but midway we were doing pretty good,” Sluder said.
In addition, Holston leads the southeast in Advance Project Support ($351,548).
The next closest Southeastern peer in church participation was North Carolina Conference with 38 percent of its congregations reaching into their pockets for United Methodist missions. The Tennessee Conference followed Holston with $1.58 per capita giving for its 119,147 members.
Throughout the U.S., the Detroit Conference soared in church participation with 68 percent. The Yellowstone Conference led with $14.61 per capita giving for its 12,296 members.
Compared with its own giving in the first half of 2014, Holston Conference is slightly down. Last year, 49 percent of churches had made financial donations to missions through the GBGM and per capita giving was $2.46.
On Dec. 1, Holston churches will join United Methodists throughout the word to support the work of Advance projects and missionaries on Giving Tuesday.
Global Ministries will allocate matching funds dollar for dollar up to the first $1 million in gifts to Advance projects received online on Dec. 1, 2015, between 12:00 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. Central Time. A maximum of $2,500 per individual gift to a project will be dispersed as matching funds. A project may receive a maximum of $25,000 in matching funds.
In 2014, The GBGM reported that more than $2.5 million was donated online during the designated 24-hour period, supporting more than 770 projects and missionaries through 8,700 financial gifts.
In the excitement to make online donations quickly enough to have their gifts matched, Holston members often stay up late to log into the GBGM website beyond midnight when “Giving Tuesday” officially begins.
"Holston Conference has a heart and a calling to be in ministry with hurting people around the world. Our actions and our money prove this,” Sluder said. “If you want to potentially double your efforts in giving through The Advance, then Giving Tuesday is your ticket. Give to The Advance for which you are passionate and the funds can be matched."
Find out more about Giving Tuesday and The Advance.
Find out more about Holston-related missions that can be supported through The Advance. (archived story)
Annette Spence is editor of The Call, the Holston Conference newspaper.