Moment for Mission
"'I will put my spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you on your own soil; then you shall know that I, the Lord, have spoken and will act,' says the Lord." — Ezekiel 37:14, NRSV
As God spoke through Ezekiel, encouraging him to speak life into dry bones, God speaks through the church today to bring life into dark and hopeless places. This happens when we act as one body-the church, our lives connected together in the Spirit.
As we hope to live together by the Spirit as one body, there is work that must be done to keep The United Methodist Church united. This important work of remembering who we are, deciding how we live together, and maintaining the structure of our connection with one another is done through generous giving to our General Administration Fund. This fund is one of our apportionments, a fund that we give to as congregations across The United Methodist Church.
The General Administration Fund reminds us of our United Methodist identity. This fund supports the maintenance of historical documents and artifacts, as well as the identification and designation of historical church landmarks. Not only are we reminded of who we are, but also of who we are called to be as the church. These funds cover administrative functions, making possible the necessary oversight and accountability of the church. This includes supporting the legislative work of General Conference and the Judicial Council. By our giving toward our apportionments, we are contributing to the work of maintaining who God has called us to be in the world.
Living God, we pray that as the church we would live by the Spirit and grow into being the church you have designed for the world. We lift up all those who hold us accountable. Let us each shoulder this task of working to be one people led by your spirit in how we live today and how we give today. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Fifth Sunday in Lent - Living God, you are the Holy One of Israel. Our world cries out in pain, as children and adults bear heavy loads of injustice and sorrow. You respond with great assurance: 'I am your Savior; I will give you a new life!' Thank you for including us in the work of your church to bring help and renewal to people here and around the globe. Use our lives and these offerings to share the good news of your Spirit's gracious, healing power. We pray through Christ, our risen Lord. Amen. (Ezekiel 37:1-14)
The United Methodist Church is made up of individuals, both lay and clergy, who are connected together as congregations, districts, annual and central conferences and General Conference. With all of these individuals and small and large bodies of people, it can be easy to see how differently we can interpret who we are as the church.
For those moments when it becomes unclear or there is tension over how the church or clergy should act, there is the Judicial Council. The General Conference elects the Judicial Council. There are nine members made up of both laypeople and clergy who are charged with keeping the church accountable to living according to our Book of Discipline.
Through our generous apportionment giving, including the General Administration Fund, we are supporting the important work of the Judicial Council. This includes holding us accountable to who we have agreed to be as the church. This fund also covers other expenses related to administration and management at the general church level.