"Then Jesus summoned his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to cure every disease and every sickness." — Matthew 10:1
There are several edits before a book becomes a final draft. There are several strokes before a painting becomes a masterpiece. Likewise, there is much organizing, many meetings and an enormous amount of accountability to equip The United Methodist Church to do the work of making disciples for the transformation of the world.
There are vital, behind-the-scenes tasks that ensure that The United Methodist Church is run efficiently and with integrity. One of the ways The United Methodist Church ensures accountability is through the work of the Judicial Council. This work is made possible by our gifts to the General Administration Fund.
When we give to the General Administration Fund through our apportionments, we are allowing the work of holding the church accountable to our identity as the body of Christ.
Accountability is not at all new for The United Methodist Church or even the early church. It began with Jesus calling, commissioning and sending out disciples to carry out the work of the church to the apostles that traveled starting churches and mentoring churches and leaders. This work of building up and being reminded of our identity as Christ's church is a part of our history as Christian people.
Accountability to our identity and mission is how our church was built and how we are able to move forward.
Almighty God, you have given us the gift of the church, reminding us that we are not alone, and the work you have called us to do is not our own, but yours. Give us generous hearts that we may give in order to support the work of remembering who we are as your church. Amen.
From Discipleship Resources: Second Sunday After Pentecost (Father's Day) – God, our Heavenly Father, in the power of gracious love, you reveal the meaning of parenthood. You bring forgiveness, joy, and laughter to earthly families where relationships are strained by sin. Thank you for your bountiful love as you listen and respond to our prayers. Accept these offerings as a sign of our thankfulness. May you bless the parents, children, and grandparents of our church so that we may be a blessing to our neighbors. We ask this through Christ, who blessed little children. Amen. (Psalm 116)
The General Administration Fund is one of our apportionments paid by the whole of The United Methodist Church so that the church runs with integrity. Our gifts to the General Administration Fund make possible the sessions of our Judicial Council, a group of nine elected members whose task it is to remind the church of our identity as The United Methodist Church.
The Judicial Council upholds The Book of Discipline and determines whether proposals made by General and annual conferences are constitutional, or within the boundaries of who we say we are in The United Methodist Church.
The General Administration Fund also makes possible General Conference sessions. While General Conference happens every four years, the planning starts long before the sessions begin, so that we as The United Methodist Church can come together, remember our identity and mission, and dream of who the church will be as we carry out the work of making disciples for the transformation of the world.