$1.8 million shortfall
Apportionment giving increased by $35,000 during 2006 over the same period for 2005. While giving increased slightly, churches decreased their overall giving toward the Annual Conference budget.
Apportionment giving in 2006 dropped 2.27 percent from the previous year's giving, leaving Holston Conference with a $1.8 million shortfall in its $15.3 million budget.
"The collection results will limit the ability of the Annual Conference to fulfill its obligations for a variety of ministries, since the goal of 100 percent was not met," said John Tate, conference treasurer.
The conference received 88 percent of apportionments from churches, down from 90.3 percent in 2005. The percentage of giving in 2006 was the lowest in more than five years, according to Tate's report.
Of 912 churches, 27 paid nothing toward their Fair Share apportionments. Yet, 681 paid 100 percent or more of their apportionments.
District results for apportionments ranged from 76 paid for the Johnson City District - a decrease of 10 percent since the previous year - to 97 percent for the Maryville District.
Other than Maryville, which improved giving by 1.3 percent, only one other district reported a percentage increase. Tazewell District, with 90.7 percent, had an increase of 1.76 over the previous year.
"During 2007, several committees will begin reviewing steps that can be taken by the conference to increase givings, reduce future benefit obligations, and assess the operational efficiencies of the Annual Conference," Tate said. "For 2007, approximately 40 percent of the conference budget is devoted to funding future and present retirement and health benefits."
The Holston Annual Conference has an adopted 2007 budget of $15.89 million, which includes funding for Annual Conference operations, general church contributions, various agencies and ministries, and retirement and health-insurance contributions for active and retired pastors.