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Treasury and Benefits: Year-End and 2019!

Finance Plant with Money Jar

Hello Church Treasurers / Financial Administrators,

Greetings from the Treasury and Benefits Department of the (almost) Michigan Conference. We are nearly there, when we will officially be joined as one Conference. We are preparing for this transition and we hope and pray that everything will go smoothly. We would appreciate your prayers and patience as we go through year-end and work to get ready for the new one to come!

As we look forward to a fully combined Conference, please remember to keep everything separate and use your West Michigan or Detroit Conference materials until we send out the new statements around mid-January. Also, please note that the Six Lanes or Spotlight book are still being used through 2018 and not the new Engage MI book that starts in 2019. If you have questions regarding this, please contact me.

I have a few things to mention about Special Giving. Rev. Ut To and Karen To are no longer UMC affiliated and can no longer receive donations. If you would still like to give to the ministry in Vietnam, I would recommend the Vietnam Initiative, which is Advance #14932A. This will help the Vietnamese United Methodist Church rebuild after everything that has happened in that situation.

In addition, GBGM has informed our office that the Advance #123456 called “A Child” is also no longer active and we cannot accept funds for this project.

It has also just come to our attention that the Advance #333615 “Anti-Human Trafficking” is not an active Advance.  There are many Churches that give to this Advance and I want you to know that you can re-direct your funds to Advance #3022144, Global Migration (as per GBGM) and that they are handling Anti-Human Trafficking globally.  However, I would like to also let you know that there have been discussions about Anti-Human Trafficking efforts locally in our State.  We may have a new Engage MI project coming soon for Anti-Human Trafficking in Michigan.  Keep this in mind for future donations.

Please be reminded that the final day to remit 2018 payments to the Conference Treasurer’s office is Wednesday, January 9, 2019. This means that the payment must be physically at our location on or before that day. I would recommend sending anything that will be close to the deadline directly to our DeWitt address found at the bottom of this letter and to my attention. We would also ask that you look closely at the enclosed statement for accuracy. Anything that we can adjust now will make for a more efficient and expedient end of the year.

IMPORTANT: December 28, 2018 is the last day you will be able to utilize the online payment program to remit for 2018 apportionments. Any payments received after this date through online giving will automatically be posted to 2019.

The Pension Apportionment will be called the Benefits Ministry Shares moving into 2019. This billing will be handled and sent out in our office but not on the same form as your Common Budget Apportionment (Conference Ministry Shares in 2019) as it has in the past. The Benefits Ministry Shares contact person is John Kosten. He can be reached at 517-347-4030, ext. 4111 or by email at

We know that there are many changes coming for 2019 and we want to make sure that you all get the information that you need. John Kosten and I have done a series of Zoom trainings that are designed to help with these transitions. A copy of one of the trainings is on this website.  Make sure to check back on this website monthly we will have some important news, forms and links posted on the site as we journey together in 2019.

We have scheduled two more Zoom Trainings for the month of January. This will be an important time as we will have closed year-end and you should have (hopefully!) received your January statements from our office for Conference Ministry Shares and Benefits Ministry Shares. John Kosten and I will be available to answer questions and provide the latest information regarding the changes that are happening. Please see the reverse side of this sheet for the Zoom Training times and links.

Thursday, January 17, 2018 at 11 A.M. – discussing year-end and changes for 2019
Tuesday, January 22, 2018 at 2 P.M. – – discussing year-end and changes for 2019

It is our intent to stay in connection with you and to find the best ways to do so. We have been using these
Zoom trainings, the website and letters with the statements to try to keep you updated. In the future, we
would also like to do a regular, monthly e-newsletter and as needed emergency e-blasts. Be watching for
a contact form that will ask for email addresses for those that would like to receive these emails.
The form will also ask for other contact information for treasurers so that we make sure that the database is
up to date in case we need to connect with you.

The dates for the Special Sundays for 2019 have been set, the schedule is listed below:
Michigan Conference 2019 Special Sunday Calendar
January 20, 2019: Human Relations Day
March 31, 2019: UMCOR Sunday
May 5, 2019: Native American Sunday
May 19, 2019: Golden Cross Sunday
June 16, 2019:  Peace with Justice Sunday
August 25, 2019:  Christian Education Sunday
September 15, 2019:  Rural Life Sunday
October 6, 2019:  World Communion Sunday
October 20, 2019:  Disability Awareness
November 24, 2019:  United Methodist Student Day

Thank you all for all of your hard work. Please call the office if you have any questions or concerns.
Many blessings to you and your Churches during this Advent season!

Rich Pittenger
Michigan Area Receivables Clerk
1161 E. Clark Rd., Suite 212
DeWitt, MI 48820
Phone: 517-347-4030 Ext. 4134