I often say that the Minnesota Annual Conference is a complicated organization. This is a good thing—it is complicated because there is a lot going on. Minnesota United Methodists are active in and supportive of many ministries and missions. People may think (and sometimes say out loud!) that they pity those of us who work in the finance office. They may think accounting for the conference finances is boring or unfulfilling, but working in the finance office gives us a clear picture of and deep appreciation for all that we accomplish together through our gifts. I want to share that financial picture with you by providing an overview of what we see as we look back at 2013.
Thank you to all the churches that faithfully paid 100 percent of their apportionments in 2013 and to those that increased their level of payment last year. The apportioned funds make possible all that we do, including the mission and ministry that take place through many benevolence funds and second-mile giving opportunities.
Here are some highlights from 2013:
• The Minnesota Conference 2013 apportionment receipt rate was 87.6 percent; that’s compared to 86.4 percent for 2012 and 85.6 percent average between 2009 and 2012.
• We paid 100 percent of our General Conference funds, which totaled $1,680,000, using $200,000 of conference reserves to supplement apportionments from churches.
• The return on conference investments was 17 percent (weighted average) in 2013; that compares to 12 percent in 2012 and 6 percent in 2011.
• Imagine No Malaria giving reached $2.3 million at the end of 2013.
• Minnesota Conference 2013 expenditures were at approved budget levels, and planned activities were accomplished.
• There are three clergy pension plans being administered by the Minnesota Conference—and funded levels for the three totaled 106 percent, 109 percent, and 117 percent, respectively, in 2013.
• Conference reserves are at the appropriate level in accordance with the conference policy.
• The 2014 budget is $6,247,960, plus the “uncollectible contingency” of $750,000; the uncollectible contingency is the anticipated shortfall in apportionment remittances. Budgets were $6,236,788 in 2012 and $6,367,332 in 2011.
• The 2015 recommended budget is $6,000,008, plus the uncollectible contingency of $600,000. The 2015 budget recommendation is roughly the same as our 2002 budget.
• Other benevolence giving in 2013 included $100,000 for Special Sundays, $75,000 for General Conference Advance, $300,000 for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), $92,000 for the Love Offering, and $150,000 for Minnesota Conference Advance projects.
• For the whole United Methodist Church, giving totaled $129 million for apportioned funds, $4.9 million for Special Sundays, $18.7 million for General Conference Advance Specials, and $38.1 million for UMCOR.
• The North Central Jurisdiction (which includes the Minnesota Conference) had the highest rate of giving to the General Funds in 2013; it totaled 96 percent.
Barbara Carroll is director of finance and administration and treasurer for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.
Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church