The 2015 apportioned budget recently approved by members of annual conference is $6,000,008. This is $250,000 less than the 2014 budget and $430,000 less than the ceiling—the maximum allowed by conference rules.
One significant change in the 2015 budget is a reduction made possible because the health insurance reserve fund will pay part of the active clergy health insurance premium. The conference Board of Pensions determined that the reserve fund was at a level to allow this payment in 2015. There are several other items that have been paid by benefit reserve funds. Use of the reserve funds is determined each year.
With the addition of the “uncollectible contingency,” which accommodates anticipated shortfalls in some churches’ apportionment payments, the total to be apportioned for 2015 is $6,600,008. Please watch for the mailing of your church’s 2015 apportioned amount in August. This is sent to the pastor, treasurer, and finance chair of each church.
Apportionments are the share each annual conference or local church pays to support international, national, and local missions. Some of the funds remitted by Minnesota congregations stay within the state and help fund various Minnesota Conference programs and mission efforts, and about a quarter of the funds remitted by local churches go to the global United Methodist Church.
The 2015 Minnesota Conference apportioned budget is organized around four key areas outlined in our Journey Toward Vitality: developing missional leaders, equipping missional congregations, extending missional impact, and generating missional resources. The Journey Toward Vitality is a roadmap that outlines the conference’s vision and the strategic pathways that will get us there. This roadmap is guiding us in our efforts to increase congregational vitality.
The 2015 budget is allocated as follows:
• Developing missional leaders (14%): Includes reaching the next generation, campus ministry, clergy leadership development, clergy health insurance and retirement benefits, lay leadership development, and staff in connectional ministries and camping.
• Equipping missional congregations (12%): Includes new church starts, congregational vitality, and staff in congregational development.
• Extending missional impact (28%): Includes general church apportioned funds (World Service, Episcopal, General Administration, Interdenominational Cooperation, Ministerial Education, Black College, Africa University), North Central Jurisdiction, Minnesota Council of Churches, Compassion and Justice Ministries, and staff.
• Generating missional resources (4%): Includes communications, Journal and Yearbook, Minnesota United Methodist Foundation, and staff in communications and capital campaign.
• Aligning our work—Leadership of the annual conference (14%): Includes bishop and cabinet, district offices, district superintendents, elected leaders and volunteers, annual conference sessions, delegate expenses for General and Jurisdictional Conferences, and the start of a reserve fund to host General Conference in 2020.
• Aligning our work—Support of the annual conference (19%): Includes property, archives and history, financial administration, audit, risk management, legal, operations (office rent, equipment, supplies, insurance), staff in finance, archives, technology, camp accountant, general office, plus professional expenses and human resources administration for staff in all missional areas.
The budget we approved at annual conference session in May is only part of the financial picture of the Minnesota Conference. We have a larger operating budget that includes the conference health insurance plan, workers compensation voluntary group policy, youth events, and other items.
The 2015 total operating budget is $15.7 million. The total operating budget includes revenues from premiums and fees. It includes medical premiums paid and costs to maintain and/or sell discontinued church buildings that come to the conference through the denomination’s trust clause.
The apportioned budget supports much more than just the items shown in the apportioned budget. For example, elected leaders and conference staff oversee and administer the group health plan, plan youth events, and administer the workers compensation policy. At the same time, these other activities provide part of the funding for administration, including staff. For example, the health insurance plan helps pay staff who administer the health plan.
The responsibilities of the clergy and lay members of the annual conference session do not end with the vote on the budget. All members are charged to report back to their congregations about the budget and encourage support of the apportioned funds.
For more information on the 2015 conference budget, click here.
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