Minnesota Conference Response
Like all churches, we are seeking to take care of our staff. We have moved all conference staff to remote work until further notice. They are still ready and able to assist you. During business hours, someone is always answering the main office number (612-870-0058), but we strongly recommend emailing to begin a conversation with a staff member when possible since all staff are regularly checking email at home. See the staff directory for each person’s full contact information. For questions about:
Please consider sending email, rather than postal mail to the conference office, when possible. Click here to learn how to send (apportionment or other) payments to the conference electronically and/or to request payments from the conference office if your church or ministry receives funding.
Monitoring cash flow
We are monitoring our cash flow so that we can preserve resources in this time of economic uncertainty. We have put a freeze on non-essential spending. At this time, we are still fully funding our new church starts, and the commitments we have already made through our Investing in Congregations grant program. Some other efforts, like the next round of church-school partnership grants, we have put on hold. We have paid close attention to our reserves and have mapped out various scenarios for budget reductions so that we can adapt quickly to changing circumstances. We want to be responsive without over-reacting.
Supporting churches and clergy
- The Minnesota Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits committed $915,000 of our reserves to fund a three-month health and pension holiday for all churches in 2020.
- District superintendents have been in conversation with every clergyperson to check in, listen, and encourage.
- Our finance office and Minnesota United Methodist Foundation are resourcing clergy and responding to churches’ questions around the provisions of the CARES Act and how to make responsible financial decisions in these times.
More ways the Minnesota Conference is responding
- In accordance with the latest Centers for Disease Control and Minnesota Department of Health recommendations, most Minnesota Conference-sponsored events for the foreseeable future will move to virtual gatherings. Events for which that is not possible will have hybrid online/in-person components.
- Dakotas-Minnesota United Methodist Camp and Retreat Centers camping events were suspended in summer 2020, but are open with saftey precautions in summer 2021.
- We have a COVID-19 response team that meets frequently to share and process new information so that we can pass along helpful information and recommendations to you.
- We have created a wide variety of worship, virtual church, and other resources and guidance for churches.
- We conducted the 2020 Annual Conference Session and Clergy Session virtually on Aug. 28-29, instead of as an in-person event. The 2021 Annual Conference Session and Clergy Session were held as hybrid online/in-person events.
- We received a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program under the federal CARES Act in 2020 so that we could stretch our reserves to help us keep underwriting ministry.