Approved 2018 budget represents 1.2% increase

June 22, 2017

By: Christa Meland

Members of the 2017 Annual Conference Session voted Thursday to approve a 2018 apportioned budget totaling $6,177,090. That amount represents a 1.2 percent increase over the 2017 apportioned budget. The apportioned budget may be increased by no more than 3 percent over the previous year’s budget under a new budget ceiling rule approved at last year’s Annual Conference.

With an “uncollectible contingency” of $725,000, the total amount to be apportioned in 2018 is $6,902,090. The uncollectible contingency accommodates anticipated shortfalls in some churches’ apportionment payments.
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. Apportionments also pay for the internal support system that allows for 100 percent of “second-mile” giving (to Imagine No Malaria and other Advance Specials) to go to the intended mission or ministry.
The 2018 apportioned budget that members approved was recommended by the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) and the Common Table, which comprises representatives from the conference’s various ministry teams.
In explaining the recommended budget during a finance presentation on Wednesday, Rev. John Mitchem, chair of CFA, said there are no major new initiatives in the budget. “The 1 percent increase is simply the result of cost of living increases for staff, office rent increases, and robust ministry teams continuing to expand their work to achieve our strategic initiatives,” he said.
Members approved the recommended budget quickly and with no debate or discussion.
The apportioned budget is organized around four key areas 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 areas of the budget, and the 2018 apportioned amount budgeted for each, are:
• Developing missional leaders: $1,031,407
• Equipping missional congregations: $820,726
• Extending missional impact: $1,982,951
• Generating missional resources: $269,788
• Aligning our work: Leadership of the annual conference: $907,488
• Aligning our work: Support of the annual conference: $1,164,730
• Uncollectible contingency (under direction of the Council of Finance and Administration): $725,000

Christa Meland is director of communications for the Minnesota Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

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