CHICAGO, IL— The Connectional Table’s allocations team released its report on the 2021-2024 quadrennial budget to the United Methodist general agencies, apportioned funds and the public on January 29, 2019. While the report reflects a 23 percent reduction in allocated funds, the group is proud to highlight many examples of innovation and responsible stewardship of the United Methodist Church’s resources.
The allocations team based its process in biblical and theological grounding, and developed distinct values and priorities: the UMC’s mission; agencies’ and funds’ missional priorities and core missions; emerging missional priorities; fairness and justice; stewardship and transparency. Guided by these values, the team sought to care for the entire worldwide connection and held listening sessions with agency leaders and fund treasurers. Many of their suggestions and feedback were incorporated.
“This report has been a collaborative effort that has been grounded in deep listening and prayer,” says the Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, chief connectional ministries officer of the Connectional Table. “I am deeply grateful to the members of the Allocations Team, and to CT and agency staff who have brought the best of themselves to this process.”
The team offered the innovative recommendation to increase the world service contingency fund, which is used to provide funding for new programs that address unanticipated needs during the quadrennium; this past quadrennium the fund has been used to fund the collaborative work of the Immigration Task Force and COSROW’s boundaries training through Do No Harm events. The team believes that the increase to this fund $8.9 million will nurture collaborative, adaptive, visionary, and innovative efforts to bring vitality to our worldwide connection through a sustained focus on evangelism and church growth, ministry with poor and underserved communities, global health, and innovation in leadership and leadership development (our Four Areas of Focus) as well as other areas. Increasing this fund will give the connection greater opportunities to support innovation that addresses emerging missional needs and priorities in an uncertain future.
The team celebrates that we have many resources to draw on for our work. We delight that we have reserve funds and other assets to support of the mission. In light of our many resources, the team recommended opportunities for agencies to be adaptive such as utilizing property to advance the mission, and seeking greater collaboration and shared services to reduce cost. When funds accumulate and grow over a long period of time, it is prudent to redirect limited apportionment resources to other missional areas (other agencies and funds). This report is being offered to the Connectional Table and the General Council of Finance and Administration for consideration at their joint April 2019 meeting. These bodies will decide whether or not to alter the recommendations it includes or receive them as they are. Ultimately, however, the allocation of the budget is a decision of the General Conference.
The full report, which includes a financial spreadsheet and informative presentation, can be found online at connectionaltable.umc.org.
Media Contact: Emily Clemons, Director of Communications 773-714-1517 x6464, firstname.lastname@example.org