GCFA and CT Vote on 2017-2020 Revised Budget Recommendation

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Nashville, TN -- The Board of Directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) and the membership of the Connectional Table (CT) met individually and considered a recommendation to present a $599 million budget to General Conference in May. This is a change from the $611 million that was previously approved by both boards and represents a 2% reduction in the current proposed budget. 

After careful consideration of several other factors, including input from the General Secretaries Table, annual conferences, the Economic Advisory Committee and others within the denomination, the boards continued their listening and discernment about what the Church needs to sustain critical ministries at every level.  The new proposal to be presented to the General Conference in May is in line with the Economic Advisory Committee’s acceptable range for a quadrennial budget and reflects the careful consideration of several factors. 

Bishop Michael Coyner, president of GCFA, said: "GCFA and CT have the joint responsibility of preparing a budget for the next quadrennium and bringing that proposal to General Conference.  GCFA and CT have worked collaboratively on this task for the past three years, and we have used the expertise of the Economic Advisory Council (EAC) which includes several economists and other experts to help us predict the US economy and the strength of stewardship in our churches.  Together GCFA and CT initially approved a proposed budget of $611 million, a modest increase over the current $604 million.  However, the EAC has recently revised their projections down from previous ones, and in response the general agency leaders, and now both GCFA and CT have approved reducing the proposed budget to $599 million.  We believe this new proposal is more realistic, given the economic realities than many of our churches and conference are facing. I continue to appreciate the collaborative way these decisions have been made, and now it is up the General Conference to make the final decisions about the budget for 2017-2020."

Bishop Bruce Ough, the president of CT said: “Our goal is to build capacity within the global United Methodist connection to serve and expand Christ’s mission. This budget recommendation recognizes the balance we seek to maintain for strong funding of our mission initiatives at all levels of the Church, and in all places that God has led us to bear witness. We will not save our way into vitality; nor will we spend our way into vitality. Vitality and strong stewardship will always be the result of God’s abundance and our faithful and effective fulfillment of Christ’s mission.”

The proposed budget would roll back the general church apportionments to the lowest since the current apportionment formula was introduced in 2001 and represents a $4.1 million reduction from the budget General Conference adopted for the current quadrennium. The $599 million proposed budget would also be the lowest apportioned general Church budget in 16 years.

In a statement released March 16, the general secretaries of the Church’s boards, commissions and councils agreed that the general Church would further be mindful of the financial considerations of annual conferences and local churches by presenting a different budget recommendation to General Conference.  Doing so helps the Church at all levels remain attentive of effective and realistic ways to fund and continue the ministries of the Church.

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