The Board of Directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) held its quarterly board meeting November 18, 2022, where it approved spending plans, recommended a base percentage rate for 2025-2028, and learned about a successful technology partnership between UMC Support, GCFA’s ministry services arm, and an annual conference.
The 2023 spending plans of the general agencies receiving general Church funds, including GCFA, were approved. World Service fund collection rate assumptions ranged from 60-75%. The spending plans show a 13% decrease in 2023 compared to 2017, and an increase of 11% from 2022. There is projected usage of $11 million of reserves in 2023.
The Board also approved the 2023 spending plan of $21.5 million for the Episcopal Fund, as is required each year. Assumptions for the spending plan include a jurisdictional apportionment collection rate of 85% and central conference collection rate of 50%. Out of 46 Jurisdictional Bishops approved by General Conference, the spending plan reflects 39 active Jurisdictional Bishops, and 20 active Central Conference Bishops.
Additionally, the Board approved a recommendation that will go before the next General Conference to reduce the base percentage for 2025-2028 by 25% as compared to 2017-2020, resulting in a base rate percentage of 2.470069%. This creates a 38.1% reduction in the overall budget compared to 2017-2020. The board also approved allocations for the Episcopal Fund, the General Administration Fund and GCFA’s fixed charges. It voted to reduce the Episcopal Fund by 20%, the General Administration Fund by 29.6%, and GCFA’s fixed charges by 42.7%. These actions result in a 42.3% reduction in the amount available to allocate among the World Service, Interdenominational Cooperation, Africa University, Black College, and the Ministerial Educational Funds, for which The Connectional Table will bring allocation recommendations to GCFA.
Beyond approval of budgetary items, the Board also was informed about a partnership between GCFA’s UMC Support Technology Services and the Greater New Jersey Annual Conference. By choosing UMC Support’s IT, the annual conference saved approximately $100,000 a year and has a better file sharing system to save their employees time and frustration.
President of the GCFA Board Bishop Michael McKee said, “As we are coming up on a time of Thanksgiving, we are grateful to all the hardworking GCFA staff for input on spending plans and for guiding our finances, among other work. Together, ministry continues as we work to fulfill the important mission of The United Methodist Church as we move forward with conscientious stewardship.”