2017 CF&A Report shares positive news
Every year at Annual Conference, the UNY Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) present their proposed budget for the next calendar year and also discuss where their focus has been since the last Annual Conference.
This year, CF&A did not get the opportunity to present their report because of a surprising action that took place…there was a motion to put the budget report on the consent calendar…and it was supported!
What would have been presented is very positive.
First and foremost, the overall 2018 budget is over $80,000 less than the 2016 budget. The narrative budget (pages 13-34 in The 2017 Conference Journal Volume I, “The 2018 Budget Booklet”) describes each line item of the budget.
The UNY Conference CF&A planned on presenting three powerful testimonials of how local churches’ Ministry Share dollars effectively supported a variety of ministries.
Increased Ministry Share giving allowed the UNY Conference to meet 100 percent of its General Church apportionments for the first time in the history of the Uny Conference.
Here are three stories of how Ministry Shares greatly supported ministries in UNY.
CONAM and the Onondaga Nation Methodist Church
Despite the fact that most of the congregation lives well below the Federal Poverty Levels, the Onondaga Nation United Methodist Church meets 100 percent of their Ministry Shares year after year. They prioritize their Ministry Shares, even over heat.
Pastor Rose Kingsbury of the Onondaga Nation United Methodist Church said, “One winter they did not have the money for heating the church, but they still sent their shared ministry in. They laugh and joke about wearing coats during worship service. Because we are a connectional church however, the church was able to ask for an emergency grant from the Committee on Native American Ministries. CONAM gave us funds to get fuel oil.” Ministry Shares help support CONAM.
Syracuse University Chaplaincy
The Conference’s increased Ministry Share giving enabled the chaplaincy at Syracuse University to be restored.
Pastor Rhonda Chester is overjoyed with her position as Chaplain at Hendricks Chapel; she said “As a result of our presence on campus, we are able to provide an evening program called Courageous Conversations that draws students in to engage dialogically on issues of faith, spirituality, culture, current issues, and social media. We also offer a Sunday evening worship gathering and a monthly dinner that students look forward to. From my assessment our chaplaincy reaches about 150 students altogether through our programming.”
Rhonda shared anecdotes how SU students deeply appreciate her. For example, she spoke of Samuel, a PhD student and Rhodes Scholar from Kenya. She said, “Samuel shares his story of struggle and survival as he lives with a disability. He had this to say about my chaplaincy: ‘Rhonda, I am glad that you are here and that this chaplaincy exists. To be able to break bread with you as often as I do (we have Holy Communion every Sunday evening) and to hear you preach really refreshes me.’”
Several New Faith Communities have been made possible because of Ministry Shares.
For example, Rev. Sonxay Chantasone (Sean) has planted several Southeast Asian faith communities across Upper New York.
He said, “Your financial support has helped us develop three New Faiths Congregations in Johnson City and Syracuse areas. Already we have been able to send one student to Seminary, two leaders from each Congregation have received a Local Pastor Licensing school, our Children and Youths increased from 15 to 25 people and we are able to share the love of Jesus with 55 people from Karenni Congregation, 60 people from Napeli Congregation, and 40 people from Lao and Karenni Congregation in Johnson City.”
These are only a few examples of what Ministry Shares from local churches help accomplish through the United Methodist connection. For more examples, click here to read Volume 8, Issue 4 of the Advocate.