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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.


    FACT Report

    To review the full FACT report, click here.

    As you may have read, the Upper New York Conference has begun the Financial Advisory Consulting Team process, affectionately known as the FACT process. Despite the word “financial” in the title, this process is not just for accountants, treasurers and “numbers people.” This is a process that is for all of us.

    According to the outline provided by the team, this process comes alongside the Conference as a partner “to provide a holistic financial review and be a resource to help achieve conference vitality and sustainability.”

    Upper New York Resident Bishop Mark J. Webb invited a FACT team, comprised of leaders from the General Church, to meet with members of the Conference, to start the process.

    What did this process involve?

    1. Leaders from the General Church went through the Conference’s information and demographics, and gave a presentation on their research. The bottom line of their presentation is that the Conference, because of the apportionments it received, was able to pay only 57 percent of its General Church apportionments for 2013. That makes Upper New York the conference that paid the lowest percentage! That statement leads to question of why?
    2. To answer that question and the many other questions raised, the representatives from the General Church approached the FACT committee with the background of many agencies, including the General Board of Discipleship, the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, and the General Commission on Finance and Administration. They provided the committee with information from the perspectives of other local churches, other conferences, and clergy and laity from all across the United Methodist connection.
    3. After the presentation of the demographics, which are available in the FACT report (see link at the end), the committee members worked together to come up with a list of dilemmas. What is a dilemma? A dilemma is defined as “a condition or issue that, if not addressed, will result in the Conference’s decline or even demise, and which have financial implications.”
    4. The dilemmas identified fell into five basic categories:
    • Leadership
    • United Methodist Ethos
    • Trust
    • Financial Resources
    • Communication

    As project manager for the Conference’s FACT process, I know this is a lot of information to digest. In my next article, I will break down how we will be working on the many dilemmas in these five areas. I will keep you up to date on the process and providing you with additional information as our work progresses. Teams are being created that will prioritize these many dilemmas and will work on them together with the leadership – both clergy and laity – of the Conference.

    Please keep these teams and the Conference in your prayers as they do the work that will enable us to work together to be the Conference that God has called the Upper New York area to be!

    To review the full FACT report, click here.

    *Susan Ranous is the FACT Project Manager and a member of the Upper New York Conference.

    With more than 125,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 800 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."