2021 Annual Conference FAQ
If you need help, contact the GNTV helpline by calling or texting (478) 245-4042 or call toll-free at (833) 259-3505. These numbers can be used leading up to and during Annual Conference. If someone is not available to help during your initial call, please leave a message with your name, number, and mention "Upper New York Conference" and you will get a call back.
There are many questions surrounding Annual Conference. Below are some common questions answered. If you have a question that is not answered about this year's Annual Conference session, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Technical Questions/Pre-Conference Briefings
Journal: Petitions, Resolutions, Reports
Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits Questions
Conference Council on Finance and Adminstration Questions
Will there be an opportunity to see how this year's virtual Annual Conference platform will work prior to June 17?
Three pre-Conference briefings were held during the month of May. If you missed one of the trainings, click here to watch a recorded briefing.
The training is broken into five different parts. GNTV is providing this year's technical support. Watch a representative from GNTV explain how to participate remotely, get recognized, vote during Annual Conference, and receive technical support before and during the session. There are also four different video segments in addition, including a preview from the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits, Equitable Compensation, Trustees, and Conference Council on Finance and Adminstration.
There will be one final training session hosted by GNTV at 10 a.m. on June 16. This training will be different than the previous pre-Conference trainings. This one will focus purely on the technical components of Annual Conference. If you have the ability to vote, you will use your actual personal ID number during this training. Personal ID numbers will be emailed to eligible voters from GNTV the week leading up to Annual Conference. A Zoom link will be sent via email to all registrants and shared in the Weekly Digest the week prior to June 16.
To best prepare for Annual Conference, where can I find the pre-Conference briefings related to Board of Pension and Health Benefits, Equitable Compensation, Trustees, and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A)?
These briefings can be found in video format on the Conference website.
Click here for the Board of Pension and Health Benefits report.
Click here for the Equitable Compensation report.
Click here for the Trustees report.
Click here for the CF&A report.
To be prepare for Annual Conference, is there a way to view petitions, resolutions, reports before June 17?
Yes, you can view/download or purchase a copy of the 2021 Upper New York Journal, Volume I by clicking here. Petitions and resolutions can be found on pages 33-66. Reports can be found on pages 67-104.
What is the past service rate applied to?
Anyone who has a pre 82 benefit based on a formula from Wespath.
What is the CPP mentioned for May, June and July 2020?
For those months Wespath did not bill. More information is available here.
What is the limit of years for pre 82 benefits?
Pre-82 benefits are for life, for the clergy and (if married at the time of retirement) the spouse as well. If a retired clergy receiving Pre-82 benefits lived to be in their 80’s, 90’s or over 100, they would continue to receive the lifetime benefit until they pass away.
What has been the impact of the Stock Market on the money available for retirees?
As for the impact of the stock market on money available to retirees there is not one specific number or numbers that describes the impact of the stock market that changes daily. Additionally, it depends on which retirement plans they are referring to:
- Pre-82 – retirees Pre-82 benefits are NOT subject to the ups and downs of the current stock market.
- Ministerial Pension Plan – in regards to the annuitized portion of MPP (could be anywhere between 65% and 100% depending on what year the clergy retired and what he/she choose) these benefits are NOT subject to the ups and downs of the current stock market
- MPP 25% - 35% - if the clergy retired and did not annuitize 100% of their MPP then that account (many times rolled into UMPIP) then that portion of their MPP account IS subject to the ups and downs of the market. Each clergy’s allocation is different.
- Clergy Retirement Security Program/Defined Benefit - retirees CRSP/DB benefits are NOT subject to the ups and downs of the current stock market.
- Clergy Retirement Security Program/Defined Contribution – similar to MPP 25%-35% the CRSP/DC accounts ARE subject to the ups and downs of the market.
- The United Methodist Personal Investment Plan - UMPIP accounts ARE subject to the ups and downs of the market.
All clergy can always check their Defined Contribution Account(s) account balances and/or allocations on by logging into their Benefit Access account https://my.benefitsaccess.org/login or calling Wespath at (800) 851-2201.
Where can I find the 2022 budget that is being voted on at the Annual Conference?
The budget can be found on pages 12-13 of the Journal Volume I. Click here to access or download the Journal Vol. I.
For church closures, it mentions that assets will go to the New Beginnings Fund. I do not see this in the budget. What is it and who manages it?
Assets from church closures go directly to Trustee assets and then the net proceeds from the sales are transferred into the New Beginnings Fund (NBF) at the end of the calendar year. This activity does not involve ministry share billings and therefore is not reflected on the budget to annual conference as this budget is specific to ministry share allocations to local churches.
Our church participated in six special Sunday collections: Human Relations Day, UMCOR Sunday, Native American Sunday, Peace with Justice, World Communion, and UM Student Day. These collections are sent to the Conference, but I do not see them reflected in the budget or any reference to them. Where are they listed if at all?
The six Special Sunday collections do not show up on the budget because these payments are also not budgeted and not part of the operational budget of the Conference that gets supported by ministry share allocation to local churches. The amount differs based on collections from every church. The Conference simply collects these funds from every church and then forwards that amount to GCFA.
Has the Conference PPP loan been forgiven?
The Conference did receive a PPP in 2020. The Conference did apply for and was granted forgiveness of the entire loan by the Small Business Administration.
Why does the budget for 2019 and 2020 only show the unaudited budget and not the proposed budget?
The General Conference requested to see the actual budget for those years not the proposed because the proposed budget does not portray what was actually spent.
Is the increase in the budget to local churches .4 percent or 4 percent?
If CFA were to adjust to the higher apportionment formula, it would increase ministry shares to local churches by slightly more than 4% over their 2022 assessment. This is equal to an average increase of around $500/year for all churches (larger churches would see a bigger increase and smaller churches would see a lesser increase). We are hopeful that the adoption of the current budget, with the lower general apportionment numbers along with the other cost savings, can offer a reduction in ministry shares to most churches in 2022.
Will there be a prayer room for those looking for a quiet space for reflection or a place to ask someone to prayer for them?
Yes, there will be a virtual prayer room through Zoom, staffed by spiritual directors in our Conference. You will be able to meet one-on-one in a private breakout room during the following times:
- Thursday, June 17: 2-5:30 p.m., 7-9 p.m.
- Friday, June 18: 9-12:15 a.m., 2-5:30 p.m.
- Saturday, June 19: 9:30-11:30 a.m.
Click here to enter the prayer room at any of the aforementioned times.