CF&A has prepared 2021 budget
September 11, 2020 / By UNY Conference CF&A
Your Conference Council on Finance & Administration has been working since last fall on the 2021 Conference budget. Of course, at that time, things were the “old normal”, and, while our collections from ministry shares were down, we were anticipating the continued generosity from our local churches and prepared the budget accordingly.
Prior to our releasing the budget (which would have occurred in the spring, prior to the May 2020 Annual Conference), everything changed!
- Illness, death, separation, isolation all arrived very quickly as a result of COVID-19.
- Suddenly the doors to the churches that ascribed to have open hearts, open minds and open doors were closed.
We know that many of you have struggled during this time, finding ways to continue to do ministry differently, to be in communication and contact with people that you are used to hugging every week, when not only can’t you hug them, you can’t even be in the same room with them!
We, as a Conference, have struggled along-side you and have spent this time trying to be helpful in any and all ways that we can, and to provide resources to you, the local churches, the foundation of the United Methodist Church!
As a connectional church, we revisited our 2021 budget prior to the rescheduled virtual Annual Conference that will be held on October 3rd, 2020. Much discussion has been held, trying to determine what is the most equitable way to present this budget.
If you look at the budget, you will see that the numbers don’t look terribly different from prior years. That is not because we don’t know what’s going on or don’t understand the difficulties that local churches are facing. We believe that we are all in this together. We believe that you, the local churches, will do all you can to continue to pay your shared ministry dollars, the amounts that are allocated and apportioned to each of you that allow us, the Annual Conference, you, the Annual Conference, to do ministry in the Upper New York area and around the world!
These are difficult times, and all of our crystal balls are cracked and cloudy. It is impossible for any of us to predict what our needs will be, or what our resources will be. All of us, from the local church, to the Districts, to the Conference are struggling. We believe any attempt to manipulate the numbers in the 2021 budget would be a guessing game at best. We are asking the Conference to trust your Bishop, Treasurer, District Superintendents, Executive Staff and CF&A to continue to manage income and expenses as we have had to do for the past six months.
Immediately upon the changes in our local churches and in our state, we on CF&A, your Bishop, the Executive Staff and others have met regularly to discuss the best ways to manage the funds that we have been receiving. Together, we have managed a radical spending plan that has kept the Upper New York Conference financially solvent.
As ministry shares are received, and we hope that ministry shares continue to be received, we will continue to plan and use those funds in the best way possible. These plans include all items of our budget, including General Church Apportionments, Conference Ministries, those that are Enhancing, Equipping and Extending, Camp and Retreat Ministries, Ministerial Support, Cabinet and Districts and Administrative Services.
We ask you to prayerfully consider this budget and approve it as presented, knowing that we, as CF&A, view this as a working plan that allows us to allocate the costs and collect ministry shares from the churches to support the work that you, as an Annual Conference, are called by God to do.
We make this request knowing that as we all recover from the financial difficulties caused by COVID-19, it does not represent the reality of our life together as a Conference. At best, it is a starting point that defines salaries, necessary expenses, and ministry priorities. We all need time to adjust and recover. Together we have kept the conference afloat during the “perfect storm.”
Churches have been generous with the resources available to them, and we trust that you will continue to do so. We are grateful for those churches that have continued to pay their Ministry Shares in full and encourage their continued support, so that as a Conference, we are able to support those churches that are struggling during these challenging times.
Together, in extraordinary times, ministry has continued to flourish and bear fruit. COVID-19 has helped us to reach people we never would have touched with our old ways of doing things. We need that same spirit and freedom to continue into 2021, because recovery, whatever that will look like, will continue well in 2021. We ask you for the grace to let your leadership guide us through the troubled waters ahead. CF&A encourages you to pass the 2021 budget as printed and let us work with it as we climb out of the financial trauma of this pandemic.
If you have any questions or need any additional information, members of CF&A are available to answer them.
Click here to review the 2021 budget.