UMCSC finance leaders prepare for lower giving

South Carolina Conference finance leaders released a statement March 15 noting they are engaged in the annual process of assessing the budget needs of Annual Conference for 2024 on.

In recent years, members of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration have committed to reducing the conference budget each year in an effort to decrease apportionment askings from local congregations as they seek to be good stewards of the resources entrusted to the conference.

But, given that some churches completed the Local Church Discernment Process and voted to separate from the denomination, CF&A anticipates that apportionment revenues available to support ongoing ministry across the conference will be affected.

The Local Church Discernment Process has provided an opportunity for local churches to determine whether they can continue to function as a United Methodist church if they firmly believe that the denomination has not consistently upheld its stated doctrine on issues of human sexuality.

Leaders of the conference’s various ministry and administrative groups are involved in the process of determining how ministry will adapt to the reality of anticipated decreases in funding.

As budget reports are being prepared for action by the 2023 Annual Conference, CF&A seeks to clarify a common misconception regarding potential budget changes.

“It is not the intention of the Council on Finance and Administration to distribute the apportionment amounts from separating churches among local churches that remain with the denomination,” said the Rev. Stephen Taylor, chairperson of the CF&A operations and personnel sub-committee. “The council will continue to seek ways to reduce the total apportioned budget with the least harm to mission and ministry.

“We are navigating an uncertain time, and there is still a lot we do not know about what is to come. The Council on Finance and Administration covets your prayers as we continue to work to support our vital ministries.”

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