Constitutional changes on funding fall short

Two amendments to The United Methodist Church’s constitution regarding the redistribution of funds did not garner the necessary two-thirds vote on May 3. The amendments would have allowed General Conference to designate a body to reallocate funds between sessions of the quadrennial gathering.

The General Council on Finance and Administration, the denomination’s finance agency, submitted the amendments. The changes were championed by leaders of the Call to Action process. The original Call to Action proposal called for a body to be able to redistribute up to $60 million of general church funds. The money was intended for three efforts: providing more theological education outside the United States, developing more young church leaders and fostering more vital congregations.

That proposal did not make it out of the Financial Administration Legislative Committee. Such a redistribution is not possible in the next four years without the constitutional amendments.

But the General Council on Finance and Administration has altered its proposed general budget to redesignate $12 million in funds to help theological education in the central conferences, particularly in Africa, and young clergy in the United States.

The proposal includes:

  • $5 million for the Central Conference Theological Education Fund
  • $7 million for the Young Clergy Initiative

The funds will come from money previously budgeted for general agencies.

The full assembly is now debating the proposed general church budget for the next four years. The General Council on Finance and Administration has recommended a budget of $603.1 million. The figure represents a 6.04 percent reduction from the previous four years and marks the first time a smaller budget has gone before the church’s top legislative body for approval.


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Worship
Chase Crickenberger. Photo courtesy of the author. Mr. Crickenberger's commentary appears in the Blogs and Commentaries section of Untied Methodist News.

Online communion should not be here to stay

The church would risk further marginalizing shut-ins and others by denying them a physical experience of the Body of Christ.
Mission and Ministry
Tim Tanton (center, in red), chief news and information officer for United Methodist Communications, shares updates with African communicators and other UMCom staff during the 2019 General Conference. World Press Freedom Day, observed May 3, commemorates journalists and highlights the difficulties they face while reporting truth. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day

Tim Tanton with United Methodist News talks about giving voice to the voiceless and why freedom of information is essential not only for society but for the church.
Bishops
The Virginia Conference’s Bishop Sharma D. Lewis (upper right corner) leads the devotional during the April 30 session of the United Methodist Council of Bishops spring meeting. The bishops maintained that no elections of bishops or agency board members would be held this year, despite some delegates urging otherwise. Screengrab courtesy of the Council of Bishops via ZOOM by UM News.

Bishops: No episcopal elections until 2022

United Methodist bishops declined General Conference delegates’ calls for episcopal elections this year but opened the door to a vote on new leaders in 2022.