At the called session of Annual Conference on August 20, 2022, a revised 2023 Conference budget was approved. This budget is $223,000 lower than the budget approved at the June Annual Conference session for the 2023 year.
“We did not want those churches which have faithfully remained to bear an extra financial burden,” Rev. Robert Beckum, budget committee chair for the conference’s Council on Finance and Administration (CFA), said in his presentation during the online session. “We lowered the original 2023 budget, taking into consideration those churches which left in June. We now propose additional reductions to account for churches leaving in August.”
Conference members approved three adjustments to the 2023 budget: a reduction to the Congregational Development budgeted line item, a reduction to the Comprehensive Protection Plan budgeted line item, and a reduction to the contingency line item. These reductions total $223,847, which will ensure that remaining churches do not have increased apportionments resulting from local church disaffiliations. The new 2023 budget is $7,713,021.
CFA reported in June that the situation is fluid.
“We are tracking budget projections carefully and adjusting to the current circumstance,” Dr. Derek McAleer, Conference Treasurer, said.
Rev. Beckum reported that CFA recognizes the 2024 budget will be particularly challenging. The Council has consulted with Bishop Graves, who is convening the Leadership Forum – a representative working group of the Annual Conference – to give oversight to the work of larger reductions which may be necessary.
In addition to the conference adjusted budget, the 6 districts have also amended their 2023 District apportionments. District finance committees have reviewed their own missional needs and the revenue changes expected from disaffiliations and made the needed adjustments.
With updated numbers in hand, the 2023 missional apportionments will soon be sent to South Georgia United Methodist congregations.
The Administrative Services Office is currently running new calculations and will have the preliminary apportionment number mailed as quickly as possible.
“Due to the upcoming charge conferences, there will be a short window in which to review these preliminary askings and request adjustments,” Dr. McAleer said. “We appreciate treasurers and finance committees helping us in this work by responding quickly.”
Rev. Beckum thanked churches for their support, “Together we believe we can meet the challenge and serve our Lord fruitfully in the years to come.”