Monday morning during the first business session of Annual Conference, Chris Clough, chair of the West Ohio Council on Finance and Administration (CFA), offered a report on the Conference’s financial state. Since 2015, CFA has focused on prioritizing resources in order to reduce the overall level of apportioned connectional giving requested by the Conference.
“Your Council on Finance and Administration heard the local church leaders from throughout the Conference who delivered this message: effective and transforming ministry begins in the local church,” Chris said. “The expense reductions and use of non-apportioned funds/income aid in the reduction of total connectional giving requests to your local churches. And, that means you will have more capacity to fulfill your local missional and connectional giving priorities.”
In 2018, receipts on apportioned connectional giving came in at 71%; 561 churches contributed 100% of their apportionments. Connectional giving requests could be reduced further if more churches could participate at a higher level.
In addition, West Ohio Chief Financial Officer Bill Brownson reported the following:
- The Conference has reduced apportionments by nearly 13% in two years.
- In 2018, the Conference had a $2 million deficit for clergy benefits due to high health insurance claims and lower than expected investment results. So far in 2019, our insurance claims are much improved and investments have rebounded.
- Conference ministry net results (excluding clergy benefits) were 1% better than budgeted.
- West Ohio paid 95% of its General Church apportionments in 2018 and CFA elected not to use Conference reserves to meet the 100% level.
- The 2020 budget builds on prior budgets and reduces the total apportionment burden for local churches by 2.5%.
- Through May of this year, the Conference has received 26% of apportionments (down slightly from past years).
After the reports were submitted, the Annual Conference voted to pass as presented Recommendation #1 – Council on Finance & Administration Recommendation Calendar Year 2020 (the 2020 Conference budget). More details may be found in the 2019 Book of Reports here.