GCFA board begins preparations for the 2017-2020 quadrennial budget process

Nashville, TN – During the quarterly meeting of the Board of Directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), board members and staff met with agency general secretaries,  treasurers, and members of the Connectional Table to discuss the budgeting process for the 2017-2020 quadrennium.

The joint budget team has been working since last fall to develop budgeting guidelines focused on narratives and numbers that represent the support of the missional objectives and denominational priorities such as the four areas of focus and vital congregations.

As reminded by GCFA General Secretary Moses Kumar in his opening remarks to the board, there are less than one thousand days until the beginning of the next General Conference session, when the board will be responsible for preparing and presenting a 2017-2020 budget for the general apportioned funds of the Church. The budget for the next quadrennium must be completed by August, 2015 in time to be printed and ready for distribution to delegates.

Kumar stressed the agency’s work for the remainder of this quadrennium will be focused on collaboration, generosity and excellence. He informed the board on the work of the staff in expanding and enhancing shared administrative services for annual conferences and general agencies.. General agencies in the Nashville area are working to implement a shared phone system—offering improved equipment and service and lower cost. UltiPro, another shared service, is a human resources information system for tracking payroll and benefits, with additional modules launching later this year.

Thomas Kemper, General Secretary of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) made a presentation to attendees on the ministries of GBGM and how they relate to the work and responsibility of GCFA.

The GCFA board is working with BoardSource to strengthen its work together. Jenifer Holland, Director of Consulting for BoardSource, addressed the group and detailed ways that “Dashboard Reporting” can enhance the board’s review of the work done by the staff.

Bishop Michael Coyner, President of GCFA, said “I was pleased with the good spirit of all who attended the Board meeting with GCFA Directors and staff last week. We continue to work in collaboration with the general agencies and related groups like the United Methodist Church Foundation. We continue to learn from our consultant at BoardSource about the appropriate roles for the Board and the Staff, and our meeting included a helpful presentation from Thomas Kemper about the work of the General Board of Global Ministries (just as we heard from the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits at our previous meeting). GCFA is very pleased with the continuing strong support of our general Church funds by the churches and conferences of The United Methodist Church, and GCFA sees itself in a servanthood and stewardship role for the church.”

In other action the board dissolved the World Service Commission of the Methodist Episcopal Church; this predecessor organization to the General Council on Finance and Administration was established in 1921 and its dissolution does not affect the work of GCFA. The board decided to continue its use of United Healthcare as the health insurance provider for general agency staff and the Council of Bishops and initiated a study by board members to explore other models and options for the future legal services needs of the agency.

Fourteen persons were also elected to the Board of Directors of The United Methodist Church Foundation. They are: Shawn Bakker, Tom Black, Vivian Bull, Cashar Evans, Oscar Luis Garza, Dixie Hall, Moses Kumar, Ross LeFevre, Tom Marston, Margaret Reynolds, Hans-Jűrgen Steuber, Michael Swetman, Wee-Li Tan, and Mary White.

This story provided by the General Council on Finance and Administration

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I wonder if the GCFA has considered asking the bishops to cut down on the phylacteries they have become so used to? Is it a possibility that just the bishops are accustomed to lots of fluff–or might all/most of the boards and the members of those boards be covered with fluff as well? Cutting fluff down to brass tacks might be a really good thing–kind of like the Savior driving the money changers out of His Father's House…………………………..

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