Memphis Conference finances force downsizing

Bishop William T. McAlilly Nashville Episcopal Area

Bishop William T. McAlilly
Nashville Episcopal Area

Jackson, Tenn — The Memphis Annual Conference announced this week that they were facing a financial shortfall that is forcing the conference to reduce the size of their staff. Bishop William T. McAlilly of the Nashville Episcopal Area (the Memphis and Tennessee Annual Conferences) sent an e-mail statement to the members of the conference addressing the financial concerns that the leadership had been assessing based on 2013 apportionment receipts.

Though the statement cited an increase in apportionment giving from 2012 to 2013, giving to the Connectional Ministries portion of the budget showed a decrease of 7.41 percent from the previous year, necessitating a decrease in the Connectional Ministries budget by $321,000.

Included in this decreased budget was the decision to defund at least two conference-level positions: Disaster Relief Coordinator and Associate for Young Persons Ministries. Additional adjustments will also be made to District Lay Resource personnel, though details have not yet been released.

Bishop McAlilly gave his full support of these decisions, acknowledging that it was difficult to make the budget reductions “while trying to establish a new mission and vision for the Memphis Conference” and “make young people a priority for the Memphis Conference.”

Citing the stated values of the Memphis Conference’s Strategic Mapping Team, to “change whatever we need to within our structure and ourselves, holding nothing sacred but the mission,” Bishop McAlilly confessed these challenging decisions are indicative of the importance in moving toward the downsizing of districts and cabinet so that funding might be freed up without compromising ministry and mission opportunities and goals.

UMReporter Staff

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  1. Is this what Dr. Shaller was predicting in his 2004 book, “The Ice Cube is Melting” ? It’s always hard to see changes, but I appreciate Bishop McAlilly and The Memphis taking positive actions to see tat the Mission goes forward. I have devoted a fair amount of my life to the Methodist/United Methodist Church ministry and mission, but I sense that we may have acquired a few too many anchors and not enough sails. My friends are familiar with my philosophy of ” Pouring more wine and less concrete”

  2. Wes Andrews says:

    This will happen in more and more conferences as the pro same-sex gay ordination assault on the UMC continues.

    • What in the world does THAT have to do with a trend that started 2 years ago…aren’t you stretching it just a bit to try and blame Gay Marriage?? That isn’t even on the table in the Memphis Annual Conference!

  3. We cannot claim that this action is the result of one highly divisive social issue. A more appropriate response, I believe, is to pray for those people who just lost their jobs.

    • Ms. Downey: Have you taken a pole on abortion–ummm, lack of sound Christian doctrine being taught in our Sunday Schools (if a church has one!!)–ummm, very liberal/progressive seminaries that turn out liberal/progressive clergy–ummm, apportionments that are used to support a hierarchy that refuses to lead, ummm, apportionments that fund/support very left wing activities, ummm, clergy who set themselves apart and sit on “elevated platforms” and look down at the people in their pews as less than they are, ummm, etc etc etc. No, Ms. Downey!! ONE “highly divisive issue” does not even come close to defining the unrest and mass exodus from the umc………………………………..

      • You have GOT to be kidding me?? Do yu know anything at ALL about the Memphis Annual Conference??? It is the hub of the Good News Movement (google it) and I am a liberal clergy person and they got rid of me. I still love many folks in this area and would defind their right to be conservative to the death because Wesley would not have allowed differences to break fellowship. Combined with the fact that your ummmmm’s are extraordinarily RUDE!!!

        • Oh, and by the way, that is Rev. Downey!

        • Wes Andrews says:

          Connie, it is a major issue in every conference. If GC 2016 rejects the Biblical definition of Sexuality and Marriage the more conservative conferences will be in greater turmoil than the more liberal ones. Moderate to conservative UMs are driven away especially devout young people. They would rather go to a contemporary church that is focused on mission, rather than a traditional mainline that is bogged down in the mire of politicized issues.

    • I am not as concerned about praying for those who lost their jobs as I am for those who lose their souls. If this Bible-believing institution promotes homosexuality in any form, this is one member, tither and sinner that will seek a church that condemns sins while loving the sinner. Promote Christ. The Lord will take care of the other stuff. If the Church will stop compromising with satan, the Lord will bless.

      • Wow, just wow!! Blessings to you brother. It must be hard to be so full of hate for one group of sinners…UMC has done a ton to welcome in divorced folks, shouldn’t you be up in arms about them too. And I can only guess how you feel about all those female preachers…

  4. James and Mike … You nailed it. And so it ends….

    • I am just praying that this is sarcasm…pointing to the fact that the church is in more danger of dying with members like these two men then from the welcoming, loving, Christ-like ministry of those who are open to ALL God’s children.

      • Have put you on my prayer list Connie. One question: why is it ok for you to be so vocal in your opinions/beliefs but not for others who disagree with you to express theirs?

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