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.