The Conference Connectional Table (CCT) met February 24 by Zoom to ready the 2023 budget proposal for presentation to the Council on Finance and Administration (CFA).
After discussion, the budget submitted for vote totaled $11,840,262 in total Annual Conference requests, reflecting a $78,170 reduction (.51%) from the budget approved for 2022. Approved unanimously, it moved to CFA’s budget committee for consideration.
Each of CCT’s five ministry teams – Christian Formation, Leadership Development, Outreach Ministry, Racial Equity and Justice Ministries, and Operations and Administrative Resources – presented requests to the CCT that were prepared by their committee chairs and approved by the ministry team. While trying to decrease where possible, the CCT reviewed each request to ensure the ministry was aligned with the vision of the Annual Conference. After approval by the CCT and if approved by CFA, the budget will be presented to the Annual Conference in June for final approval. Because the budget of the NC Conference operates on a four-year cycle, the budget being considered was for 2023.
A supplemental request for the 2021 budget was presented by the Racial Equity & Justice Ministries team to fund its emerging anti-racism work. That budget line was added to the 2022 budget, but staff are ready with work in 2021 to address this conference priority. Plans for 2021 include:
- Conference-wide access to the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) for 800 people in all eight districts (100 per district)
- Racial equity training offered to at least 120 conference leaders
- Development of racial equity training modules specific to the NC Conference to enable the conference to offer its own ongoing racial equity academy
Approved by the CCT, the supplemental request moved to CFA’s supplemental committee for consideration.
The role of the Connectional Table is to be the steward of the vision of the Annual Conference. In evaluating budgets, the CCT ensures that requested funding supports the priorities of the Annual Conference: Effective Leadership, Healthy Congregations, Unity, Anti-Racism, and Congregations for Children. Evaluation of existing programming is ongoing to ensure that stated conference priorities link to accomplishments and that programming is fulfilling its stated purpose with effective results.
Portions of some budgets (Christian Formation, Missions, and Higher Education) have been consolidated to offer greater flexibility, enabling leaders to prioritize for the greatest current need. In addition, the work of many offices and ministries is being interwoven. The staff, cabinet, and districts have recently merged programming calendars as a way to think collectively and work collaboratively toward unified outcomes – and avoid program overlap.
One CCT member, serving with CCT and CFA over the last 15-20 years, notes that “more money is being spent on ministry, ministry training, staffing for ministry, and resources for ministry, as opposed to property – in other words, spending money on trying to be ever better at who we say we are, and that’s a good thing.”
The next CCT meeting is scheduled for May. Exact date is under consideration.
Under the structure of the North Carolina Conference, the Connectional Table provides a forum for the understanding, casting forth, and implementation for the vision of the conference. It is the place where ministry and money come to the same table to coordinate the mission, ministries, and resources of the conference.