The Conference Connectional Table (CCT) met December 9th by Zoom for the fourth of its quarterly meetings in 2021. A meeting summary follows.
Gray Southern emphasized to CCT members that God is at work in a world that is confused, frightened, broken, and sometimes despairing. That is the promise of the Advent season when we say with joy, hope, thankfulness, and expectation, Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
- For 2024 budget process:
- In late November, the Treasurer’s Office offered training via Zoom for creating 2024 budget requests. Primary goals for the budgeting process have not changed; only the manner in which data is collected has changed. The Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) recommended developing budgets that stay within a 2% increase over the 2023 budget.
- After committees meet and send their requests to their appropriate team, those teams will meet to review requests. Final budget requests are due to the Treasurer’s Office by January 20th so the requests can be compiled for the Connectional Table’s meeting January 27th.
- 2021 apportionment update:
- We are almost exactly 5 percentage points ahead of where we were at this point last year, and that was about 4% behind where we were the previous year. Following these trends, we anticipate about an 87% payout at year end.
Following up on work done at the October meeting, CCT members met in small groups to discuss specific actions the CCT can take that will:
- Foster and uplift connectionalism
- Assist local churches in developing and building internal/external relations
- Encourage leading in new ways
- Help foster unity, equity, and justice in our local congregations, and
- Encourage vibrant and meaningful worship for the transformation of God’s world
After developing a list of action items at the October meeting, members prioritized their ideas, and were now ready to develop a skeletal plan for realizing each of these ministry goals. Members were encouraged to think in wholistic and connectional ways, so that each goal is accomplished through collaborative work among appropriate staff, committees, and teams, and to consider how these goals influence local congregations and set a narrative across the NC Conference.
STRUCTURE & TRANSITIONS
While the CCT structure remains the same, some adjustments in staff representation for committees and teams is necessary due to the retirement of Christine Harman. Leah Wiebe-Smith will now serve as staff representative for Christian Formation. Steve Taylor will serve as staff representative for the Conference Youth Committee (CYC).
RETIREMENT OF CHRISTINE HARMAN
The CCT offers gratitude to Christine Harman for her 11½ years of service to the NC Conference and the Conference Connectional Table, after working in the Kentucky Conference of the UMC for 9 years. Christine, thank you for the many ways you have moved, touched, inspired, encouraged, prodded, fed, and nurtured us. May God’s grace go with you.
The next CCT meeting is scheduled for January 27th.
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.