The Connectional Table
The United Methodist Church
April 4, 2019
After receiving affirmation from the boards of both the Connectional Table (CT) and the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), the CT’s recommended funding allocation for the 2021-2024 quadrennium will go to General Conference 2020.
The Book of Discipline, in paragraph 806.1b2, requires that both the CT and GCFA agree on the budget proposal. The boards voted during a joint meeting on April 4, 2019, after the CT’s two-day biannual meeting in Nashville, TN. The CT widely approved the recommendations, with 29 in favor and three opposed. GCFA’s approval was narrower, with nine in favor, eight opposed and one abstention.
“We are in agreement,” Bishop Mike McKee said before the boards. “It’s not overwhelming, but it is an agreement.”
Much of the conversation and debate centered around process, with GCFA approaching the Church’s finance from a traditional point of view that differed from the CT’s values-based and theologically-grounded process. The process closely considered each agency’s and fund’s missional and financial capacity, as well as the missional priorities of The United Methodist Church.
“This is the first time in 20 years that there have been substantial changes to the budget allocations,” said Bishop Christian Alsted, Chair of the CT, about the recommendations. “We have been through a complicated process where we have done our best to be transparent and have worked closely with general agencies, the funds and GCFA to get as much information and understanding about their financial and missional capacity as possible. We are very mindful that the significant reductions in the funds available for allocation will have a significant impact on the ministry of the Church, as well as people’s lives and livelihoods.”
“We recognize the difficult decisions ahead for many of our agencies, and we hold their leadership in prayer,” said the Rev. Kennetha J. Bigham-Tsai, Chief Connectional Ministries Officer of the CT. “We sought in our allocations process to protect the core mission of each of our agencies out of recognition for the important ways they help us to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. We look forward to the continued fruit of their work.”
About the Connectional Table: The Connectional Table works to steward the mission, vision and ministries of The United Methodist Church. For more information, please visit connectionaltable.umc.org.