Members review finances, approve 2014 budget
Approved 2015 budget totals $16,036,373
Carl Nord, chair of Finance and Administration for the conference led the financial discussion. He reaffirmed the Rev. Gary Beach as Conference Treasurer and thanked him for his service in times of great change and transition. Beach took the podium and recognized his own staff who have been putting in many hours to make the transition to the Great Plains Conference. He noted that about 30 businesses and pseudo-conference business were shut down during the transition and aggregated into four incorporated organizations. At the same time his staff was reduced, meaning the department is doing more work with significantly less staff.
Beach noted that he has received nothing but gracious support and kindness from the people of the conference. “I appreciate that,” he said.
Beach presented the 2013 Mission Share percentages of the former three conferences — Kansas East, 85.04 percent; Nebraska, 86.05 percent; and Kansas West, 87.65 percent.
Beach asked if was even possible for churches to meet Bishop Jones’ challenge of 95 percent fulfillment of apportionments. He highlighted several conferences who regularly meet that level. He went on to recognize Great Plains districts who indeed had met that challenge in 2013.
- Gateway District in Nebraska, 96.49
- Hays District in Kansas, 95.13
- Flint Hills, Hutchinson and Dodge district were just under the 95 percent.
Beach noted that if the conference would reach the 95 percent level on apportionments we would raise an additional $1.5 million. “It would enable us to do extraordinary things,” he said.
Beach announced some financial software enhancements for church bill paying and for giving that are planned for later in the summer. These are intended to make the financial work more streamlined and automated for both churches and the conference.
Carl Nord, chair of the Council on Finance and Administration led the group through the budget approval process starting with affirming the 10 + 1 Mission Share formula, affirming Mission Agency Support and ending with the approval of the 2015 budget.
In addition to income generated from apportionments, Nord noted that attendees might want to review the income line items generated from the new Restricted Reserve Fund. (The Connecting Council approved the creation of this fund at its spring 2014 meeting.) It acts as an endowment for the GPC. The fund, along with the interest it generates, accounts for three line-items in the 2015 income section of the budget. A complete explanation of the Restricted Reserve Fund and the allocation from it for the 2015 budget, can be found on pages numbered 24-25 in the AC Resource Booklet
“We have a great committee and I am really happy to be part of this, it’s a great process we’re going through,” Nord said. He thanked all the committee members and the bishop for their contributions to the process.