Laity Annual Conference Report

June 24, 2018                                                           2018 Annual Conference Report

Theme: Creating Difference Makers in New Communities of Faith

I was honored to be the Stuart Mt. Vernon United Methodist delegate to annual conference this year. I am pleased to report that the proposed budget for 2019 year is down $505,925 AND “ending net assets” continue to increase. Over the past few years we have had some honest attempts to critically analyze the work of the church and to budget for this work. The needs of local church work and an effort to balance with conference organization to accomplish this work has created a new format for income/expense and budgeting.

“We are in a covenant relationship.” reminded Jon Disburg prior to his presentation of the financial statement. We are not “kind of” or “sort of” married, baptized or in this case, a covenant relationship with God regarding our apportionments. Jon presented a very healthy budget. We are continuing to be better stewards of conference funds. Yet our responsibility in this covenant is clear.

One specific example of a conference committee’s efforts to be better stewards of our apportionments is found with the Iowa United Methodist Foundation.   This Foundation has not used any apportionment money since 2014. The Foundation assets will increase from 43 million to 49 million this year and will hold over $2 million in new investments to ministry. Certificates of deposit are available for purchase at higher rates of return than can be acquired in most banks. The foundation manages these funds well.

Although the Iowa United Methodist Foundation has done a fantastic job managing conference funds, the most important thing to know about the IUMC is how they use these funds. It is remarkable to see the work of Christ through projects in outreach,and partnering with local church missions, financial support for pastor’s education (loans and grants) and the other standing committees that are supported with funds from the foundation.

Beginning in 2019, the Rainbow Covenant Committee will cease to exist and the work will be organized through the IUMC and this board of Missions. For more information about the statistics of our conference financials, please visit the website: www.iaumc.org/financialstatements.

The new way of conference operations and a new model for staffing design seems to be an effective transition for both the conference and for local churches. This new design has done a better job to align the structure with staffing resources and will continue to better address the challenges and opportunities of the church. This new design appears to offer many opportunities to meet our strategic priorities.

As always, if you have additional questions or would like to visit more in depth about the new design, please contact Pastor LaTonya or myself.

I am pleased with the direction our church is taking to better address our local work as well as the Iowa United Methodist Church. Methodists in Iowa continue decrease at an alarming rate. We heard the sad closing ceremony for too many church buildings again this year. It is time to continue our critical analysis of the mission of the church and to continue to make those changes to align with the call of Christ to make disciples of all men.

Thank-you for the opportunity to attend the United Methodist Annual Conference as your delegate.

Respectfully Submitted by: Carla Grasty