Conference adopts budget to continue moving ministries forward
During Annual Conference in Boise, members of the Oregon-Idaho Conference voted to increase the budget for 2019 by 3 percent in order to continue supporting existing and new ministries throughout the Conference.
The adopted budget for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference is approximately $7.6 million for the 2019 fiscal year, up from $7.4 million in 2018.
While Council on Finance and Administration Chairman Rick Beadnell and Conference Treasurer Dan Wilson-Fey said there were no new sources of revenue in the 2019, the increased expenses will be offset. Savings created in previous budget years, combined with spending from reserves and “unusually large investment income” in 2017, the increase in the 2019 budget was covered, which meant the amount of funds being apportioned to (asked of) churches went down by less than 1 percent.
“There are an incredible number of good things going on, as evidenced by the various presentations at Annual Conference,” Beadnell said. “The budget is simply a plan for spending our resources to accomplish two main goals: equip local churches for ministry and provide a connection for ministry beyond the local church and our conference.”
Highlights of the 2019 budget include increased spending for the vital congregations office (including Director of Congregational Vitality Leroy Barber) as well as funding for the abundant health initiative, including the new, part-time coordinator Marshall Wattman-Turner. Health insurance premium increases were also an additional cost for the Conference this year.
The Conference allocates its resources in three different areas: 1) Equipping local churches and faith communities for ministries; 2) Providing a connection for ministry beyond the local church; 3) providing connectional structure and systems.
Wilson-Fey said in this day and age, churches are depending more on lay people to fill leadership roles within local churches, which requires more connectional support. For example, the Conference provides support to local boards of trustees as well as providing local churches with resources to participate in a global mission trip.
“Equipping local churches in this day and age is a different animal,” Wilson-Fey said.
For the last several years, the Oregon-Idaho Conference has paid its denominational apportionments in full, and Wilson-Fey said the Conference is on track to do the same in 2018.
“So far this year we’re ahead of where we were in last year in regards to shared giving apportionment support,” he said.