Thursday, June 09, 2005

OIAC Part IV

The Conference Lay Leader, Tom Wogaman (Brother of Iliff President Phil Wogaman) opened the conference in prayer.

Next was the report of the clergy session. This included the introduction of the ordinands. There are 6 this year. That's got to be a record for quite a little while. Very exciting.


Next was the report of the Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A) led by their chair, the Rev. Jim Monroe. He talked about the tasks and goals of CF&A. He talked about common perceptions of CF&A and how those stack up to the reality.
He stated these as the major challenges facing the conference.

1. Depleting Conference Reserves -- we're at one-third of goal.
2. Reducing staff -- major decrease in program staff.
3. The "Big Ticket" budget items are not a very big part of the budget.
4. Apportionment support has declined (while the budget has remained the same)
5. One-third of operating budget is raised outside of apportionments.

It was very honest and provocative report. Jim deferred to each of the CF&A sub-committees.

We heard about the apportionments formula. Basically, it's based on local church expenditures. Each church reports their expenses each year. We add all those together. Then, each church is given a sort of ratio of their expenses in context to get a Grade Figiure. The grade figure is then multiplied by the conference budget in order to determine the fair share, or apportionment, of each church. It's all based on the amount of normal church expenses.

We heard about personnel, briefly.

We heard about investments. Our investment objective is to exceed or meet annual inflation rates, plus to generate returns in excess of certain benchmarks (stock indexes). We're trying to more clearly define socially responsible investing. We're trying to more clearly define how much money we have in different classes of investments. We defined what we meant by each class. We will be holding our investment firms accountable for these goals.

We heard about the Interpretation of Apportionments. We heard a little bit about how Mission Churches are defined. We heard a bit about encouraging the "New Consecration Sunday" stewardship programs. The committee has also come out with a history of apportionments going back to the 18th century. It can be found on the stewardship website. There's also good information under Nuture. They're encouraging churches to give quarterly reports on finances, because the congregation needs to know. The committee would like to hear about our ideas about apportionments.

Then, after CF&A we heard a report from the Board of Pensions. In addition to pensions, they handle health insurance. Health Insurance, as you know, is really out of control. Prices are increasing and benefits are decreasing. Participants are strongly encouraged to take annual physicals. This helps with costs because it helps with health. There is an incentive for those who do.

Then we took a break.

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