Why Are Our Apportionments Higher for 2022?

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
News

By: Dr. R. Mark King, Conference Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services

There are essentially two reasons WNC churches are seeing an increase in their apportionments for 2022.  First of all, as reported to the Annual Conference in its budget report, the Council on Finance and Administration originally was to recommend a 2022 budget that was one‐quarter of one percent increase over 2021. The original budget carried over the same amounts for the General Church apportionments as contained in 2021’s apportionments. The 2021 amounts were approximately $1 million less than the 2017‐2020 Quadrennium budget of the General Church. These numbers were given to the annual conference by the General Council of Finance and Administration in 2020 in anticipation of the 2021‐2024 Quadrennium budget being adopted by the 2020 General Conference. The Pandemic, of course, postponed the General Conference  BUT CFA did not receive any directive to alter the General Church amounts for 2021.  CFA and the Annual Conference elected to keep the lower numbers for 2021. Likewise, for the 2022 proposed budget, the General Church amounts were still $1 million less than the 2017‐2020 budget.
 
On March 25, 2021, the Judicial Council, acting upon a request from General Council on Finance and Administration, ruled that since there was no General Conference to authorize a new budget, the 2017-2020 budget must stand. Once the General Conference can meet and pass a new budget, it is anticipated that the General Church apportionments will decrease for the ensuing years.
 
We are a connectional church, and it is important that the conference follow the Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church. Therefore, the currently 2022 proposed budget uses the 2017‐2020 General Church apportionments (as assigned by the GCFA), which is $1 million more than the 2021 budget.
 
In essence, the Judicial Council decision regarding the General Conference apportionment amount is what triggered the vast majority of the increase. 
 
Additionally, the 2021 General Church apportioned amounts are impacted as well.  Rather than re‐apportion the churches for this required 2021 increase, CFA is asking to take the percentage collected from churches for the entire 2021 year, apply that percentage against the ~$1 million increase, and pay it from conference reserves. We will not pass on the 2021 increase to the local churches.
 
The 2022 Budget does include one exception from 2021:

  • Removal of the Jurisdictional Apportionment.  In 2021, the decision was made by the Council on Finance and Administration of the Southeastern Jurisdiction to return a surplus of apportionment funds collected over the last eight years to the SE annual conferences.  WNC will use that surplus in the years 2022, 2023, and 2024, as much as feasible, to pay the Jurisdictional apportionment.
 
Secondly, please be aware of how critical the year-end report is.  The apportionment calculations are taken from those submitted numbers of certain expenses in each church’s report.  2021 was based on the average of 2017, 2018, and 2019.  2022 apportionments are based on 2018, 2019, and 2020.  If 2020 is higher than 2017, most likely that will also trigger an increase.   
 
Churches and their leaders can access the WNCC website (www.wnccumc.org/administration) and review their local congregation’s apportionment allocations, remittances, and descriptions of each of the funds.
 
Finally, please keep this in perspective.  In the average congregation in our conference, based on 2020 statistical data, the total 2022 apportionment payment (District, Conference, and General Church) is about 8% of the average contribution income from church members and others. Congregations retain 92% of the monies given.  In using the biblical language of the tithe, apportionments are less than a tithe and they do not represent the full 10% of the expenses of our congregations.
 

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