Summer Board Meeting Held In Nashville
Friday, August 18, 2017
Nashville, TN – The Board of Directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) held its summer board meeting in Nashville, Tennessee August 17-18. A portion of the meeting celebrated the ministries of Black Methodists for Church Renewal (BMCR) and MARCHA, the Hispanic Caucus of The United Methodist Church. Thomas Kemper, General Secretary for the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) shared stories of growth and development of the ministries of GBGM.
In its meeting, the Board approved a 3% increase in pay for jurisdictional bishops and bishops of African and the Philippines. European bishops’ increases are based on recommendations from their respective areas.
It also celebrated the rate of connectional giving for this quadrennium. Apportionment collection from jurisdictional conferences is up 3.8% from last year. It was noted that this first year of apportionment giving from central conferences is strong and reflects a global commitment to the ministries of the Church. The Board reviewed the progress of the Budget Advisory Team in developing the budget for the next quadrennium.
An update was given on the status of a compensation study for general Church agencies. A revised structure for compensation will be considered at the next GCFA board meeting in November. Benefits for general agency employees for 2018 were approved. Increases were offset by changing to a new pharmacy provider and costs are shared by employer and employee.
The Board approved Bishop Lawson Bryan to the United Methodist Church Development Center Advisory Committee.
The GCFA committee on Fiduciary, Foundation and Property Matters and The United Methodist Insurance (UMI) board met to review the continuing progress of this ministry which now serves over 3,300 churches and other UMC entities in the United States. This conversation continued with the full board during a luncheon meeting.
It was reported that all but one jurisdictional and central conference episcopal office audits have been received, which is a significant improvement over previous years.
Several members of the GCFA staff and the Vice Chancellor of Africa University (AU) Professor Munashe Furusa, who spoke by Skype, reported to the board on the recent installation of information technology infrastructure on the campus of Africa University. The collaboration between AU and GCFA provides high-quality internet access to all facilities, including residence halls for students. In his message, to the board and those who went to AU, Vice Chancellor Furusa said, “This partnership continues to enhance our university. The vision, openness and guidance of GCFA for this project were unparalleled. The GCFA team exhibited a work ethic that everyone wants to emulate. Thank you for the example you showed to our university”, he said. Richard Fotsin, Information Technology and Communications Director of Africa University who was also instrumental in the installation, spoke to the board in support of the Vice Chancellor’s comments.
The Board heard a report on the development of projects that are the result of the recent partnership with Belmont University and GCFA related to providing shared services in the Central Conferences.
In a final action, the Board approved necessary funding for 2019 Special Session of General Conference, to be held in St. Louis.
The next board meeting is November 16-17 in Nashville.