Executive Committee Report
By Al Reimche
Once again, on February 23rd, our Executive Committee met to address the decisions and directions facing our Conference. At each committee meeting we take a section of the book of Acts and after reading it together, look for the main thoughts and current applications that can be applied to our vision for the Conference. After this special time of Bible study and prayer, we had an opportunity to hear the vision of our Member Ministries Department, including descriptions of some of the events being planned, such as the Southern Ministry Fest, and an Evening with Russell Burrill.
David Freedman, the vice president for finance, shared the financial statement from 2011 which indicated that we had a 1.94 percent increase in our tithe from the previous year. This was both a blessing and, considering the economy, a miracle. God has continued to bless His people even during this downturn and the faithfulness of our members was clearly evident by this increase. Our expenses, which came in below our expectations, were also seen is a blessing.
Since this was the first committee meeting following the completion of the year-end report, we addressed the budget for our current year. Given some of the temporary measures of previous years and increases that are projected this year, we started the budgeting process short by around $1.2 million. As a result, a number of areas needed to be addressed in order to reach a balanced budget. Some of the significant changes included enlarging some districts so that there would be up to six fewer pastors in the field. Though this is a daunting task given the previous reductions, we plan to accomplish this, again, through retirements and transfers out of the conference. The budget also included reducing office personnel and reducing the budgets for the camp grounds and camp meeting. The committee also voted to pass on to the churches a portion of the costs associated with insurance coverage for church functions and personnel, while the Conference continues to cover the larger percentage.
One of the budget items included an opportunity for Conference members to keep our church on mission. We are asking God through our members to give us an additional $100,000 by camp meeting time in order to strengthen the evangelistic mission of our Conference. Already at our town-hall meetings and following we have received over $14,000 in cash and pledges, and are waiting with anticipation to see how God will answer this prayer. Our dream is to continue to hold evangelism high in our Conference by funding meetings held in the fall of this year. Along with that we hope to run a Magabook program this summer within our Conference. This will allow some of our students to have the opportunity of earning salary and scholarship funds so that they will be able to attend our university. We also see this as an exciting avenue to develop Bible study interests within our church communities.
Beyond budget and financial considerations a number of other decisions were made. Some of the issues addressed were building and remodeling loans to two of our schools; recommendations from our Personnel Committee concerning pastoral assignments and a request from one of our churches to reconsider a previous Executive Committee decision. Each of these decisions were prayerfully considered and voted by the committee. Our next executive committee will take place in April and we value your prayerful support as together we move closer to Jesus’ return.