Annual Conference Questions/Answers


Answered Questions

Regarding the disaffiliation of the 7 churches. Does the (to be) disaffiliated congregation purchase the church/property from UMC? Or is the church/property given to them as long as they have met the necessary apportionment?

If a local church follows the steps outlined in paragraph 2553 of The Book of Discipline, including payment of any unpaid apportionments 12 months prior to the date of disaffiliation and an additional 12 months of apportionments; its pro rata share of any aggregate unfunded pension obligations; and all legal costs, then it retains "its real and personal, tangible and intangible property." The church does not purchase the church/property from the annual conference.

Please explain the number references on Page 50 in the last section (number 2) of petition 1a. I didn't find those anywhere in the "Program and Reports" booklet.

Those numbers refer to lines on the year-end statistical report that is completed by each local church in the conference.

At the bottom of page 22 in the Proposed Budget, there is a new line item called District Administry that is receiving $685,000. What is that about?

A new district apportionment is being created that will shift District Operations costs from the conference budget to the respective districts, creating a new apportionment for each of our districts. Administry costs include office operations and programming components. This allows for more localized approach with a fairness that districts receive what they require. The total amount reflected in the budget will be spread proportionately among the eight districts.

When and where will voting results be announced?

Our goal is to announce the votes no later than August 24th. We will post to our website at https://www.wnccumc.org/ac2020

We did not receive a copy of the supplement and or Programs/reports book. Is it available on line anywhere?

The link to the Program and Reports Book is: https://www.wnccumc.org/files/content/departments/ministerial+services/ac+2020/2020+p%26r+final.pdf The link to the Supplement is: http://wnc-email.brtapp.com/files/websites/www/blog/2020.supplement.final.pdf

What happens to the property of the churches that are disaffiliating?

Disaffiliating churches retain their property as they leave The United Methodist Church.

Will there be no discussion of the budget? Just an up or down vote? I understand that there is great uncertainty and the need to be cautious in our budgeting as a result of COVID-19, but I am very concerned about camping/retreat and campus ministries. I don't think the amounts for those ministries should be reduced and the camping/retreat budget should arguably be increased to help offset losses from this summer.

Unfortunately, our format this year does not allow for discussion of or amendments to any of the voting matters. Many ministry areas are suffering due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We hear your concern about camping and retreat ministries. Please know that individual gifts are welcome by any and all of our camps.

On page 54 of the 2020 Supplement there seems to be a typo. Please clarify the increase from $8,500 to 85,000 for the Episcopal Office.

It is anticipated that in 2021 and going forward, the General Church will not provide a grant, as has been the custom in previous years, for the costs of the episcopal office operations. Therefore, it will become an expense of our Annual Conference. It is the same with Episcopal residence. That is why there's an increase in the budget.

Budget wise: Wonder why mission and ministry reduced ~17%. But conference support (staff and admin) increased. I guess our mission and ministries are not as important.

Staffing increased only in anticipation of increased healthcare costs for benefits. All salaries have been frozen for the coming year. Also services increased, as shared in a previous question, because we must assume costs for the episcopal office and residence. All other areas in Conference Support have decreased or stayed the same. We will be the best stewards that we can with the mission and ministry funds we receive. In presenting an overall decrease in the budget, we are doing our best to allow local churches to have the funds they need for mission and ministry in their communities

Within the budget, Conference Administrative Support, Episcopal Office, is there an error in the amount for the 2020 proposed budget?

It is anticipated that in 2021 and going forward, the General Church will not provide a grant, as has been the custom in previous years, for the costs of the episcopal office operations. Therefore, it will become an expense of our Annual Conference. It is the same with Episcopal residence. That is why there's an increase in the budget.

What is the general conference final position on the sexuallity issue

Due to Covid-19, the 2020 General Conference was postponed until August 29-September 7, 2021. The General Conference will address any sexuality petitions at that time.

How do I register to vote? I represent Salem UMC

Please submit a ticket at help@wnccumc.net for assistance with voting.

Do churches which are on the disaffiliation list still have delegates and vote at AC2020?

Because local churches cannot disaffiliate without annual conference approval, they do have a voting clergy member and voting lay member of the 2020 Annual Conference as they're still a part of the conference until the disaffiliate. The disaffiliations will occur following the 2020 Annual Conference, if approved.

I am a retired Deacon and Associate Member: Do I vote on all items except the Clergy Session?

All clergy members of the annual conference get to vote on petitions and items of business for the 2020 Annual Conference Session. This includes elders (full, provisional, retired), deacons (full, provisional, retired), associate members (active and retired) and local pastors (under appointment).

Will annual conference be recorded, in case we are unable to watch it live on Saturday, Aug. 8th?

The Annual Conference meeting will be recorded and available to view afterwards from the conference Facebook page and YouTube page, as well as www.AC2020.org.

The Bishop indicated that the Program and Reports is separate from the Supplement. I can't find the Program and Reports on the web site. I must be overlooking it. Thanks for your help.

Here are the links: P&R: https://www.wnccumc.org/files/content/departments/ministerial+services/ac+2020/2020+p%26r+final.pdf Supplement: http://wnc-email.brtapp.com/files/websites/www/blog/2020.supplement.final.pdf They are both red buttons at www.AC2020.org.

Do disaffiliation churches have to meet their financial obligations to the Conference before their disaffiliation is officially granted or deed is signed over? If not, why not? What will motivate these congregations to pay these funds after they have been granted disaffiliation status?

Yes, they do have to meet all the financial obligations before the disaffiliation takes place. Paragraph 2553 of the 2016 Book of Discipline outlines a process for the disaffiliation of a local church over issues related to human sexuality. This paragraph became effective at the close of the 2019 General Conference. In answer to this question, ¶ 2553.4f states that “payment shall occur prior to the effective date of departure.” ¶ 2553.4h continues that “once the disaffiliating local church has reimbursed the applicable annual conference for all funds due under the agreement, and provided that there are no other outstanding liabilities or claims against The United Methodist Church as a result of the disaffiliation, in consideration of the provisions of this paragraph, the applicable annual conference shall release any claims that it may have under ¶ 2501 and other paragraphs of The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church commonly referred to as the trust clause, or under the agreement.” Thus, it is only after a church satisfies the obligations of the disaffiliation resolution, including financial payments, that the annual conference release its claims to the trust clause. Payment obligations for each church can be found in the disaffiliation agreements at this link: https://www.wnccumc.org/ac-2020-disaffiliating-churches.

When will we receive the voting credentials for 2020 Annual Conference?

We are offering 3 ways to obtain your link to vote: -ElectionBuddy will send an email out to you at the time the election opens. It will include the link. Please check your spam folder. -Each annual conference member will receive an email from Chris Hampton with your voting link on July 30th and a follow up on August 4th. -You may also contact your District Office Administrator for the link. -Clergy Only: Clergy may find their link in their clergy dashboard.

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