Fitting the Budget Together
Each February the Council on Finance and Administration (CF&A), which is made up of both clergy and laity, holds a day of budget hearings. At this meeting all committees, commissions, agencies and departments of the conference have the opportunity to present budget requests. CF&A studies and incorporates those requests and then prepares an overall budget for the conference.
That budget is presented at the conference’s annual June gathering, where it is approved – sometimes after modifications are made. The conference treasurer’s office apportions the budget to the approximately 455 churches within the conference. Contrary to popular belief, apportionments are not based upon membership statistics. Rather, they are based upon expenses of the local church on a two-year lag. So for example, the 2017 apportionments are based upon expenses for the local church during 2015, which are reported to the conference in 2016.
The calendar year 2017 New York Annual Conference budget is $8,254,282 and here is how it all fits together:
24.3% or $2,011,658 – General Church & NEJ Apportionments: Funds the World Service Fund, Ministerial Education Fund, Episcopal Fund, Black College Fund, General Administration Fund, Africa University Fund, Interdenominational Cooperation Fund and NEJ apportionments.
16.5% or $1,357,792 – Conference Administration: Funds the finance office, Conference Center in White Plains, a portion of bishop’s office/housing, bishop’s assistant & administrative assistant, publications of journals and directories, conference secretary and contingency funds.
15.9% or $1,313,880 – District Superintendents: Funds the salaries, benefits, professional expenses and office expenses for our six superintendents and assistants. Also funds DS parsonage utilities and maintenance.
13% or $1,076,806 – Conference Programs: Funds conference benevolences, Connectional Ministries, Missions & Outreach, Disaster Recovery, website (www.nyac.com), Learning Center, church training programs, district programs (campus, youth, ecumenical, and justice ministries) and grants for local programs.
9.4% or $773,064 – Conference Boards & Committees: Funds Board of Trustees, Conference Sessions, Camping & Retreat Ministries, Board of Ordained Ministry, Commissions on Archives & History, JFON, CORR, Personnel Committee, Board of Church & Society, Immigration Taskforce and Commission on Sexual Ethics.
7.1% or $583,722 – Clergy Health Benefits: Funds the costs of Healthcare Reimbursement Accounts for retirees and health coverage for those on incapacity leave.
5.1% or $420,000 – Other Clergy Support: Funds the cost of salary supplements for struggling churches, clergy recruitment and vocational change assistance, emergency aid and move costs for active and retired clergy.
4.7% or $387,360 – Reserve for Full Funding: Recognizes that full budget is not collected via apportionments. Reserve to ensure that certain required payments can be funded (e.g. payroll, benefits, taxes for conference staff and the costs of retiree healthcare).
3.4% or $280,000 – Parish Development: Funds grants to local churches for new missional projects and community programs. About 60% is prioritized for ethnic ministry projects and programs.
0.6% or $50,000 – Conference Reserve: Used for unforeseen expenses, emergencies and cash flow management.