Due to severe budget cuts across the board directly affecting outreach ministries in Indiana, the issue of campus ministries and its funding came to the floor of the Indiana Annual Conference session in Muncie for debate. In relation to campus ministry, the conference took several important actions.
- The conference approved and has already implemented the hiring of the first-ever associate director devoted to Youth, Young Adults, and Campus Ministry. The Rev. Brian Durand is that associate director. With his previous experience, he will do an excellent job of helping the conference move forward with an over-all plan for these areas of ministry.
- During the Saturday morning June 27 session final Council on Finance and Administration report, the conference approved a Special Sunday offering to support Indiana campus ministries – again, for the first time ever. Many people expressed their desire to “go the extra mile” and to expand their giving to support those campus ministries which are effective by the budget cuts. Since the Conference also greatly reduced the local church share sent to support the conference in 2010 (from 12 to 10 percent), there could be more local church support available to help campus ministries, especially those that enjoy a sense of relationship and local support from nearby congregations.
- The conference also approved and referred to the new Leadership Table a fund for “Emergency and Emerging Ministries,” which may be assigned to help any of our institutions and agencies that need transitional help, including campus ministries.
- The current funding for Campus Ministries in the 2009 budgets of the former North and South conferences continues to the end of 2009, so there is time for these transitions and for decisions by the Leadership Table to provide transitional funding in 2010.
The conference did not approve a last-minute resolution to revert to the former budgets and to the former “pass through” method of supporting some agencies, which has resulted in increasingly less support in recent years.
The new Indiana Annual Conference will continue to seek new ways to encourage, evaluate and support campus ministries.