INDIANAPOLIS – Following a tough year of financial fallout in 2009, 2010 was a much better year for the Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church. It also was the first financial year for the new Conference.

Local church tithe income for conference went from $12.6 million in 2009 to $13.5 million in 2010, a 9 percent increase. In 2010 the new conference stayed within its $15.1 million budget by spending $14.4 million or 95 percent of its budget, leaving a budget surplus of $653,782.

Reflecting on a successful financial year, Indiana Conference Council on Finance and Administration Chair Kent Millard said, “We thank God for the generosity of Indiana United Methodists in supporting God’s work through our Annual Conference in this state and around the world. We commend our Conference staff for their frugality in holding down expenses in 2010 and the Indiana United Methodist congregations for giving a generous tithe of their income to enable the Indiana Conference to end the year in the black with all expenses and mission giving paid. To God be the glory!”

The most dramatic gain was the gain the Indiana Conference paid in its General Church apportionment, which went from $1.9 million (52 percent of its asked apportionment) in 2009 to $4.5 million (84 percent of its asked apportionment) in 2010. That’s an increase of 61 percent. One third of the Indiana Conference’s budget is our conference’s General Church apportionment that supports the global mission of The United Methodist Church.

In his late-January letter to Bishop Mike Coyner, Moses Rathan Kumar, general secretary and treasurer of the General Council of Finance and Administration, wrote, “I thank you for your continued efforts in support of the activities throughout the connection. We are wrapping up the financial results of 2010 at the general Church level. I express our appreciation to you and all of the faithful members of the Church. Although the economic recovery has been slow and halting, giving appears to be returning to historic levels. This ongoing support, even in challenging times, allows ministry to continue around the world.”

General Church apportionments support these funds: World Service, Ministerial Education, Black College, Africa University, Episcopal, General Administration, and Interdenominational Cooperation.

The current 2011 budget was approved by the 2010 Indiana Annual Conference session meeting in Muncie this past June, calls for $15.6 million in income which includes both tithe income and district support. Of that, $5.1 million will go for General Church apportionments. The rest or $10.5 million will go for conference and district ministry expenses: District and Cabinet (District Superintendents) Compensation and District Budgets at $2.6 million, Pension and Insurance at $1.5 million and Conference ministry expenses at $5.8 million.