The Indiana Conference Council on Finance and Administration will bring before the 2011 Annual Conference Session in Muncie, June 8-11, a proposed 2012 Indiana Annual Conference budget. This budget will need to be presented to and approved by the conference session. It supports not only the district and conference expenses, but also helps support the global mission of the church to “make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

The budget was first drafted by the Indiana Conference directors, approved by the Conference Leadership Table and brought to the Council on Finance and Administration for adjustments and approval. The budget hasn’t changed much from the current conference budget, but this budget projects the payment of the General Conference apportionments at a full 100 percent of what the General Church asked the conference to give.

The proposed 2012 Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church income budget totals $13.7 million (a $500,000 decrease compared to the current 2011 budget) supports Conference services across Indiana and shares in the support of the global United Methodist Church beyond Indiana. Added to this is $1.2 million district support, $200,000 for general fund distribution and $500,000 for insurance future claims fund distribution, bringing a total income of $15.82 million.

The conference expense budget is divided into nine segments. They include with percentages of the whole expense budget:

  • District and Cabinet – 17.6% or $2.7 million,
  • Retired Health Insurance Subsidy – 9.5% or $1.5 million,
  • Connectional Ministries – 14% or $2.1 million,
  • Church Development – 7% or $1.1 million,
  • Communication – 2% or $239,506,
  • Administrative Services – 7% or $1 million,
  • Bishop’s Office – 1% or 174,000,
  • Financial Services – 6.9% or $1 million, and
  • General Church Apportionments of Indiana – 35.8% or $5.6 million.

Indiana Conference expenses

District and Cabinet – 17.6% or about $2.78 million goes for compensation and benefit for our 10 district superintendents.

Added to this is the one-percent or more “tithe” determined by each district that goes to the district’s ministry and mission and also includes the district center, housing, telephone, automobile and expenses. Each district superintendent oversees the ministry of around 120 congregations.

Retiree Health Insurance Subsidy – 9.5% or $1.5 million includes retiree health insurance subsidy. The debt retirement of past benefits will be met with reserve funds to end this expense.

The next five segments is the Indiana Conference Center based in Indianapolis, or what we refer to as the Conference budgets. These five total $5.8 million (same as current budget). The numbers are rounded. They include:

Connectional Ministries – 14% or $2.1 million goes for program, expenses and staff salaries of advocacy, discipleship, mission, youth, youth adult, campus and emerging ministries plus other projects that include: camping and seven camp facilities; the board of ordained ministry; annual conference session; the Media Center based in Marion and Archives at DePauw University in Greencastle.

Church Development – 7% or $1.1 million, which pays for a director, three associates and one part-time employee located across the state to assist congregations in growth and development of existing congregations and in beginning new congregations and assisting congregational outreach.

Communication – 2% or $239,506, which pays a director and communication assistant in the publication of nine issues of the Hoosier United Methodists Together, the conference newspaper, three weekly e-mail publications, e-mail announcements as they are needed, Bishop Coyner’s E-pistle, the conference website, plus public relations and crisis communication services.

Administrative Services –7% or $1 million, which provides for an administrative assistants pool for Conference Center directors and associate directors, office operations, which includes everything from postage to paying the lease, legal services, conference property insurance and management of clergy benefits programs, including pensions and health care insurance.

Bishop’s Office – 1% or $174,000 to provide support services for the bishop including executive assistant, a secretary and a receptionist. The bishop’s salary and his expenses are paid for by the General Church.

Financial Services – 7% or $1 million, which manages both the annual conference database and the conferences expenses, including the management of Advanced Special gifts to missions, receiving and accounting for the conference tithe and district tithe, payroll, conference vehicles, insurance and continuing education. If it’s got a dollar sign attached, Financial Services manages it.

General Church apportionments

The largest segment of the conference budget is the General Church and Jurisdictional Apportionments – 35.8% or $5.6 million. This is Indiana’s fair share of financing the global outreach of The United Methodist Church from projects right here in Indiana, including ministerial education; across the United States in mission projects; Christian education; relationships with universities, hospitals, homes for seniors and homes for children; plus global outreach among 70 countries and the support of missionaries and mission projects worldwide.

The budget of The United Methodist Church is determined by General Conference, the top legislative body of the church. Allocations of apportionments to this budget are made annually to each conference by the General Council on Finance and Administration. They include:

The World Service Fund – our share is $2.8 million. WSF supports the basic denominational work of the UMC around the world, including all general agencies including Global Ministries, Church and Society, Communications, Discipleship, Higher Education and Ministry and other smaller agencies.

The Ministerial Education Fund – our share is $961,015. MEF supports our United Methodist seminaries and seminary grants to our ministerial candidates. One-fourth of this fund stays in Indiana for the continuing education of our pastors to such events as Our Life Together.

The Black College Fund – our share is $383,305. BCF supports the educational ministry of our historic African-American colleges and universities in the United States.

The Africa University Fund – our share is $85,787. This fund supports Africa University in Zimbabwe, which educates leaders for 30 countries across Africa, and includes a school of theology.

The Episcopal Fund – our share is $882,295. This fund supports the ministry of our active and retired United Methodist bishops, around the world, including those regions which cannot afford to support the cost of their own bishop. This fund also includes retirement benefits and health care insurance for retired bishops and surviving spouses. Bishop Coyner’s salary and expenses are paid from this fund, not from the Indiana Conference tithe.

General Administration Fund – our share is $330,814. This fund supports the general administration costs of running the denomination, including the infrastructure, which allows second-mile giving, that permits 100 percent of those projects designated by the donors.

And finally, the Interdenominational Cooperative Fund – our share is $76,070. This fund supports our ecumenical cooperation, including the work of the General Commission on Ecumenical and inter-religious Concerns, and our cooperative work with other Methodist denominations around the world.

Remember, on average, $22 of every $1,000 spent by the local church or congregation goes to the General Church apportionment.

Our Jurisdictional Apportionments remains at $40,000 to help support the work of our North Central Jurisdiction, which meets once every four years to elect and assign bishops. The NCJ also coordinates the work of such things as disaster relief and Volunteers in Mission in conjunction with the United Methodist Committee on Relief.

What is more important than the dollars are the thousands of lives who are touched physically, emotionally and spiritually through United Methodist globally ministries. Because of our connections, we are able to be in Haiti, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leone, Liberia the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and in many other countries and all 50 states. Together we can do this through our tithes and offerings.

Not included in this budget are the special offerings of the church and the second mile mission giving known as The Advance. For more information, visit

Click on graphic to enlarge.

Together we can do this through tithes and offerings.