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GCFA Board Convenes and Works in Mission in the Philippines

GCFA Board Convenes in Manila

Nashville, TN – The Board of Directors of the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) held its first quarterly meeting of 2015 in Manila, Philippines on March 10.  Members of the board and several staff members made the trip in the agency’s first ever board meeting outside the United States.

The board travelled to Manila to meet and speak with leaders of the three episcopal areas of the Philippines Annual Conference.  Leadership personnel in the Philippines Annual Conference included lay leaders, clergy and the bishops of the Philippines: Bishop Rodolfo Juan and Bishop Ciriaco Francisco. Bishop Peter Torio was unable to attend because of a previously scheduled Annual Conference. Moses Kumar, general secretary and treasurer, spoke with the conference leaders about the work of GCFA and shared the conversations about the development of the 2017-2020 quadrennial budget. GCFA Chief Financial Officer Rick King discussed the global apportionment formula that was discussed during the recent meeting of the Standing Committee on Central Conference Matters.  This Committee approved a proposed formula and King shared this information with the leadership in attendance to inform them of the discussions so far.    

The board members received reports from each of the three episcopal areas headed by Bishops Juan, Torio and Francisco and the ministries of training effective Christian leaders and being in ministry with the poor – two particular areas of focus for the churches in the area. The board members and conference leadership broke into discussion sessions in the areas of lay leadership, board of trustees, attorneys and finance.  GCFA board members also engaged the episcopal area leadership in conversations about their ministries and the connectional ministries of The United Methodist Church. All parties involved in the conversations reported that part of the solution to working well together starts with this type of open dialogue. 

Board members were provided a tour and work opportunities with the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation, Inc. (KKFI).  During the official meeting, board members and staff shared the experiences of the mission trip.  The ministries of KKFI covered programs for children, youth and senior citizens. In “ministry with the poor”, KKFI works with the least served in the area and do so with the support of local churches and church members. KKFI is one of the Advance Projects of the General Board of Global Ministries (Advance #3020581).  GCFA board members also reported that they were “impressed with the dedicated people (staff) of KKFI”.  Board members committed to sharing the stories of the work done by The United Methodist Church in the Philippines in ways that will continue to uplift the work and for global support of ministries that affect the people in all areas where the Church has a presence. One board member commented “We have great opportunities through the gateway of the Philippines to develop churches in Asia.” 

The next meeting of the board will be in May with the Connectional Table as those involved with the budget development for the next quadrennium come together.