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Responsibilities of The Conference Council on Finance and Administration

The Conference Council on Finance and Administration

¶ 613. Responsibilities—The council shall have authority and responsibility to perform the following functions:

1. To recommend to the annual conference for its action and determination budgets of anticipated income and proposed expenditures for all funds that provide for annual conference clergy support, annual conference administrative expenses, and annual conference benevolence and program causes (¶ 614).51

2. To receive, consider, report, and make recommendations to the annual conference regarding the following prior to final decision by the annual conference: (a) any proposal to raise capital funds for any purpose; (b) funding considerations related to any proposal that may come before the conference; (c) any requests to conduct a special conference-wide financial appeal, whether by special collections, campaigns, or otherwise in the local churches of the conference.

3. To recommend to the annual conference for its action and decision the methods or formulas by which apportionments to churches, charges, or districts for duly authorized general, jurisdictional, conference, and district funds shall be determined (¶ 615.4).52

4. To consult and cooperate with the commission on communication in providing district superintendents, pastors, and appropriate officers of the local churches and charge conferences with interpretive aids or other materials to assist in gaining understanding and support of the conference budget and other approved conference causes. This shall include the theology and discipline of financial giving.

5. To develop policies governing the investment of conference funds (except for pension funds as provided in ¶ 1508), whether in debt or equity, short-term or long-term instruments, with the aim of maximizing funds available for mission in a manner consistent with the preservation of capital, the Policies Relative to Socially Responsible Investments (¶ 716), and the Social Principles of the Church. A statement of such policies shall be printed in the conference journal at least once in each quadrennium.

6. To recommend to the annual conference procedures for funding local churches, including the theology of financial giving.

7. To advise local churches about making their church buildings, facilities, and programs accessible.

8. To recommend to the annual conference for its action procedures for dealing responsibly with situations in which budgeted funds, as approved by the annual conference, are inadequate to meet emerging missional needs or unforeseen circumstances.53

9. To review at least quarterly and to account to the annual conference for the disbursement of funds in accordance with budgets approved by the conference.

10. To recommend to the annual conference for its action and determination the conditions under which it may borrow funds for current expense purposes and the maximum amount of such borrowing.

11. To have authority and supervision over the conference treasurer/director of administrative services subject to ¶ 619; to establish policies governing the treasurer/director’s work.

12. To work in cooperation with other annual conference agencies for the design and implementation of a plan by which the annual conference may designate the conference treasury as a central treasury for funds designated for any or all conference agencies participating in conference funds.

13. To establish uniform and equitable policies and practices in the employment and compensation of personnel, in consultation and cooperation with other conference agencies that employ staff, unless the annual conference has designated another agency to carry this responsibility. These policies and practices shall be in accordance with the Social Principles (¶ 162 A, E, F, and I). In addition, the council shall recommend that the annual conference provide, effective on and after January 1, 2006, 100 percent vested pension benefits of at least three percent of compensation for lay personnel of the annual conference who work at least 1,040 hours per year, are at least 21 years of age, and have at least one year of permanent service. The annual conference shall have authority to provide such pension benefits through either a denominational pension program administered by the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits or another pension program administered by another pension provider.

14. To cooperate with the General Council on Finance and Administration and with the General Board of Discipleship in promoting and standardizing the financial recording and reporting system in the local churches of the conference.

15. To cooperate with the General Council on Finance and Administration in order to provide leadership, training, and encouragement in the areas of church business administration for individuals and organizations of The United Methodist Church by: (1) distributing information regarding certification as a church business administrator; and (2) listing in the council’s report to the annual conference the names of persons certified as church business administrators by the General Council on Finance and Administration who are employed within the bounds of the annual conference.

16. To make recommendations to the annual conference for its action and determination regarding plans to initiate or cause to be organized a foundation or similar organization for the purpose of securing, conserving, or expending funds for the direct or indirect benefit or support of the annual conference, or of any conference agency, or any of its programs or work. The council shall have opportunity to make its recommendations regarding such plans if the foundation or similar organization is: (1) proposed to be organized by the annual conference itself, whether acting alone or in concert with other annual conferences; (2) proposed to be organized by any conference council, board, commission, committee, or other agency; (3) to make use of the name United Methodist in its title or solicitation; or (4) proposed for the purpose of soliciting gifts primarily from the United Methodist constituency.

17. To perform such other administrative and fiscal functions and services as the annual conference may assign.

18. To ensure that no apportioned conference funds are expended for the use of alcoholic beverages.

19. To ensure that no annual conference board, agency, committee, commission, or council shall give United Methodist funds to any gay caucus or group, or otherwise use such funds to promote the acceptance of homosexuality or violate the expressed commitment of The UMC “not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends” (¶ 161F). The council shall have the right to stop such expenditures. This restriction shall not limit the Church’s ministry in response to the HIV epidemic, nor shall it preclude funding for dialogs or educational events where the Church’s official position is fairly and equally represented.