February 19, 2019
Members of the New England Conference:
Two weeks ago we announced that 329 churches paid 100 percent or more of their mission shares and that the New England Conference paid 100 percent of our General Church apportionments. Again I say, Thank You!
Since those announcements, we have closed our books for 2018, and I can offer additional information about our conference finances in 2018. My office and the Conference Council on Finance and Administration (CCFA) feel strongly that transparency around the Conference’s financial health is critical, and want to share the following.
Our total mission share receipts for 2018 was $6,168,828 compared to $6,035,857 in 2017, an increase of $132,971 or 2.2%. This represents 75.7% of our budget.
Our expenses were $6,383,840 or 92.3% of the authorized spending limit. A detail report can be found here. All areas were at or below budget with the exception of legal services. We are finding that our need for legal services is constantly increasing.
The result: Our expenses were higher than our receipts by $213,000.
Typically, we would be able to cover some of this deficit with income from our subsidy pool. Our average income over the past six years from the subsidy pool is $70,000. However, as most of you may be aware, investments did not do so well in the fourth quarter of 2018, and our subsidy pool, including unrealized gains and losses, decreased by $77,000.
After a slight offset from other sources, our Mission Share Fund Reserves decreased by $275,000, or 4 percentage points, leaving our mission share reserves at $686,000 (or 9.9% of our 2019 spending budget).
We remain strongly committed to paying 100 percent of our General Church apportionments, and want to be clear about how we are meeting that commitment at this time. CCFA invites your attention to this significant reduction in reserves and our common need to maintain adequate reserves.
Ralph Howe William Burnside
CCFA Chair Treasurer