At our 2009 annual conference session, a recommendation from the Conference Council on Finance and Administration was adopted which asked Bishop Mike Watson to appoint a task force for the purpose of conducting a comprehensive analysis of the functions of the North Georgia Conference of The United Methodist Church. The goal is to define better coordination of efficient and effective programs and ministries to facilitate the mission of The United Methodist Church in making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
The scope of this task force is to include, but not be limited to,
• the future role and financial support of the Simpsonwood Conference Center;
• the administration and funding of equitable compensation;
• the financing of clergy health insurance benefits for both active and retired clergy and what portion of the insurance premium they pay;
• the functions, structure, location and costs of annual conference sessions;
• the functions and structure of the budget processes of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration;
• the amount and funding of adequate conference reserves;
• and the structure of the administration of the annual conference.
The final report of the task force is due at the 2011 annual conference session with an interim report on the following items at the 2010 annual conference session: 1) the future role and financial support of the Simpsonwood Conference Center, 2) the administration and funding of equitable compensation, and 3) the structure of the administration of the annual conference.
On September 15, 2009, Bishop Watson named the following twelve laity and five clergy to this task force: Henry Bowden, David Boyd, Brenda Cole, Jane Finley, William F. Floyd, Stuart Gulley, Jill Irvin, James Kim, Bill Kuhlke, Sharma Lewis, Von Logan, Mathew Pinson, Lyn Powell, Neal Purcell, Juan Quintanilla, Tripp Rackley, and Ed Tomlinson.
All members are actively involved in local United Methodist congregations. Most members of the task force are laity. The task force reflects the richness and diversity of the annual conference. These are people of great experience, ability, wisdom, and analytical skills, and many of them bring the wonderful gift of fresh eyes to the work of the annual conference. Since it was the Conference Council on Finance and Administration that requested the task force be formed, no members of that council were named to the task force. The task force does include the elected conference lay leader, the elected leaders of the lay and clergy delegations to General Conference, and an elected young adult lay delegate to General Conference. The task force will receive input from everyone who desires to bring thoughts and ideas to them.
More biographical information on the members of the task force will be included in the October 2, 2009, issue of the North Georgia Advocate.