SEJ Conference halves budget


By Glenn Hannigan

The SoutheastJurisdiction of The United Methodist Church, meeting at Lake Junaluska, N.C., overwhelmingly approved a slashing of its budget for the next quadrennial.

Jim Allen, chairman of the SEJ Committeeon Finance and Administration, presented a budget for 2013-16 that is half the size of the budget passed four years ago. With few questions and little debate, the SEJ approved a budget of $4.4 million for the next four years. It represents a 50 percent cut from the $8.8 million budget approved for 2009-12.

“We have eliminated operational funds going to agencies,” Allen said. “And we will continue to cut back on expenses as we move forward.”

Allen’s presentation, and announcement of deep cuts to the jurisdiction’s budget, was met with applause across the meeting room. Allen said, even though the SEJ had approved an $8.8 million budget in 2008, that the jurisdiction had already begun trimming its expenses and was projecting to only spend $7.1 million in the 2009-2012 quadrennial.

Allen said that CF&A is working toward trimming an additional 50 percent from the budget for 2017-20, with the goal of significantly cutting the apportionments paid by every conference. Bar far the most significant savings come from paying off debt of Lake Junaluska. The jurisdiction projects spending $5.7 million on the debt for 2009-2012 but isbudgeting $2 million for 2013-2016.

During its Wednesday evening session, the SEJ also approved apportionments for 2013-16 that cut payments in half for every conference.      

Apportionments approved by SEJ

                                                     2009-2012         2013-2016

Alabama-West Florida            $467,039            $233,519

Florida                                     $1,034,906         $517,453

Holston                                    $525,940           $262,970

Kentucky                                 $433,969                    $216,984

Memphis                                $315,060          $157,530

Mississippi                                       $519,543          $259,771

North Alabama                        $523,984            $261,992

North Carolina                        $613,555                    $306,777

North Georgia                          $1,029,218                 $514,609

Red Bird                                          $1,242                $621

South Carolina                        $680,747            $340,373

 South Georgia                         $460,827            $230,413

Tennessee                                $336,862            $168,431

Virginia                                    $1,001,928         $500,964

Western N. Carolina                 $925,495           $462,747


In other action, the SEJ elected Jennifer Burton of Western NorthCarolina as its next treasurer.

Glenn Hannigan is editor of the North Georgia Advocate. This article ran in the Friday, July 21, edition of the SEJ Daily Christian Advocate.