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2021 Dakotas Annual Conference legislative round up

By: Doreen Gosmire, director of communications, Dakotas UMC

Voting members approved all pieces of legislation before them (access all legislation here, including everything on the consent calendar).

Here’s a look at key items, along with some of the details behind them:

 

Rev Jeff Adel Podium

Rev. Jeff Adel, chair of the Conference Committee on Finance and Administration, presented the proposed 2022 budget. Photo by jlynn studios.

Reduced 2022 budget:  The 2022 budget—including apportionments and direct billing, totaling $6,080,882, was presented.

After a point of order was raised and consultation with the parliamentarian, regarding Book of Discipline paragraphs 615.1, 811.4, and 812, and Judicial Council decisions 1172 and 1409, regarding payment of General Church apportionments, Bishop Haller referred the matter back to the Conference Council on Finance and Administration. CCFA brought back a recommendation to increase the 2022 Budget Proposal to include the payment of the General Church apportionments at the 2016 rate, approximately $225,000. The 2022 Budget Proposal was approved as amended.

The originial 2022 Budget Proposal represented a reduction of $224,100, or 6.3 percent, from the 2021 approved budget. The approved 2022 Budget will hold the expenditures at the 2021 level and include payment of General Church apportionments.

 

"CCFA will work towards decreased expenditures in 2022," said Rev. Jeff Adel, chair of the Conference Council on Fiance and Administrtion. He says serveral reasons to work toward a decrease: churches have indicated they are withholding apportionments because of the denominational conflict over human sexuality, this is a tough economy in which many churches will likely see a decline in giving, and as churches reach new people coming out of  the pandemic, it’s unknown what their involvement (financial and otherwise) might be in this post-COVID-19 season.

Reductions to the apportioned budget could potentially come from decreased travel, a reduction in some grants due to decreased demand for them, staffing changes that will not significantly impact services offered to the conference,  and conference savings.

 

Through the 2022 budget, the Dakotas Conference will continue to invest in these strategic areas:
• Developing Missional Leaders, including leadership development for clergy, lay servant ministries, camping and retreat ministries, and youth ministries.
• Extending Missional Congregations, including new church development, church revitalization, and tools and training for churches.
• Extending Missional Impact, including conference missionaries.
• Generating Missional Resources, including the conference finance office, worker’s compensation coverage, and equitable compensation for clergy.
• District Superintendents who support and resource clergy in a wide variety of ways.
• Support Services, including the Comnission on Archives and History, conference communications, conference support staff, our video conferencing system, and the production of Annual Conference Session.

 

Jerry Stravia of Dickinson

Rev. Jerry Stravia, Dickinson Prairie Winds UMC, speaks to the motion for the contract on disaffiliation. Photo by jlynn studios.

Disaffiliation agreement with Prairie Winds: Prairie Winds Church in Dickinson, North Dakota, following the steps outlined by the Dakotas Conference, voted to disaffiliate from The United Methodist denomination.  A disaffiliation agreement with the Dakotas Conference Board of Trustees and Prairie Winds was affirmed by the 28th session of the Dakotas Annual Conference by a vote of 233 members voting yes and 122 members voting no.
 

Resolution 1.2 A Vision for a More Just Church: The resolution urges the Dakotas Conference to welcome LGBTQ+ persons into leadership, including actions of the Board of Ordained Ministry regarding candidates for ministry, local congregations to welcome and include LGBTQ+ members in full participation, respect clergy's discernment on marrying same-sex couples. Furthermore, urges the bishop to refrain from conducting clergy trials. The resolution was affirmed by a vote of 179 yes votes, and 172 no votes.  This resolution is currently under judicial review as to compliance with the 2016 Book of Discipline.   

Brett Roes Speaking Ac2021

Rev. Brett Roes, speaking in support of Resolution 1.2 on the floor of the Dakotas Annual Conference. Photo by jlynn studios.


Resolution 1.3 Resolution to Prepare for a Denominational Separation: The resolution calls the Dakotas Conference to act in the following manner to prepare for denominational separation: The Common Table recognize a leadership team, Board of Pensions prepare to serve multiple denominations, Dakotas United Methodist Foundation prepare to serve multiple denominations, Conference Council on Finance and Administration prepare a proposal of equitable division of cash and investments, Camp and Retreat Ministry Council prepare a proposal for a camping ministry, the Missional Impact Link prepare to independently incorporate Spirit Lake Ministry Center and Solar Oven Partners and transfer land owned in Mission, South Dakota, to Tree of Life Ministries; and the Human Resources Committee provide direction to guide the personnel needs of the Dakotas Conference,  by the 2022 session of the Annual Conference. The resolution passed with a vote of  294 yes votes, and 40 no votes.  Expesnes in preparation of the prosal that exceed the 2022 budget of these agendices will be reimbursed the Tranisitional Reserve Fund. 

View the plenary sessions for the 2021 Annual Conference here

UMC

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