Standstill Apportionment Budget Approved at 2023 Annual Conference

Mark Lambert
June 15, 2023
Despite losing more than 90 churches to disaffiliation since 2022, the Louisiana Conference will not increase apportionment payments from United Methodist churches that are staying, delegates to the 2023 Louisiana Annual Conference decided Thursday.

With no discussion, the delegates overwhelmingly approved the 2024 budget as presented on Wednesday by the Council on Finance and Administration Chairman Kenny Beauvais. The vote, taken by a show of green cards, appeared to be nearly unanimous.

Money that used to come from disaffiliated churches comprised about 40 percent of the conference’s apportionment revenue in the past, Beauvais said on Wednesday. But the overall budget impact is being softened by utilizing the nearly $3.4 million those churches paid to exit the conference, money that is now referred to as “the disaffiliation fund.”

Although the conference only prepares budgets one year at a time, the overall strategy is to use the disaffiliation fund to supplement the budget, as needed, over the next three years, he said. Through a combination of belt-tightening and using leftover and reserve funds in specific areas, the conference is planning few budgetary changes in 2024.

The budget includes a 10 percent revenue reduction from anticipated apportionment payments, a recognition that the financial repercussions from disaffiliation probably will impact some churches that are staying United Methodist.
Beauvais called it a “realistic budget.”
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