Memorial 351

UNITED STEWARDSHIP FUND: Amendment to Assess USF on Past Year or Present Income.

Whereas, The economic conditions of our communities, districts, and local churches continually fluctuate;

Whereas, Our present General Superintendent has given permission to the North Michigan District of The Wesleyan Church to base their United Stewardship Fund assessments on "current income";

Whereas, The North Michigan District has found that this decision has produced very positive results;

Whereas, The North Michigan District has found that churches that did not pay United Stewardship Fund assessments in the past that was based on the "previous year" income are participating by giving a percentage of their "present income";

Whereas, The North Michigan District has found that increased participation in paying United Stewardship Fund assessments based on "present income" by our churches has resulted in increased giving to the general church and district;

Whereas, The North Michigan District found that when a local church is in decline, they often find they are unable to pay USF assessments based on a previous year, but, a church will often be more able to pay USF assessments based on the "present year";

Whereas, The North Michigan District found that when a church income is growing, USF assessments based on the "present year" provides a margin of increase in giving for that year to the district and general church;

Whereas, The North Michigan District has found that giving based on "present income" helped churches to pay their assessments monthly and provided a better cash flow for the local church, district and general church;

Whereas, The North Michigan District is developing plans to reduce the percentage assessed for district purposes to its churches because of the increase in participation in USF giving;

Whereas, The North Michigan District has found that USF assessments based on "present income" is perceived by pastors and local churches as something that can be accomplished no matter the status of the economic climate of the church;

Whereas, The paying of USF assessments based on "present income" provides the churches an opportunity to model the principle of tithing or giving by the local church to the district and general church;

Whereas, The budgeting process based on "present income" by the general church and district can be projected by faith on expected income as most local churches practice rather than projections based on expected income based on the previous year;

Whereas, The North Michigan District has found that local treasurers accurately account for the amount of USF assessments based on "present year income" as they did on "previous year income";

Whereas, The North Michigan District found that by providing a monthly form to local treasurers for monthly income declarations and deduction listings (cf.2005:1 (a) often reduced the year end conference reporting process;

Whereas, The Discipline (cf. 2015) provides for districts to be responsible to raise its portion of United Stewardship Funds;

Whereas, United Stewardship Fund assessments based on "present income" provides permission to districts to determine the best method for their churches to meet these assessments;

Whereas, It could be advantageous for some of our districts and local churches to base their United Stewardship Fund assessments on "present year income" rather than on the previous year; and

Whereas, some of our districts may not desire to have their United Stewardship Fund assessment based on the "present year";

Resolved, That Discipline 2005 be amended by inserting the words "or for the present fiscal year" after the words "for the previous fiscal year" in line three, so the paragraph will read:

2005. The USF – General Fund and the USF – Educational Institutions Fund shall be determined annually by a percentage (2005:2) of the base income of all churches for the previous fiscal year or for the present fiscal year which shall be computed in the following manner (cf.2005:3):

And

Resolved, That Discipline 2005 (1) be amended by inserting the words "or for the present fiscal year" after the words "departments for the previous fiscal year" in line two, so the paragraph will read:

2005 (1) Base Income. The base income shall be the total income of a local church and all its departments for the previous fiscal year or for the present fiscal year less money received (cf. 2005:3a):

NORTH MICHIGAN DISTRICT CONFERENCE

Jack Steenbergh, Assistant District Superintendent

Committee on Memorials

Not Recommended

General Conference

____ Adopted ____ Not Adopted

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