Memorial 355

UNITED STEWARDSHIP FUND: BASIS

Whereas, In determining each church's base income from which it assesses the United Stewardship Fund, Educational Institutions Fund, and district funds, The Wesleyan Church exempts specific ministries and projects directly related to Wesleyan ministries;

Whereas, There are other comparable ministries which are not currently exempt from this base assessment;

Whereas, Wesleyan Emergency Relief Funds and Hope & Holiness Trust funds are sponsored and handled by The Wesleyan Church and would be comparable to other projects that are currently exempt from assessment;

Whereas, It is likely that new General Church ministry opportunities may arise in the future which warrant automatic exemption from assessment;

Whereas, World Hope International is an international humanitarian organization birthed by the Wesleyan Church for the specific purpose of partnering with the Church internationally, including Global Partners and other international Wesleyan bodies;

Whereas, The relationship with The Wesleyan Church is established in World Hope's Bylaws requiring ex-officio status of certain officials of The Wesleyan Church as board members and officers and further requiring affiliation with The Wesleyan Church by a majority of board members;

Whereas, grants from government entities, corporations, and other non-profit entities are valuable external sources of revenue for many urban and rural churches involved in ministry to impoverished communities and grant providers typically designate specifically how such funds are to be used (thus prohibiting their use for the payment of assessments);

Whereas, Assessing those funds puts an undue burden on churches that are the recipients of such grants by, in effect, requiring them to pay substantial sums out of their general operating budget; and

Whereas, The current wording is unclear as to whether funds must be explicitly designated to these specific projects in order to be exempt from assessment;

Whereas, Currently only registration fees related to attendance at youth conferences are exempt and it would seem wise to expand the exemption to provide for similar treatment related to The Gathering or other denominational events;

Resolved, That paragraph 2005 be amended by striking 2005.1 in its entirety and substituting it with the following paragraph. New elements are highlighted in bold:

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 which shall be computed in the following manner (cf. 2005:3):

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

(a) From loans (borrowed money).

(b) From the sale, rental or lease of property.

(c) From grants from other entities including the general church, districts, governments, corporations and other non-profits.

(d) From a bequest through a will.

(e) From day care centers, day schools, retirement homes, nursing homes and such enterprises (cf. 782:35).

(f) From investment earnings.

(g) From designated funds for major building projects that have been approved by the district board of administration (2005:3b).

(h) From money raised for district or denominationally approved church plants and sent through the district or the Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division.

(i) Additionally, funds that were received from assessable contributions that were dispersed to the following will be exempt from the base income:

For offerings and approved projects of or event registrations operated by:

The Communications and Administration Division

The Church Multiplication and Discipleship Division

The Education and Clergy Development Division

The Office of the General Superintendent

The Office of the General Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer

The Global Partners Division

For contributions to Hephzibah Ministries.

For contributions to Wesleyan Native Ministries

For contributions to World Hope International

For contributions to World Hope Canada

COMMITTEE ON MEMORIALS

Wayne A. MacBeth, Secretary

Original versions proposed by Western New York District, Robin W. George, Secretary

and North Carolina West District, J. Scott Howard, Secretary

Committee on Memorials

Recommended

General Conference

____ Adopted ____ Not Adopted

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