Wednesday, January 21st:  The Executive Committee was graciously invited to have dinner with the College of Bishops and the Jurisdictional Episcopacy Committee.  Discussion afterward led by Bishop Hopkins surrounding issues being presented by the Mission Council, including the possibility of a new zero-based budget process.  Mission Council officers briefed the Council on what would be discussed in the morning.  No Action taken.

Thursday, January 22nd.  Reconvened at 8:30 am.

Present from College of Bishops:  Bishop Hee-Soo Jung; Bishop Deborah Kiesey, Bishop Sally Dyck, Bishop Michael Coyner, Bishop John Hopkins, Bishop Gregory Palmer, Bishop Julius Trimble, Bishop Jonathan Keaton.

Present from Executive Committee:  Chair Bill Pyatt, Vice Chair Jodi Cataldo, Treasurer Rick VanGiesen, NCJ Secretary Paul White, Council Secretary John Boley

Others Present:  Steven Court, DCM from East Ohio; Rebecca Trefz, DCM from Dakotas


Devotions:  Bishop Kiesey led devotions on an Epiphany theme.  Scripture:  Matthew 5: 1-15 – Christ is the light – shine in the light.  This has been a heart wrenching year for the world; Epiphany reminds us to follow Christ and be the light of Christ.  This moves us toward Hope.  We have the message that can bring Hope.  Story from Rev. Faith Fowler – Christ comes in unexpected ways and unexpected places and unexpected people.  So…. We’re part of the Hope of Christ.

Purpose of Meeting:  Bishop Trimble led a discussion about the purpose of the meeting – to examine the current state of the Jurisdictional Mission Council and its activities in funding the various Jurisdictional agencies and missions within its purview.  Bishop Trimble read the mission of the Mission Council as outlined in the NCJ Journal.

Discussion Items:  From the Executive Committee:

Bill P reported that: 1) We manage funds well; 2) We don’t have a good process to evaluate the use of funds; 3) We’re not clear on how funding levels were established; 4) Our liaison program sometimes works well and sometimes does not.

John B reported on some of the history of how we have operated, including the liaison procedures and the last round of budget building “hearings” prior to the last Jurisdictional Conference.

Rick VG reported that: 1) We receive 100% of Jurisdictional apportionments; 2) financial accountability is good; 3) no great way of knowing how it is spent or why we are doing what we are doing; 4) he believes that we need to wipe the slate clean and start over; 5) we have current balances of about $700,000.

Jodi C presented a document called “Draft Proposal” (attached as Exhibit A) which proposes a “Zero-Based Restart”  which is based on Rick’s “Position Paper” with the addition of possible new funding relationships apart from the NCJ and a sample budget reflecting such a zero-based restart. This is an unofficial proposal – not approved by the Mission Council or the Executive Committee, but was the result of a task force conference call.  She described this as more like “talking points.”  Jodi led us through the Rationale, Objectives, Background, Strategies/Methodologies, and Budget Implications.

Council of Bishops:  Observations and Questions:

Bishop Palmer:  How do we assess the relationship between Annual Conferences and National Plans; what is our capacity to assess; we can’t assess without goals.

Bishop Dyck: Northern Illinois does a lot of racial/ethnic ministries so we need to assess the needs as we go forward.

Bishop Jung:  He has chaired the Korean National Plan and vice-chaired the Hispanic Plan.  Because of these plans, many boards and agencies dropped their ethnic ministries.  The Jurisdiction is an important liaison between the National Plans and the Annual Conferences.  We do need to re-cast the vision and zero based restart might be appropriate.

Bishop Keaton:  The National Plans were not created to replace all racial ethnic ministries across the board.

Bishop Trimble:  It is hard to measure fruitfulness. The mission of the Missional Council is “to provide connections for unique leadership.”  What is unique?  We should not lose sight of the GC 4 Areas of Focus in further discussions.  Also, how are we going to deal with emerging ministries?

Bishop Hopkins:  Do we still keep the Mission Council if we go to zero-based?  Who will do this work?   We need to have a schedule of all meetings and groups going into Jurisdictional Conference to keep momentum going.


Steve C:  Handout of NCJ DCM Budget Areas Survey Monkey – survey of the DCM knowledge and understanding of value and awareness of NCJ program areas.  The budget in his handout mirrors Jodi’s zero based budget.

Paul W:  Paul wants to examine the on-site committees for Jurisdictional Conference – some might not be necessary.  Discussion.  Observation – we could suspend the rules to adopt a new organization structure at 2016 NCJ so that we don’t have to wait another 4 years.

Jodi:  Possibility that the National plans could fund some jurisdictional ministries.  There is a possibility that General Agencies could help also.

Bishops’ Response to Proposal for Zero-Based Restart:

Bishop Palmer: There is a synergy of ideas as the thinking of the College of Bishops, the Jurisdictional Task Force, the DCM’s and the Mission Council are coming together.  We don’t want to wait until 2020 to make changes.  Funding should provide the Disciplinary essentials (approx.. $300,000) and some program funding based on priorities.

Bishop Coyner:  Agreed.  Do the basics plus block funding that fulfills the 4 areas of focus.  The Mission Council is necessary and should work it out together with the DCM’s.  Don’t just drop down to the $300,000 basics.

Bishop Dyck:  Agreed. For the block funding, there should be a little bit more purpose, including the 4 Areas of Focus, Vital Congregations and ethnic ministries.  Funding should be used for jurisdictional ministries and not just for local funding.

Bishop Keaton:  We need to check our assumptions:  1) that the National Plans can resource ministries; 2) when we talk about accountability it needs to apply to the administrative agencies as well as program agencies.  But it’s good to test where we are.

Bishop Trimble:  The authority is given to the Mission Council to do this work.  We need to strengthen ties with the College and the DCM’s.  We need to be intent on diversity.  The funding we’re talking about is not as large as it sounds when it is spread out over the quadrennium.  At the end of the day, this needs to go back to the Mission Council with stronger connections to the DCM’s.  (Rick VG responded about the funding – the Conference Treasurers are not too concerned with all of this as we are talking about relatively small amounts of funding.)

Bishop Hopkins:  We need a Jurisdictional plan to increase racial ethnic work.  There is a disconnect between implementation of ministries which are on the ground, and the money managers who aren’t.  We should keep the budget where it is but revise it to increase racial ethnic ministries, but probably do them in a different way.  Cutting the budget some is OK.  Having the Mission Council meet 3 times a quadrennium is not sufficient to manage this well.  More local people need to be involved

Bishop Palmer:  There will be push back from groups.  Perhaps the Mission Council should hold conversations with agencies as we seek a more excellent way.  We could use the surplus/reserves to have the conversation.  Perhaps a professional facilitator.  Don’t make it about racial/ethnic ministries, but about structure and process.  This could/should be done this summer.

Rebecca:  Need to emphasize how we tie funding to the ministry on the ground.

Steve:  DCM’s need to be involved.  He would recommend 4 additional questions:

  • What did you spend NCJ funds on?
  • Who attended your events, by name?
  • What is spent on leadership?
  • What matching funds have been used from outside apportioned funds?

Final Thoughts and Observations:

The Mission Council has a meeting in March to work through some of this and re-visit vision and goals.

It is a good idea to go from legacy funding to grant funding; and working with the DCM’s will be good; some identifiable benchmarks are important in grant funding

We are living in a tension right now – the tension between cutting budget and apparatus, and the desire to increase budget and apparatus to do ministry better.

More web site links should help.

Conclusion:  The Mission Council can take this and run with it and work with the Jurisdictional Task Force.  This Task Force will have to bring a report to Jurisdiction Conference and all of the Annual Conferences.  Any reports could/should go to all of the Annual Conference delegations.  Also, the Mission Council should be in contact with the DCM’s on a regular basis.  The DCM’s will choose a representative next week.  There needs to be consistent messaging so there are not a myriad of responses from NCJ agencies and Annual Conferences who come “armed for a fight.”


On-site NCJ Committees.  Further discussion of the on-site Committee Structure.  Paul will bring a recommendation to the College of Bishops with the hope that any changes could be fast-tracked.   (Perhaps a stipend for the NCJ Secretary would be appropriate.)


Closing:  Bishop Trimble closed with Thanks for everyone’s efforts.  Mission Council will meet March 19-20.  Closing Prayer and lunch for all.


Respectfully submitted,

Rev. John W. Boley, NCJ Mission Council Secretary



Exhibit A

Draft Proposal

North Central Jurisdiction Program Funding
NCJ College of Bishops and the NCJ Mission Council
July 2016

Proposal Title:  Zero-Based Restart of all non-disciplinary NCJ Program Ministries for the 2017-2020 Quadrennium


Many of the NCJ-affiliated agencies began in an era where there was little annual conference support for ethnic or specialized ministries. Currently, annual conferences and general agencies are providing a more effective platform for the delivery of both ethnic and specialized ministries than the jurisdiction. With the exception of a few, there is woefully little activity among the funded agencies at the jurisdictional level. Most often the ministry activities are contained within an annual conference. In addition, there seems to be a lack of understanding in annual conferences that NCJ help is available, or why it is offered in some instances and not offered in others. The current financial system provides some with significant assistance and others receiving none. Several agencies have become inactive, even stretching into the last quadrennium. It is also getting more difficult to recruit persons to take an active role in jurisdictional ministries or governance due to time, travel and distance.

By instituting a zero-based restart of all non-disciplinary required NCJ Program Ministries for the 2017-2020 Quadrennium, this will allow the NCJ to take a step back and reconsider and/or redefine of the role of the jurisdiction.


To improve the quality and cost effectiveness of ministry of funded agencies within the NCJ by partnering the annual conference with the general agency responsible for that area of ministry by eliminating the “middle layer”.

To reduce jurisdictional apportionments and re-direct funding within annual conferences and to the general agencies for funding of ethnic and specialized ministries.

To strengthen the partnership between the annual conference and the ministry plans responsible for the related ethnic or specialized ministry.


If the North Central Jurisdiction ceased funding for all program ministries, these functions would still require funding:

  • The cost of the Jurisdictional Conference session ¶519
  • An audit of the Jurisdictional treasury ¶520
  • Jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy ¶524
  • Jurisdictional Conference Journal ¶528
  • Inter-jurisdictional Committee on Episcopacy ¶512
  • Jurisdictional Nominating Committee ¶705.1
  • Jurisdictional Committee on Appeals ¶27.6
  • Jurisdictional Mission Council ¶530

The following agencies are required, but a method of funding is not delineated:

  • Archives and History ¶532
  • Youth Ministry Organization ¶533
  • Jurisdictional United Methodist Women ¶536
  • Jurisdictional United Methodist Men ¶537

Optional organizations:

  • Young Adult Organization ¶534
  • Committee on Ordained Ministry ¶535


Planning Phase:

Advise “funded agencies” of the draft proposal one year in advance of the NCJ 2016 meeting so that they can begin to prepare for such a transition.

Advise the named ministry plans of the transition of funding paths for the specified ministry and the hoped for relationship between the funded agency and the ministry plan one year in advance of the NCJ 2016 meeting .

Advise the annual conferences of the transition of funding paths for the specified ministry, the reduction of jurisdictional apportionments to be replaced with direct funding to the ministry plan/general agency related to the funded agency, or to the funded agency itself, one year in advance of the NCJ 2016 meeting. If an annual conference is unable or a general agency is unwilling to absorb a “funded agency” budget request, then the “funded agency” could re-apply for jurisdictional funds.


The proposed changes to the NCJ Budget will take place on the first day of January 2016.


IV.            Budget Implications

Acct.# and Description 2009-2012


BudgetBudget Implications

for 2017-2020Proposed Funding51100 Jurisdictional Conference Expense$299,000$274,000$274,000Funding required ¶51951300 Jurisdictional Conference Secretary$12,500$12,500$12,500Funding required ¶52851400 Jurisdictional Conference Treasurer$12,000$12,000$12,000Funding required ¶52051500 Jurisdictional Court of Appeals (Misc)$15,000$5,000$5,000Funding required ¶27.652100 Mission Council$49,000$40,000$20,000Funding required ¶53052150 Fellowship of Mission Secretaries$1,000$0$0Not required by BOD and not functioning

Funding discontinued in 201352200 Committee on Episcopacy$42,000$60,000$60,000Funding required ¶524 (Jurisdictional)

and ¶512 (Interjurisdictional)52300 Archives & History$2,500$800$0Required ¶532 but funding not required52400 Rueben Job Center/

DWU Center for Christian Leadership$98,000$90,000$0Discontinued ministry52500 Town & Country Network$24,000$12,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the International Urban and Rural Network (Global Ministries)52550 Urban Network $12,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the International Urban and Rural Network (Global Ministries)52600 Volunteers in Mission$32,000$25,000$0Jurisdictional UMVIM Coordinators serve the jurisdiction through training and mission service coordination.

If not funded by jurisdiction, this ministry could be absorbed in the Global Ministries budget (Global Ministries)53100 Korean Ministries$175,000$150,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the Korean Ministry Plan (Global Ministries)53300 Hispanic Ministry Center of the NCJ$46,000$45,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries (Global Ministries)53350 Hispanic Caucus$44,000$44,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the National Plan for Hispanic/Latino Ministries

(Global Ministries)53400 Native American Ministry$35,000$35,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the Native American Comprehensive Plan (Discipleship Ministries)53450 Native American IC NE Region$30,000$30,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the Native American Comprehensive Plan (Discipleship Ministries)54100 Youth Ministry$15,000$15,000$0Required ¶533 but funding not required

There is currently a staff person assigned to the jurisdiction from the Division of Young People to serve the jurisdiction.

If not funded by the jurisdiction, this ministry could be absorbed into the Discipleship Ministries budget (Discipleship Ministries)54150 Asian American Fellowship$40,000$35,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the Asian American Language Ministry and Pacific Islanders Ministry Plan (Global Ministries)55100 Religion and Race$20,000$20,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to the General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)56100 Continuing Consultation$70,000$70,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to Strengthening the Black Church in the 21st Century (Discipleship Ministries)57100 Midwest Mission Distribution Center$5,000$5,000$0AC contributes directly to and relates to UMCOR (UMCOR)58100 General Conf. Expense for Host A/C$20,000$0$0Funding discontinued in 201358200 Jurisdictional Conf. Expense for Host  A/C$20,000$0$0Funding discontinued in 201359100 Transitional Assistance – MN/Dakotas$40,000$125,000$0Funding to be discontinued in 201659900 Emerging Ministries$6,000$0$0Funding discontinued in 2013Jurisdictional United Methodist Women$0$0$0Required ¶536 but funding not requiredJurisdictional United Methodist Men$0$0$0Required ¶537 but funding not requiredTOTAL EXPENSES$1,153,000$1,117,300$383,500



Print Friendly, PDF & Email