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November 7, 2003


Bishop's Corner

Mission And Resources

By Bishop Timothy W. Whitaker

Every year I prepare my own tax forms. I do this as a necessary financial discipline. By filling out the tax forms I have to assess how well I have been managing my resources.

The church has a responsibility to assess how well it is managing its resources. From time to time the church has to make changes so that its resources match its mission and it is able to meet all of its financial responsibilities.

One of the topics of the Conference Table is an evaluation of the structure, staff and finances of the Florida Conference. During this year the cabinet will begin to do a study and make an initial presentation to the Conference Table early next year. Not all of the work of the cabinet can be completed by then, but significant planning can be reported in preparation for the 2004 Florida Annual Conference. The purpose of the cabinet will be to propose changes that can enable the Florida Conference to better fulfill its mission, to reorder the life of our connection and be better stewards of our resources.

Also during the next year we shall recruit a person to work part-time to interpret stewardship and connectional giving across the conference. This will be a joint project of the Florida Conference and United Methodist Communications in Nashville, Tenn. As I have traveled across the connection I have listened to laity who have asked for a better understanding of the apportionments to local churches and our connectional life and mission.

This year the Florida Conference, like many local churches, is struggling to meet its financial commitments. I am grateful for the effort of many churches to pay their apportionments. The Florida Conference has the highest apportionments of any annual conference, and when we do not support the work of The United Methodist Church, the impact is enormous. The continued effort of all churches to pay their apportionments is very important during the last quarter of this year.

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2003 Florida United Methodist Review Online