Budget 2012 Presents Faith as an Action
Budget 2012 is a reflection of the faith and faithfulness of United Methodist Women. Members commit to grow as disciples of Christ through prayer and study in community with other women. Mission education expands their awareness of social justice issues to build the lives of the marginalized. Members also participate in leadership training and reach out to others in their local communities through programs and events. Faithfulness in giving even in the face of an economic slowdown is the action of United Methodist Women’s faith of more than 140 years.
The budget speaks of United Methodist Women’s vision, which gives priority to women, children and youth around the globe through direct service, advocacy and leadership development. It is based on biblical mandates and gives credence to Jesus’ teachings in the Gospels as in Matthew 25:40: “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”
In 2012 the budget will strengthen current areas of programming while preparing for a new quadrennium. Women and youth will continue to be the focus of our work even as members organize in new ways to make more missions possible. Key objectives identified in the strategic plan, which include spiritual growth, service, advocacy, leadership development and mission education will continue to be implemented through flexible structures.
National Mission Institutions and international projects that came under direct oversight of the national body of United Methodist Women in 2010 will be strengthened and renewed through Mission Giving.
The new year will see special emphasis on leadership development. Mission is done by people who are prepared, and training provides the equipping. A Regional Missionary Ingathering for leadership development will take place in St. Louis, Mo. All six regional missionaries who serve around the globe will gather in February to refresh and renew their commitments as they make plans for the quadrennium to work across Central Conference boundaries. They will also connect with local National Mission Institutions in the area. The budget will support the hiring of four additional regional missionaries by the end of the year.
Women’s health initiative that started in Zimbabwe a few years ago to address women’s health issues will continue to be funded for the midwife program and scholarships for nursing and science. However, this work will be expanded in this year to include equipment, testing and medical personnel in partnership with local organizations. Medical Ubuntu teams will be organized to Zimbabwe as well.
Scholarships for leadership development will receive a fresh boost this year. The budget envisions revitalization of both national and international scholarships in the area of seminary training, Christian education and medical training for Christian workers.
Leadership training will become more widespread and easily accessible. Budget 2012 supports regional format for training conference leadership teams making it more convenient for members to gather as well as have additional opportunities to interact in depth with co-leaders. A separate annual event for language coordinators will provide training and leadership development nationally.
Young Women's Event
The budget will emphasize membership outreach with special focus on a national young women’s event in late summer this year. “LIMITLESS: Redefine Tomorrow” will provide opportunities to young women ages 18-35 to connect, network and grow in their understanding of mission together.
All this is made possible through the giving and stewardship of faithful disciples of Christ. Like the widow who put her all in the offering plate and the woman who broke her best jar of perfume in service of Christ, United Methodist Women members give sacrificially and abundantly.
The program budget of 2012 shows total budgeted expenses for United Methodist Women at 18,481,143. This is slightly above the operating budget of 2011, which stood at 17,713,187.
- The percentage of budget used for administration remained the same at 9 percent.
- The percentage for membership outreach and development remained at 15 percent.
- There was a 1 percent increase in the percentage allocated to mission support, which now stands at 76 percent.
While the program budget reflects the diverse functions of the organization, the outcome of faithful and careful administration transforms lives both of the giver and the receiver. There is mission happening all the way.
Seventy-six percent of the budget allocated to specific areas of mission and leadership development in 2012 is $14,058,302. This includes the following focuses of mission:
- Leadership for mission increased to 18 percent, reflecting the many development opportunities that will be made available this year.
- Mission education and spiritual growth at 12 percent.
- Mission projects receive 50 percent of direct funding.
- Mission support in the form of property maintenance and insurance equals 11 percent.
- Advocacy with women, children and youth at 9 percent.
The presence and characteristics of United Methodist Women through the decades, from becoming a worthy organization to a passionate organization, is God. We haven’t accomplished these things but God through us and our foremothers. We’re doing the same today. There is much to accomplish as the budget demonstrates. How will we do it? We will not. God will.
Martha Sherman Knight is the treasurer of United Methodist Women.