SPRINGFIELD – Bishop Frank J. Beard announced today that conference leadership has embarked on a reorganization process for the Illinois Great Rivers Conference – the result of positioning the church for a post-pandemic world.
Consultants from the General Council on Finance and Administration are working with conference leadership in this process.
“Just like local congregations have had to employ new practices and methods during the past 10 months, conference leadership has had to do so as well,” Bishop Beard said. “This process is not driven by finances, dwindling numbers nor the possibility of a future split in The United Methodist Church.”
He pointed to financial reports that show that at the end of November, conference leadership showed a $237,562 increase in apportionment receipts over the 11-month mark in November 2019.
Total apportionment receipts through Nov. 30, which include payment of apportionments from previous years, totaled $9,599,445 with expenditures of $9,399,289, showing a surplus of $200,156 through Nov. 30.
Final figures will be available later this month after the Conference closes it books Friday, Jan. 8.
“There is no doubt our churches have remained faithful in their generosity and giving as partners in the mission of the church,” Bishop Beard said. “We are indeed grateful for their faithfulness and support, knowing that the giving has been sacrificial.”
The bishop said he anticipates that there will be a report to the 2021 Annual Conference about the findings of the reorganization process.
“Rather than being reactive to circumstances as they come, we are choosing to be proactive, strategically positioning the Conference to be most effective in equipping local churches for ministry and providing the connection to the larger ministry of The United Methodist Church,” he said.