A Glance Back at 2018
As we move into the promise of a new year, we take a look back on just some of the ways United Methodists have made an impact through our Connectional Ministries in 2018.
Looking forward to 2019The Oklahoma Conference and the United Methodist Church are preparing for the challenges that 2019 will bring, including health insurance coverage for the conference and a special called session of General Conference taking place in February.
In an effort to improve financial transparency, the Contact will begin to publish both Apportionment and Connectional Opportunity giving each quarter starting in March. The data will come from the Council on Finance and Administration and the total for each church will be published as a percentage. A reminder will be published in the February issue.
In November 2018, the Oklahoma Conference announced an emergency increase of local church contributions for health insurance coverage to prevent insolvency. The two-step increase raises total church contributions from $6,960/year to $10,560/year per full-time clergy person. The cabinet has committed to keeping members informed of the financial position every quarter in 2019.The Board of Pension and Health Benefits is also considering moving to a fully insured plan to reduce the uncertainty in claims costs, however, the proposal would need to be approved by the Annual Conference and would not take effect until 2020 at the earliest. See Q&A here.
General ConferenceThe Special Session of General Conference will determine how the United Methodist Church will approach human sexuality, namely whether or not openly gay persons can be married in United Methodist congregations or serve as clergy. It will take place Feb. 23-26 in St. Louis, and OKUMC Communications will be present to report on news related to the Oklahoma Delegation. Deep divisions remain among United Methodists who believe the One Church Plan—recommended by the Council of Bishops—either does too much or not enough to address the denomination’s stance on human sexuality. See an overview of the plans here.