We are grateful for the numerous ways the Alabama-West Florida Conference churches are continuing ministry in the midst of great uncertainty. Through technology and creativity, pastors are ensuring their congregations are still receiving the good news of Jesus Christ. The hope is that churches are also taking this unprecedented opportunity to seek new disciples in new ways.
Bishop David Graves, conference leadership, AWF Council on Finance and Administration (CFA) and the AWF Board of Pension and Health Benefits (BOPH) acknowledge the potential financial challenge all churches face. With that in mind, there are three ways in which the conference can partner with your church:
- The AWF Council on Finance and Administration has approved a 1/12 apportionment reduction for all churches in the Alabama-West Florida Conference for the fiscal year 2020. This one-month reduction may be taken at any point during the year or be spread over multiple months in 2020, at the discretion of the local church. Alternatively, those churches that have already paid at least 100% of their 2020 apportionments may request a rebate (not to exceed 1/12 of their annual apportionments) to assist with immediate financial needs within the local church.
- The AWF Board of Pension and Health has granted local churches a two-month health insurance billing exemption for all clergy and lay employees. (Clergy dependent care and lay dependent care coverage are excluded from this exemption). This holiday will be reflected in April and May billing statements.
- Guidance and Recommendations on the recent Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
“We acknowledge the critical financial situation of some of our churches,” stated Bishop David Graves. “I am grateful to our conference CFA and Board of Pension and Health for showing outstanding leadership and compassion to our churches. The local church is the heartbeat of our conference and we exist to resource them in every way. Historic times call for historic sacrificial measures and I fully support what could be a once-in-a-lifetime decision.”
The 1/12th apportionment reduction translates to $800,000 while the health insurance billing exemption sum is $464,000; for a total of $1.3 million. These funds will come from annual conference unrestricted reserves, which are used for extraordinary emergency situations such as COVID-19. Many more details will be released about the aforementioned three partnerships in the coming days and weeks. For more information, please contact Suzanne Krejcar, AWF Treasurer and Director of Administrative Services, at firstname.lastname@example.org.