The Metropolitan Community Churches (MCC) Governing Board has called a Special General Conference on 20 August 2018 to be held virtually beginning at 8 am EDT/12:00 GMT. The purpose of the Special General Conference is for the UFMCC General Conference to vote on the recommendations within the Assessment Review Commission Report.
(Updated: 23 July 2018)
Download the Assessment Review Commission Report by clicking button above. If assistance is needed with the document, contact Assistant to the Interim Moderator, Jack Hutter: [email protected]
In late 2015, the Governing Board started to discuss the need to revise the assessments process and potentially the system itself. At General Conference in Victoria, Canada, it was proposed and accepted that an international commission be set up to work collaboratively across the constituencies of the denomination to investigate and consider alternative systems which might be easier to manage and, therefore, more sustainable.
The system of assessments has undergone some revisions over the years, but it is broadly based on a concept of tithing. Deductions have been introduced to encourage churches to develop in certain ways or participate in certain activities.
The understanding of the system as a tithe is not universal, and efforts have been made by successive governing boards to adjust this understanding. However, there remains a significant proportion of the churches whose understanding remains that of a tithe.
The percentage paid has adjusted over the years; however, the rate has not yet reached the promised target of 10%. The reasons for this are many, but principally they relate to the economic challenges faced by the denomination as church finances have suffered since the late 2000s.
The General Conference shall, in accordance with Bylaw Article IX, Section B, agree that each emerging church and affiliated church shall report all church receipts each month to the UFMCC and with that report shall remit a percentage of the funds reported at the following rate: (Select one option.)
A. Proposal One: 10% Assessment with Deductions Remaining, to begin 1 January 2019
B. Proposal Two: 8% Assessment with No Deductions, to begin 1 January 2019
C. Continue with the assessment rate schedule adopted at General Conference 2013 in Chicago, in which the assessment rate remains at 11.5% for the remaining months of 2018 and reduces to 11% as of 1 January 2019
A two-thirds majority vote in the Clergy House and the Lay House is needed for a proposal to pass. If the motion does not carry, the question of assessments will be deferred to General Conference XXVII Business Meeting in Orlando, Florida, USA, in 2019.
Not all churches give at the current 11.5% assessment rate. The reality of local church finances, and the overall denominational financial impact of varied rates over the last decade led to the formation of the Assessment Review Commission. After reviewing the Assessment Commission Report, and basing estimates on 2017 reporting, the Governing Board predicts the following:
Proposal One: 10% Assessment with Deductions Remaining
The financial impact for the denominational budget related to Proposal One is a loss of approximately $77,000 USD to the current assessments received.
Proposal Two: 8% Assessment with No Deductions
Generally, the 8% assessments with no deductions option may provide significant reductions for churches who are currently paying at or near the 11.5% rate and who have minimal reduction in tithable income under the current rules. The few churches who have very significant amounts of deductions will see noteworthy increases under the 8% option. Overall, Proposal Two assessments would go up for about 10 churches, stay approximately the same for about 10 churches, and go down for the majority of churches. The overall financial impact for the denominational budget related to Proposal Two is an approximate loss of $113,000 USD.