Treasurer invites Conference to Imagine


June 08, 2013

In his Treasurer’s report Todd Weber invited the Annual Conference to “imagine what great work can be accomplished [as we] strive to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

He expressed personal appreciation for the kindness, patience, and most importantly, acceptance that I have experienced in the past year.”  He began serving the Conference in May 2012.

He noted that statistical information is important “but finances, numbers, statistics, and records are not why the Iowa Annual Conference exists. These items only provide support to ensure that the necessary resources are available for carrying out the mission of the Conference.”

As images of ministries and activities were projected he invited Conference members “to take note of the wonderful things that are being accomplished within our current financial and demographic landscape. Observe that the Annual Conference should not be limited in our ministries based on financial constraints. We need to remember that ministry work does not necessarily require large cash outlays to be successful. Some of the most important work can be accomplished through one-on-one communication with individuals in need, without a dime being expended or the involvement of Conference staff.”

He also offered “selected statistics as reported by our local congregations.”

  • Total professing membership of The United Methodist Church was 171,706 in 2012, a decrease of 3,781 (2%).
  • Average weekly worship attendance in 2012 was 55,274, a decrease of 452 (1%) from the previous year.
  • Racial/Ethnic membership of the Iowa Annual Conference consists of 98% of members identifying under the category “White”.
  • The highest average weekly worship attendance was 1,099 with the lowest average weekly worship attendance being 2.  The average mean weekly worship attendance per church remained the same as it was in 2011 at 70.
  • The total number of congregations for 2012 was 794. 193 congregations reported increased membership, 467 congregations reported decreases, while 134 remained the same.
  • The largest congregation in the Iowa Annual Conference reported membership of 2,665 while the smallest reported 2 members.
  • Average weekly worship attendance of 55,274 out of total professing membership of 171,706 represents 32% of professing members attending worship on a weekly basis.
  • In 2012, the Iowa Annual Conference received 2,463 members by profession of faith, a 2% decrease from the prior year.
  • The total number of baptisms celebrated during 2012 increase by 44%, from 2,212 in the prior year to 3,184 in 2012.
  • Congregations reported a total of $107,467,564 in income for 2012, an increase of $3,886,890 (4%) from 2011 amounts.
  • Congregations paid a total of $13,303,526 in apportionments in 2012, an increase of $219,381 over 2011.
  • 524 congregations had paid 2012 apportionments in full as of the date the 2012 remittance system was closed in early January. Since that time, another 34 congregations have reached the 100% level.
  • The Iowa Annual Conference has paid General Church apportionments at the 100% level for the past 5 consecutive years.
  • Benevolence giving exceeded $2 million.

Todd Weber expressed a hope for the future.  “As we move forward,” he said, “it will be essential to continue to engage vital current congregations while at the same time reach out to new communities of faith. It will be necessary to reconsider our current methods of operations and organizational configurations in order to determine the most effective and efficient structures required to move the Annual Conference forward in today’s environment.”

“As we move forward, it will be essential to continue to engage vital current congregations,” he observed, “while at the same time reach out to new communities of faith. It will be necessary to reconsider our current methods of operations and organizational configurations in order to determine the most effective and efficient structures required to move the Annual Conference forward in today’s environment.”

He concluded by saying, “Imagine what great work can be accomplished as we become more focused on our shared strategic priorities, work toward greater financial transparency and sustainability, and strive “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world”.