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May 12, 2000 GC-077

Delegates budget $6.2 million for next General Conference

CLEVELAND (UMNS) – Cost of the next General Conference of the United Methodist Church, scheduled for Pittsburgh in 2004, is projected to exceed $5 million.

On May 12, closing day of the 2000 General Conference in Cleveland, delegates approved a General Administration Fund budget of $6,214,000 for the Pittsburgh assembly. In recent years, members from across the denomination have raised 86 percent of that fund.

Expenditures for the 2000 General Conference, May 2-12, are expected to be close to $4 million, according to Sandra Kelley Lackore, top staff executive of the church’s General Council on Finance and Administration.

The General Conference budget includes the travel, housing and food for nearly 1,000 delegates and the facilities and services in which the meeting is held. Some of the increased costs for the 2004 conference are due to the expense of translating materials and providing more translators for delegates from outside the United States. An inadequate number of translators was a sore point for many at the Cleveland event.

While concerned about budget issues, the delegates clearly put money where their priorities are, Lackore said. "They want to assure an inclusive General Conference for all delegates," she observed.

Attending the Cleveland conference were 992 delegates – 830 from the United States, 152 from the Central Conferences outside the United States, and 10 from concordat churches – non-United Methodist churches that have a working relationship with the denomination.

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-- Tom McAnally

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