We did get Friday afternoon off. Friday morning we passed the budget. A budget that reduces the amount of money given to each ministry in the jurisdiction by 25% each year for the next four years, so that by 2013, we as a jurisdiction will be putting no money into any of our ministries.
Read that paragraph again.
A proposal of reorganization was brought to the floor that reorganized the SEJ, basically making the three facilities (Lake Junaluska, Gulfside, and ugh, I can't remember the name of the third!) "Agencies" of the jurisdiction, with the intention that they would be self-sustaining by 2013. Gulfside was severely damaged by Katrina, so the committee that brought this proposal ensured that care would be given to Gulfside, and that the self-sufficient deadline could be extended if necessary.
What they did not clarify was their idea of self-sufficient. They want the ministries of these assemblies to be self-sufficient. And they include the summer youth events that happen at Lake Junaluska under the umbrella of Lake Junaluska, not under the ministries of the SEJ.
They also included hispanic, native american, and african american ministries under this, too, and intend for those ministries to be self-sufficient by 2013.
So...where are our apportionment dollars in the SEJ going? Well...they'll be going to pay off the debt for repairing the dam at Lake Junaluska.
I use that dam every year. I cross it on my way to Wal-Mart in Waynesville. Without it, there would be no Lake Junaluska. It's a very important dam. But more important than ministries?
According to our Jurisdictional body, yes.
It is a sad day for the United Methodist Church.