MCC: Accomplishments in 2014 and Looking Ahead to 2015

In 2014, MCC was able to enjoy the fruit of God’s abundance, hard work, and solid planning. We cast an ambitious vision for increased impacts around the world to meet the global challenge of relevant ministry, liberation, and justice. 2014 was the first year that MCC lived into its new Strategic Plan, and the Governing Board chartered new territory in aligning our financial systems and structures, along with our resources, with our Five Breakthrough Objectives (Growth, Justice, People, Congregations/Ministries, and Finances). We share and celebrate our results. As always, our collective success reflects our partnerships with our denominational staff and our congregations around the world. Together, we show the world what it means to BE MCC.

MCC Vision Statement

Metropolitan Community Churches is compelled by an unfinished calling and a prophetic destiny. We are a global movement of spiritually and sexually diverse people who are fully awake to God’s enduring love. Following the example of Jesus and empowered by the Spirit, we seek to build leading-edge church communities that demand, proclaim, and do justice in the world.

Year 1: The MCC 2014 – 2018 Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan is a reflection of MCC’s mission and vision statements. The breakthrough objectives are the key areas around which all ministry operations revolve. Within each breakthrough objective are priority actions each of whose purpose is to achieve outcomes that reflect the objective. The priority actions are measurable, achievable, and attached to a specific timetable.

Each year, the Governing Board and the denomination’s chief program managers (the Senior Leadership Team) develop annual plans based on the priority actions. The SLT implements our denomination’s strategy through measurable Annual Plans for each denominational Office. The Office of the Moderator’s Annual Plan provides strategic coordination and shared goals with the Global Justice Institute. The Governing Board aligned the 2014 budget, program investments, and staffing resources to achieve the Strategic Plan’s 2014 objectives.

In accordance with our deliverables under the Strategic Plan, the Governing Board in 2014:

  • Diaologued with Dr. Kwok Pui Lan, Professor of Christian Theology at the Episcopal Divinity School, on how we might help develop a post-colonial view of MCC’s vision and future
  • Continued modernization of our financial policies
  • Engaged a development consultant to guide our thinking on the next phase of our development program
  • Conducted our first annual review and update of the Strategic Plan
  • Made appointments to several committees, including the Governing Board Nominating Committee and Moderator Nominating Committee (alternate members)
  • Adopted a framework for a 50th Anniversary of MCC celebration
  • Adopted a framework for the transition to our next Moderator

We also endorsed goals for the 2016 General Conference, collaborated with the Moderator on a framework for considering an expanded Council of Elders, approved a revised UFMCC Human Resources Employee Handbook, and hosted quarterly webinars to keep MCCers around the world updated on our work.

Projected 2014 Year-End Financial Status

We planned conservatively, given the precarious global financial recovery and the lag time our churches typically experience. With God’s help, we were able to meet the projected 2014 budget income target. Thank you to our many churches, members of the Moderator’s Circle, and contributors for your continuing commitment and generosity! We are grateful to the Carpenter Foundation for another grant, this time funding our Online Learning Center. However, we fell short of meeting targeted income from major donors. We are projected to end 2014 with a deficit of $12,600. In keeping with the Governing Board commitment to operate within our means, MCC aligned expenses with revenues early in 2014. This kept the year-end deficit to a minimum. We budgeted conservatively, programmed aggressively, and actively cultivated relationships with funders. Thanks to an external consultant, we learned much about our development program. We have already begun to apply those lessons to our 2015 budget and development program along with looking at how to possibly fund development staff.

Financial Policy and Procedure Actions

The Governing Board continued to update financial policies and procedures to improve MCC fiscal management and operations, prepare for future growth, reduce risk, and employ untapped income resources. As always, Governing Board policies are available for your review at http://governingboard.mccchurch.org/about/our-policies/.

Church Assessments – To address those congregations experiencing financial hardship and unable to support MCC at the assessment levels established by General Conference, the Governing Board drafted a new policy on assessments. The policy is oriented toward providing triage and assistance to churches in financial distress so that their recovery can be a win for everyone. Churches that choose to disengage from the system of supports would be subject to several of the policy options identified in the draft.

Investments Policy – To improve the previous policy, the Board adopted a new policy to preserve existing investment assets, to diversify the portfolio in ways that minimize risk, and to grow those resources to better support MCC’s ministry and operations. The policy calls for assets to be maintained across a spectrum of cash, equity securities, and fixed income securities.

Additional Actions Taken to Effectively Manage Our Financial Resources:

  • Corrected 2012 and 2013 financial reports resulting from implementation of prior Aged AR write-offs.
  • Approved and monitored 2014 strategic investments initiatives.
  • Approved motion for forgiveness of a portion of aged assessment debt for churches that have been faithful in aged debt repayment.
  • Identified 2016 – 2018 potential additions to budget for future planning.
  • Approved carry-over of 2014 investment funds in support of 2015 strategic investment needs.

Financial Forecasting and Budget Approval

Continuing a practice that began in 2013, the Governing Board utilized income and expense forecasting for our monthly financial review. Again, the review of projected year-end financial position at the end of every month has improved our ability to make financial adjustments earlier and predict year-end deficits or funding shortfalls.

The Strategic Plan provides a framework for the staff to develop a draft budget and for the Governing Board to consider the budget request. Because of the alignment of systems, advanced planning, and a change in organizational culture, we were able to return to improving the full budget and investment strategy on time.

Looking Ahead to 2015

The Governing Board is examining the financial resources necessary to support upcoming transitions in leadership. The Moderator’s retirement, transition work related to the next Moderator, and resources needed to support the entire Strategic Plan will require greater financial ability. Consequently, 2015 will see tremendous focus on the denomination’s development program. We anticipate our second Virtual General Conference where clergy and lay delegates will consider affirming new Elders.

Our Senior Leadership Team is 

  • Rapidly deploying new prototypes in peer support for church health and vitality,
  • Sponsoring global REVMs to usher in the next generation of clergy,
  • Providing wellness programs for our existing clergy,
  • Offering LEAD for our lay leaders,
  • Investing in new models of church planting in the US and around the world (currently, 36 emerging churches),
  • Expanding our justice work and increasing MCC’s visibility around globe, and
  • Working diligently to increase our financial capacity and cultivate generosity for our local churches and the denomination.

God continues to do a mighty work in MCC. Living into that calling will transform ourselves as we transform the world, strengthen our clergy and laity, and support justice locally and worldwide.

In gratitude,

  • Your MCC Governing Board