Annual Conference 2020, Action Items
The West Virginia Annual Conference 2020 session will be held on Saturday, August 1.The 2020 session will meet as a specially called Annual Conference, the specified purpose of which will be to act only on those items that appear in the agenda.
All sites will be able to see and hear presentations and the presiding table. However, the ability to discuss or debate across the various locations will be limited. We will be able to address very few questions.
We opened an email address to receive questions ahead of the session. Some of those questions are being directed to their respective committees for consideration in 2021. Other frequently asked questions are answered below:
Important August 1 Updates:
To remain faithful to the recommendations from local government and our trusted healthcare professionals, there has been a change to the way in-person gatherings will be proctored. To lower the number of people at each site and to limit the amount of time people are gathered indoors, the 2020 session will now take place in shifts at each of the assigned locations.
How do I know which shift I’m assigned? For those who choose to livestream the session there will be no change. The livestream will be open to all who want to participate this way. To view the livestream visit wvumc.org/2020ac/.
For those who reserved a seat to attend the 2020 session in-person you will now attend a singular one-hour shift. There will be a shift which meets at 1:00pm and another shift which meets at 3:00pm at each location. Your site assignment has not changed. You will receive notice if you have been assigned to the 3:00pm shift.
If you requested a reservation for on-site meeting space and based on this updated information have changed your mind in the interest of safety for yourself or others, please let us know today or as soon as possible by responding to: WVAC2020@wvumc.org or by calling 304-344-8331, ext. 45.
Advance work is needed to prepare each site for safe distancing measures, so accurate reservation numbers are important for our planning. We will continue to monitor the most current guidelines from our state and local health departments and plan accordingly.
Has the agenda changed? This is a specially called Annual Conference session. Only those items in the agenda can be brought to the floor. The agenda items have been put in a new order, but no new items will come forward. The actions items presented will be the same at 1:00pm and 3:00pm.
The session will also convene at 5:00PM on August 1 by livestream for all participants to celebrate the mission and ministry of the West Virginia Annual Conference. The items which do not require a vote which appear in the agenda will be accomplished at this time.
On Sunday, August 2 all who wish to participate in the Sunday morning service must do so through the livestream. In order to faithfully, thoughtfully, and safely celebrate baptism and ordination the Sunday morning service will be invitation only, meaning only those who are involved in the service will be present in-person. The 2020 session will adjourn after the Sunday morning service.
Can I come to both sessions? You will only be able to attend one session in-person. You are welcome to participate in the session you do not attend by joining the livestream.
Do I need new credentials? No, the site assignment and credentials included in the mailing (sent 7/15) are still valid. You will be contacted if you are expected to appear at 3:00pm instead of 1:00pm as the mailing suggests. Remember to bring your roll call card and name tag with you; you will only be admitted into the session if you can present your credentials and roll call card. There will not be staff at each site who can verify or print new credentials.
Organizational motion (report found on page 17):
Will people at all the sites vote? Yes, members of the Annual Conference who are present and appear at their designated locations are eligible to vote. The bar of the conference will include all the designated locations connected virtually. All those who appear at their designated locations must present their credentials and submit their roll call cards at their designated location. Credentials, roll call cards and other vital materials are being mailed to members who indicated they would attend in-person.
How was the agenda designed? The limited agenda seeks to maintain and honor the decisions made by the entire body of the Conference in 2019, while remaining faithful to our rules and the necessary business of the church until we can meet together again in 2021. All postponed business will be taken up in the 2021 session.
Why are there fewer nominations this year? Nominations for CFA, Trustees, Communications, Conference Secretary and Treasurer, and the Lay Ministry team allow the necessary ministry and mission to continue in the coming year. All other conference teams have been requested to remain the same as the 2019 Nominations. Additional adjustments to conference teams, boards, and agencies will be made as needed.
Pensions report (report found on page 42-46):
Are healthcare premiums increasing? No, health care premiums remain as follows: single premiums $690.00 per month and family premiums $1, 814 per month.
Will I have to change healthcare providers as the Conference moves to Cigna? Cigna’s network includes over 97% of all West Virginia providers, so it is not anticipated that anyone will need to switch providers to remain in network. Nevertheless, a grace period until December 31, 2020 is in place for providers not in the Cigna network but in the old network (4Most).
When is open enrollment for Conference health insurance? March 1-March 31st is the open enrollment period. If an eligible employee wishes to enroll but did not do so within the enrollment period, or within a period described under “Special Enrollment Period” they must enroll during the open enrollment period.
Will I be affected by the “Small Employer Exception” effective January 1, 2021? Those affected will be contacted directly. The Conference Treasurer’s Office will contact the eligible individuals during the remainder of 2020 to ensure they and their church are ready to take advantage of these changes.
Equitable Compensation report (report found on page 48-49):
Will the minimum salary, known as the base compensation schedule, increase in 2021? No, this year the base compensation schedule is recommended to remain at the 2020 definition of a full-time appointment due to the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak on local churches. If the base compensation schedule increased, it could be difficult for churches to comply to the base compensation schedule. The current definition of a full-time appointment, as set in the base compensation schedule, will allow local churches to recover from the virus outbreak and will afford churches time to manage increases in the definition of a full-time appointment in the future.
To be clear, the Equitable Compensation Team does not set salaries. The Equitable Compensation Team recommends the minimum salary, known as the base compensation schedule, which determines the definition of a full-time appointment. Only a charge conference has the authority to set salaries.
Therefore, the base compensation schedule does not prevent a charge conference from increasing a salary above the base compensation schedule. A charge conference has the authority to determine the salary of full-time clergy, even if the base compensation stays the same. If your charge is at or near the base compensation schedule and can provide an appropriate salary increase this year, they are encouraged to do so.
Conference Council on Finance and Administration report (pages 56-79):
Will there be a budget increase presented at this session for 2021? No, the recommended budget total is $12,877,355, which is the same total budget approved at the 2019 Annual Conference session for the 2020 year. While some of the individual line items were adjusted, the total budget remains the same.
Is there a 2.5% cost of living adjustment being given to all Conference staff? No, an increase has not been included for all Conference staff. There is no recommended increase for District Superintendents or Conference Executive Positions. The recommended budget does include a $5000 increase for the District Administrative Assistants. This position has been severely underfunded and underpaid for years. Council on Finance and Administration needed to bring it closer to what a comparable position would be in the workplace. It is still significantly lower than what someone would make with another employer given the level of experience, computer skill, and full-time status that this position requires. Since the overall budget will have a 0% increase, this will not impact local church apportionments.