More than $44 million in appropriations was passed on to local conferences through the North Pacific Union Conference during the last five years, ending in December 2010.
Education funding amounts to 68.62 percent of all appropriations to local conferences and institutions by the North Pacific Union Conference.
More than $18.5 million in appropriations was provided to Walla Walla University during the last five years.
We are grateful for the faithful stewardship of our members and friends. It is the Spirit of God working through them that makes a good report possible. Those who are faithful in returning tithe and generous with the offerings have the joyful experience of having the windows of heaven opened on their behalf.
The treasurer and the entire treasury department ensure that financial policies and practices at the NPUC are consistent with general church guidelines and ethical financial principles. The treasurer provides monthly financial statements and reports to the executive committee members and departmental directors. He also acts as a counselor to local conference, university and academy treasurers. Personnel in this department take care of human resource issues, personnel records, and payroll and health benefits.
To be honest and accountable stewards of the funds God provides for the fulfilling of His mission through this church.
What's Been Accomplished
Conference Evangelism Funding — The NPUC is committed to provide increased evangelism funds to our local conferences each year. We are also committed to staffing union evangelists to assist and provide evangelism meetings within our local conferences.
Relocation of the NPUC Office — The long process of acquiring land, the proper permits, building and then relocating to Ridgefield, Washington, was completed early in 2007. The location and building are adjacent to Interstate 5. The office has provided a place for local civic leaders to visit and hold meetings and for staff to participate with community events. Each year NPUC employees erect a large 300-foot-long lighted nativity scene in front of the office, easily visible to Interstate 5 travelers.
Treasurer Relations — During the past years, many of our local conferences have converted to new and more efficient accounting and payroll software. The NPUC treasury department has assisted with the conversions and maintenance and has provided for its training and use. In addition, the treasury has mentored local conferences in communicating financial data more clearly to membership and helped them track monthly budget changes.
Treasury Staff — During the past five years, there have been several changes in and some downsizing of our treasury staff. With fewer treasury personnel, our staff is still committed, competent and ready to serve the needs of our Northwest members.
The Challenges Ahead
Ethnic Funding — We need to provide additional funding to help meet the growing diversity in our church. There are capital needs to update and/or provide a place of worship for our growing ethnic groups and companies. Many of our ethnic families cannot afford to send their children to Adventist schools. Changes need to be made to provide elementary and secondary education to all of our members' children.
The Economy — A recent study by the Barna Group shows the recent uncertain economic landscape has changed Americans' giving patterns and optimism for the future. Between 2005 and 2010, the NPUC has seen a decline in tithe per capita by 8.8 percent. Even with this decline, David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, points out that "churches and nonprofits with the most effective responses to the downturn are those that have reduced their operating costs without undermining their impact, enabling them to remain effective with less revenue. At the same time, they view these lean years as a chance to invest back in their relationships with supporters and refresh and reframe the tangible impact of the organization. This is especially important when so many donors are rethinking their financial and charitable priorities."1
Our Economic Response — The NPUC needs to reduce operating costs without weakening programming and our commission found in Matthew 28:19–20. Overall, we believe what God has called His church to do, He will enable it to do — and that includes all of us in His plan for success.
1 Barna Group, 2011, "Donors Proceed with Caution, Tithing Declines." www.barna.org/donorscause-articles.