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Presbyterian Women
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Susan Jackson Dowd
(844) 797-2872, x5368
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100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Presbyterian Women, Inc.

Voting representatives to the 2009 Churchwide Business Meeting of Presbyterian Women approved articles of incorporation that establish PW as a publicly supported integrated auxiliary of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

National PW leaders had been studying incorporation since 2006. During its February 2009 meeting, the Churchwide Coordinating Team of Presbyterian Women laid the groundwork for the vote by approving proposed articles of incorporation and new bylaws that were then sent as a recommendation to the 2009 voting representatives.

2006–2009 PW moderator Catrelia Hunter says incorporation allows PW to establish clear and separate accounting practices and ensure good stewardship of PW funds.

The women’s organization has a covenantal relationship with the PC(USA) that will not change. Key points:

  • PC(USA) has the authority to appoint or remove one of PW’s officers or directors (e.g., CCT member).
  • The name of the organization indicates an institutional relationship with PC(USA).
  • PW reports at least annually on its financial and general operations to PC(USA).
  • An institutional relationship between PW and PC(USA)is affirmed by the church.

PW continues to be the single largest contributor of undesignated funds to church mission through the General Assembly Mission Council budget.

Frequently asked questions about incorporation

What is a publicly supported integrated auxiliary?

According to the Internal Revenue Service, an organization is publicly supported if it “receives no more than one-third of its support from gross investment income and more than one-third of its support from contributions, membership fees and gross receipts from activities related to its exempt functions.”1 An integrated auxiliary of a church is an organization that is “related to a church or convention or association of churches.”2

Does Presbyterian Women meet all of the qualifications to be a publicly supported integrated auxiliary?

Yes.

  • PW’s articles or bylaws affirm that is shares common religious doctrines, principles, disciplines or practices with PC(USA).
  • PC(USA) has the authority to appoint or remove at least one of PW’s officers or directors (e.g., CCT member).
  • The name of the organization indicates an institutional relationship with PC(USA).
  • PW reports at least annually on its financial and general operations to PC(USA).
  • An institutional relationship between PW and PC(USA) is affirmed by the church.
  • In the event of dissolution, PW’s assets are required to be distributed to PC(USA) or an affiliate thereof.

How does incorporation impact staff?

Staff eligibility to participate in the Board of Pensions will not change. The current staffing structure will not change.

Why did PW choose to incorporate at this time?

At the national level, PW has been considering incorporation since 2006 and has thoroughly researched incorporation for three years. The Administrative Committee of the Churchwide Coordinating Team has consulted with both Lutheran and Methodist women’s organizations. Both have been incorporated for many years. Incorporation will give PW the flexibility to operate as needed. In order to ensure good stewardship of PW funds in the current economic environment, it is important that PW establish clear and separate accounting practices.

How does incorporation affect PW’s relationship with the General Assembly Mission Council and the PC(USA)?

PW will continue to be in covenant relationship with the PC(USA) through the appropriate entity.

Are bylaws at congregation, presbytery and synod levels affected?

No.

When will PW be officially incorporated?

PW will be incorporated soon after the incorporation papers are filed.

Contact Ann Ferguson or Catrelia Hunter with questions.

Notes
1Internal Revenue Service, Publicly Supported Charities.
2Internal Revenue Service, “Integrated Auxiliary of a Church” Defined.

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