Meeting Monday, Board is also briefed on what to expect during this weekend’s GA plenaries
by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — The A Corporation Board of Directors Monday unanimously approved a resolution calling on themselves and the entity it oversees to care for all of God’s people.
The A Corporation is an entity of the General Assembly. It’s the corporate and business function that supports the whole work of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It’s overseen by a 13-member board that includes the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, as an ex officio, non-voting member.
Meeting via Zoom in part to hear an update on last week’s General Assembly proceedings and to understand what commissioners could do on matters important to the A Corporation during Friday and Saturday’s GA plenary sessions, the A Corp Board approved a resolution crafted by board member Thomas A. Priest Jr. and board co-chairs Bridget-Anne Hampden and Chris Mason.
“In this time of deep anxiety due to COVID-19, many of our brothers and sisters face a future which seems empty of hope for relief from illness, death, and economic loss,” the resolution states. “At the same time, our country continues to be divided by racial prejudice and unrest. These conditions heighten the importance of the work of A Corp to ensure a strong church community for our Presbyterian family.
“As a Board of members and officers of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), we have a responsibility to care for all of God’s people. We commit ourselves and A Corp to do so, both in internal ecclesiastical relationships and in external corporate relationships. We ask all of our colleagues and mission partners to join us in this daily effort to bend our history always towards justice.”
The A Corporation “has a unique role in handling secular business for the General Assembly, its entities, and others in the church,” the resolution states. “But A Corp is not only a corporate entity providing accounting, banking, legal, property, and risk management advice and services. It is a part of the church and a tool of God’s word in the world. It is particularly well positioned to watch, listen, and act at the intersection of business and church to help further God’s plan to seek justice for all.”
Priest said the resolution “comes along with a spirit of caring for all God’s people and all God’s blessings — not only in the church, but in society.”
Board member Samuel L. Bonner said he’s been “struck by a plethora of statements and good words” recently. “But I am looking for deeds, and I’m looking for action. I understand that words are a prelude to some. I’m not criticizing your statement. I’m just encouraging action.”
After the resolution was approved, A Corporation President Kathy Lueckert updated the Board on General Assembly action to date. “The overwhelming sense I got is that it’s really different” online rather than in person, she said. “I really miss the visual cues you have when you are there in person. You don’t get a sense of the room,” including how many people are standing at the microphones ready to speak. “It’s gone, and that’s harder than I thought.”
Regarding Saturday’s election of Co-Moderators Elona Street-Stewart and the Rev. Gregory Bentley, Lueckert said she’s “really proud of our denomination. God has placed the right people in front of us. The right people will be leading us.”
As far as what might happen Friday and Saturday during the five plenary sessions that are scheduled, “we are in as much suspense as everyone else,” she said. Additional resource people to help commissioners make their decisions are being added in the next few days. Lueckert called them “subject matter experts.”
There are about a dozen items of business of interest to the A Corp Board and to the entity, she said.
Board members expressed their appreciation to Priest and Julie Cox, board members whose terms are ending. Nelson thanked them for helping to lay the groundwork “for a very new period of time in the life of the denomination.”
“Don’t go too far,” he told the two, smiling. “There is more work for you to do. It’s really invaluable what you’ve been able to give us — hope in this time of transition for the denomination, and I’m really grateful.”
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