A Corp Board gives initial approval to 2020 business plan, bylaw changes

With General Assembly’s consent, board will expand from 11 to 13 members

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — A business plan for 2020 that lays out the work that the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Administrative Services Group expects to complete next year and changes to the A Corp’s bylaws both received board approval on first reading during a video conference meeting held Friday.

In addition, the board approved a financial statement indicating the assets of the A Corp, the denomination’s corporate entity, increased by nearly $10 million from November 2018 to November 2019, from about $582.4 million to about $592.4 million.

Board members will ask the General Assembly next June to approve two more members, expanding the board’s ranks from 11 to 13 plus the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, who’s an ex-officio member. The move will give the Board of Pensions representation and should increase the board’s collective knowledge about decisions it’s sometimes asked to make, including cases concerning real estate.

Business plan

Kathy Lueckert

A Corp President Kathy Lueckert presented the work plan for the Administrative Services Group for 2020. The work plan includes her office, Global Language Resources, Human Resources, Internal Auditing, Legal Services, Research Services, Risk Management, Information Technology, Finance and Accounting, Central Receiving Services, Payroll, Building Services, Mail & Print Services and Presbyterian Distribution Services/The Hubbard Press.

Among the dozens of tasks to be undertaken during the coming year:

  • Establishing a robust A Corp website presence
  • Filling key positions, including a chief financial officer/chief operating officer
  • Selecting and rolling out a suite of translation productivity software tools
  • Hiring two new staff linguists
  • Working to begin creating a “hospitality destination” at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Ky.

The work plan states that the mission of the Administrative Services Group that Lueckert manages “is to support client partners so that their ministries flourish.” The ASG’s goal “is to be the preferred provider of administrative services to PC(USA) agencies and entities.”

Lueckert asked board members to provide additional feedback on the work plan before meeting next month to formally adopt the plan.

Bylaw changes

The board approved, on first reading, minor changes to the A Corp’s bylaws. Some language was deleted because it’s no longer relevant, such as a section that describes board member appointments during the 223rd General Assembly, which occurred last year.

Financial position

Cynthia Embry, financial and budget analyst with the Administrative Services Group, said the $10 million improvement in assets is primarily due to large gifts to the PC(USA), interest and market gains. Liabilities were up about $1.7 million, from about $21.8 million to about $23.5 million. Contributing factors for the increased liabilities included expenses related to Presbyterian Youth Triennium, which was held in July 2019, and hotel deposits required for the upcoming General Assembly.

During the first 11 months of 2019, the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly took in about $109.8 million and spent about $70.1 million.  Those figures for the comparable period in 2018 were approximately $63.6 million and $67.6 million, respectively.

Most of the improved performance is due to a large increase in investment return: about $49.5 million this year as compared to about $12.5 million last year.

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