Comments on potential General Assembly business, updates on the coronavirus and Global Language Resources top board’s agenda
by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service
Tuesday’s meeting runs from 8:30 a.m. through noon Eastern Time, with Wednesday’s set for 10 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. Closed sessions are scheduled for both days: from 10:15 a.m. through about noon on Tuesday to receive updates on insurance, a cyber audit and enterprise risk management; and from 10:30 a.m. through nearly 12:30 p.m. on Wednesday to hear a report from Washington Consulting Group, which has been conducting an equity and inclusion audit of PC(USA) agencies and entities.
The co-chairs of the A Corp Board, Bridget-Anne Hampden and Christopher Mason, will offer reports to their board colleagues shortly after calling Tuesday’s session to order. After that, A Corp President Kathy Lueckert will present several updates:
- Coronavirus response update: Administrative Services Group staff have been in communication with staff in other PC(USA) agencies to discuss coronavirus prevention and some key decisions as they’ve been made, including travel bans and telework arrangements. ASG staff members in Global Language Resources have also worked to translate COVID-19 information into Spanish and Korean and to consult with World Mission on decisions about mission co-workers and with Theology, Formation & Evangelism about Stony Point Center’s “unique issues.” ASG staff members have also supported employees through benefits counseling and “morale boosters.”
- An A Corp and Administrative Services Group awareness campaign: Now that an A Corp website has been created, a communications awareness campaign and the A Corporation Annual Report are in their final stages.
- Global Language Resources update: GLR is working to translate the most critical COVID-19 resources and also translated the Easter worship service into Spanish and Korean. It expects to have senior and associate translators in Spanish and Korean in place by mid-April or shortly after that.
Lueckert will also update the A Cop Board on General Assembly plans before the board enters into closed session on Tuesday.
Wednesday’s public session will consist mainly of committee reports and action items. The latter includes Board recommendations and comments on potential General Assembly business:
- Creating a seven-member LGBTQIA+ Equity Advocacy Committee as a permanent committee of the General Assembly. The A Corp Board’s proposed recommendation asks commissioners to consider the financial implications of establishing a new committee, perhaps instead assigning the work to an existing committee.
- The board has a similar response to a resolution that would place a mission co-worker on the Southern Texas border.
- The board will also vote on proposed comments on four recommendations from the Special Committee on Per Capita and National Church Financial Sustainability, which wants the Presbyterian Mission Agency and other entities to resource mid council leaders and elders to explain the “why” of making one’s local church a giving priority; recommends directing the General Assembly Moderator(s) to appoint a funding model development team; recommends forming a commission to unify the PMA and the Office of the General Assembly into one agency; and recommends instructing agencies to determine a financial model by which GA overtures with financial implications whose mandates are inclusive of agencies beyond the PMA or OGA to receive funding from other sources besides per capita. The intent of that final recommendation “is not entirely clear,” according to A Corp Board’s report, which recommends adding the words “and the mission budget” to the end of the recommendation. In addition, “the present wisdom is that not commenting on issues like the potential merger of OGA/PMA and the moving of Mission Engagement and Support is a better position for A Corporation as we seek to remain a neutral service provider and advisor,” the report states.
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Tags: 224th general assembly 2020, a corporation board, administrative services group, bridget-anne hampden, chris mason, coronavirus, covid-19, equity and inclusion audit, global language resources, kathy lueckert, office of the general assembly, presbyterian mission agency, stony point center, videoconference, washington consulting group, zoom