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Presbyterian Mission Agency
What started out as a Presbyterian Mission Agency Board discussion on the feasibility of launching a $4 million fundraising campaign for Stony Point Center grew into something much larger in the end.
An April survey by Research Services of nearly 1,100 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations and mid councils revealed some surprising responses on how they’re dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic:
Administrative and Program committees of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board met separately Thursday by Zoom calls.
Proposed budgets for the Presbyterian Mission Agency — about $61.2 million in 2021 and about $62.9 million for 2022 — will allow the agency two more years to continue the Matthew 25 focus and to carry out no small number of other worthy ministries, too.
During a time of great anxiety, grieving and loneliness brought on by the coronavirus, the corporate work of the Presbyterian Church (U.SA.) goes on, even as circumstances are trying and innovation and collaboration have become valuable traits.
LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board will meet via Zoom Wednesday though Friday. The agenda, available here, includes a 2021-22 budget presentation and discussion, a presentation on the coronavirus and its implications for ministry, and a feasibility study report on fundraising for Stony Point Center, which was being studied for a $10.3 million capital improvement campaign.
Wednesday’s Zoom call runs from 1:30 p.m. through 5 p.m., with a closed session scheduled from 3:45 p.m. through the 5 p.m. recess. The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, the PMA’s president and executive director, will make a budget presentation beginning at 2:20. Board members will have time to respond to her presentation before entering into closed session.
On Thursday, the board’s administrative committees (Personnel & Nominating and Resource Allocation & Stewardship) will meet separately at 10 a.m., with the board’s three program committees (Mid Councils, Nurture the Body and Outreach to the World) meeting separately at 11:30 a.m. The board meets in a plenary session beginning at 2 p.m., with the coronavirus presentation set to begin at 2:15 p.m. Thursday’s recess is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. No closed session is scheduled for that day.
On Friday, the board will consider committee reports beginning at 10:20 a.m. The Stony Point Feasibility Study Report is scheduled for 11 a.m., with prayer and then adjournment scheduled for noon.
The proposed unified budget — per capita, mission and Administrative Services Group — is about $90.5 million for 2021 and about $92.6 million for 2022. Those budget figures must be approved by the 224th General Assembly, which is scheduled to meet June 20-27 but could well occur during a June videoconference owing to the pandemic.
The proposed budgets are based on a pending apportionment rate of $9.99 in 2021 and $10.50 in 2022, reflecting a membership reduction of 4.5% year-over-year.
The budgets can be viewed independently, according to the report by the board’s Resource Allocation & Stewardship Committee, “but the underlying numbers and assumptions show the support and connectivity of each budget.”
Under the budget proposal, all new unexpected, unrestricted gifts or bequests of more than $50,000 received by the A Corporation will be shared according to a cost allocation formula of 20% to OGA and 80% to PMA.
Investment revenue makes up 21% of the revenue budgets for each year of the two-year budget cycle. Other income, such as income from the sale of offering envelopes and sales generated from everything including copies of Presbyterians Today and the Presbyterian Planning Calendar, are forecast to generate 18% of the 2021 revenue and 19% the following year’s revenue.
The proposed budget includes 533 full-time staff and 51 part-time staff. Salaries are budgeted to increase by 3% per year.
Stony Point Center
Following a study on fundraising by a consultant, CCS Fundraising, the board’s Coordinating Committee is recommending, “in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic which causes us to proceed carefully regarding our next steps,” that the board authorize Moffett to:
• Implement a focused exploratory planning phase for a multi-year national campaign, with a Northeast regional focus, that has a preliminary working goal of $4 million plus a campaign budget, down from the $10.3 million originally envisioned.
• Engage “strong volunteer campaign leadership with an emphasis on a diverse group of individuals who have the interest and capacity to open doors to gifts for Stony Point.”
• Enact initial Matthew 25 programming at Stony Point Center before going public with the campaign.
• Approve priorities as recommended by the other consultant on the project, Run River, including private bathrooms in lodges; solar power; landscaping; other facility upgrades, such as window replacement, keycards and a commercial laundry; and enhancements to the Evergreen building, to modernize administration, conference and dining spaces.
According to a 2020 Baseline Year report prepared by PMA’s Theology, Formation & Evangelism, the pandemic has placed on hold or significantly altered work on a number of projects, including development of marketing, financial and development plans; staff structure; and site/facility improvements.
“The current disruption of business at Stony Point Center is clearly a crisis,” the report states. “The impact on finances, staffing and groups is plainly catastrophic. It will require heroic and creative solutions from many persons.”
But it’s also an operational crisis, “and every possible operational response must be fully explored. It should only be a measure of extreme last resort to change strategy as a result of an operational issue. Strategy may be slowed and may need to be adjusted but should not be sacrificed … Reconfiguring staff, developing programmatic initiatives and making improvements to facilities should all continue to proceed on as realistic a schedule as possible.”
It’s been more than three weeks since most of the employees of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) packed up their offices and left the building because of COVID-19. While the building may be closed, employees who work at the Presbyterian Center are actively engaged and continue to be available to assist Presbyterians across the country.
The following is revised and updated from a Presbyterian News Service article published March 11:
As the COVID-19/coronavirus outbreak advances, congregations are responding in creative and highly effective ways. Given strong guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and federal, state, and local governments against gathering in person, many have chosen live-streaming or pre-recorded modified services as a way to glorify God together, stay connected as the body of Christ, and seek the healing work of the Spirit.
Like many small businesses, the dynamics of the coronavirus pandemic are putting a strain on a lot of churches — some of which were already hanging on by a thread.
Dressed in the white robes of Easter, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II and the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett — together with remote appearances by the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann and Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri, Co-Moderators of the 223rd General Assembly — leave little doubt in a worship video set for release April 9 that the good news of Christ’s resurrection transcends the despair, economic deprivation and isolation brought on by the coronavirus.