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Committee, financial and presidential reports round out the final day of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation Board meeting

A market upturn has driven up income during the first nine months of 2023

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

Photo by via Unsplash

LOUISVILLE — The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation Board completed its work Friday by approving committee reports and hearing from A Corp President Kathy Lueckert and Denise Hampton, the A Corp’s controller, who discussed the financial picture through Sept. 30.

The Audit, Legal and Risk Management Committee had no consent or action items — only three informational items.

The Nominating, Governance and Personnel Committee presented manse allowances for approval as well as revisions to the A Corporation Employee Handbook to be effective Jan. 1, 2024.

Those changes to the handbook include equalizing Notice Pay for exempt and non-exempt employees at 26 weeks, removing a cap of 640 hours of sick leave, discontinuing emergency leave since most employees have used them as vacation days, implementing a new section on Family and Medical Leave, and changing the Technology Policy clarifying that employees may not use A Corporation devices to download songs, movies or other materials for personal use.

The Finance, Operations and Budget Committee had a pair of action items, both related to authorizing signers for accounts.

Financial reports

As of Sept. 30, the A Corp’s total assets were $709 million, a decrease of $6.5 million from September 2022, Hampton said.

For the first nine months of 2023, income was $81.4 million, an increase of nearly $30 million over the same period during the previous year. That was primarily due to year-to-date unrealized market gains, Hampton said. Investment return is $25.5 million greater than the budget.

This year’s total expenses are $13.7 million less than the budget and $2.2 million more than last year’s expenses. Salaries and benefits are $2.7 million less than budget due to position vacancies. Administration expenses are $3.8 million less than budget — $1.4 million in underspending by the Presbyterian Mission Agency, $400,000 by the Office of the General Assembly and $2 million by the Administrative Services Group.

Compared to the budget, grant expenses are $3.7 million lower than budget due to fewer grants in student financial aid; Compassion, Peace & Justice; Theology, Formation & Evangelism; and World Mission than budgeted.

The Administrative Services Group Business Plan for 2023 is seeing “good progress,” Lueckert said. “The report you’ll see in February hopefully will have most of those goals ticked off.”

Kathy Lueckert is president of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation. (Contributed photo)

Plans for the 226th General Assembly are also coming along nicely, she said. Most committee leaders will be on hand in Salt Lake City even while helping to facilitate online committee meetings. There will be no exhibit hall, and plenary sessions will be held in a ballroom rather than a large arena. “It will have a very different feel,” Lueckert told the board.

During a recent ASG retreat this past week, attendees watched a video by Simon Sinek about purpose that lasts. Sinek pointed to three lasting elements: being resilient, inclusive and service- oriented. “It struck me that helping ministries that flourish fit those three requirements,” Lueckert told the board.

The board entered into closed session to discuss personnel, property and security matters. Board members emerged from closed session and took no action.

The board will meet next via Zoom on Feb. 8-9, 2024, via Zoom.

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