On the eve of the assembly, Moving Forward commission releases administrative supplement

Commission will ask the GA to allow it to continue to take actions on its own through GA225

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — On one of the final days before commissioners to the 224th General Assembly (2020) will be asked to change it from a commission that can take actions on its own to a committee that makes recommendations, the Moving Forward Implementation Commission on Thursday issued a five-page administrative supplement.

According to a memo from MFIC’s co-chairs, the Rev. Larryetta Ellis and Marco Grimaldo, the commission is taking five actions:

  1. It directs the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, the President and Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, and the President of the A Corporation, Kathy Lueckert, to create a coordination table comprised of the entities under the A Corp. The coordination table will focus on responses to GA mandates and actions, ongoing and emerging vision and the development of a unified budget process. Permanent membership will include executive leadership, senior staff and committee and board leadership.
  2. MFIC suspends Appendix A of the Organization for Mission beginning at the conclusion of the upcoming assembly through the 225th General Assembly. MFIC says language in Appendix A prevents the Administrative Services Group, the Office of the General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency from “living into” the vision to develop unified budgets every two years. “The unified budget shall provide a mutuality of focus, efficiencies in processes and movement towards a shared vision as well as a sharing of all resources to meet the financial needs of all A-Corporation entities,” the administrative supplement states.
  3. MFIC directs the agencies and entities of the PC(USA) to continue the work of the Diverse Voices Table through the 225th General Assembly, with coordination, oversight and reporting to occur through MFIC. Diverse Voices Table tasks will include ensuring “that the equity and inclusion lens is included” and communicating regularly with the boards and executives of its constituent entities.
  4. MFIC directs the PMA Board “to revise the board manuals, bylaws, Organization for Mission and all other governing documents and/or policies” to reflect an action MFIC took in June 2019. The specific edits have to do with the PMA Board’s Property/Legal Committee.
  5. MFIC recommends that the Stated Clerk, the OGA and the General Assembly Nominating Committee suspend the process of agency reviews until the 225th Assembly “in order to create a sustainable model for review processes for the six agencies of the PC(USA) and A Corporation.” That recommendation is based on what the commission calls “the current context brought about by the coronavirus crisis,” which has “shifted operational and missional dynamics significantly.”

MFIC said it seeks “to encourage the agencies in the time of fiscal challenges to be bold and broadly collaborative. We challenge especially OGA, PMA and ASG to live into the values of openness, collaboration and transparency.” The supplement says MFIC has three hopes:

  • That PMA and OGA will “continue to explore the possibility of merger and other actions,” such as the possibility of moving Mission Engagement & Support to ASG, “as they seek answers to the likely budget shortfalls and other challenges ahead.”
  • That together with the Special Committee on Financial Sustainability and Per Capita, “we will present options to GA225 for more effective means of both budgeting and funds development.”
  • That PMA, OGA and ASG “will work together on issues related to agency culture, recognizing the ways in which their respective responsibilities fit together and resolving concerns in mutually supportive ways that allow each to excel to the glory of God.”

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