Grants reflect Fong’s legacy
by Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation approved the recommendation of the Finance Committee to make changes to The Joan Fong New Church Development (NCD) Capital Grant and that the necessary changes be made to the Policies and Guidelines of the General Assembly Church Loan Program Endowment Funds to reflect those approved by the A Corporation.
The changes allow Joan Fong NCD Capital Grants to be awarded for non-New Church Development projects up to $150,000 or New Church Development projects of any size. In addition, the grants have been increased from a maximum of $10,000 to a maximum of $20,000. Only one Joan Fong Capital Grant can be awarded at any one church within a 10-year period.
The grants are awarded in conjunction with loans issued by the Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program (PILP) using Church Loan Program endowment funds for the purpose of construction, renovation, site purchase or building purchase. The financial condition of the borrower will be taken into consideration when awarding the grant.
Previously known as the Recycling Grant in the mid-1970s, the Joan Fong NCD Capital Grant, allows 75 percent of monies collected from the mortgage grant program to be set aside to fund up to $10,000 for a New Church Development (“NCD”) site purchase, building purchase, expansion, or renovation. The grant is awarded to borrowers of the Church Loan Program (“CLP”) and helps reduce the loan amount.
Joan Chen Fong recently died at age 59 at her home in Fremont, California, after battling lung cancer for several years. Although she never smoked, Fong was diagnosed with lung cancer caused by a genetic mutation common in Asian females.
“Joan’s dedication to and leadership on the Mission Development Resources Committee was an example to all, as was her approach to her illness”, said Jim Rissler, president of the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program. “Her faithfulness and shining spirit never dimmed throughout her courageous fight.”
She was described as a “warm-hearted, joyful, kind, dedicated and generous person with a beaming smile that radiated her faith in God.” She supported a wide range of community organizations, including those involved in the performing arts, children’s education and Christian work at the local, regional and national levels.
Fong, a member of Irvington Presbyterian Church, also served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the local and national levels. Her service to the church included: chair of the National Asian Presbyterian Women; Synod Permanent Judicial Commission, vice chair, Synod of the Pacific; Asian American Christian Fellowship; PC(USA) General Assembly committees; Presbyterian Historical Society board, Finance & Property chair, San Francisco Presbytery; and chair of the loan team of the Mission Development Resources Committee of the PC(USA).
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