Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation Board members update one another on the goings-on around the Church

The board also nominates A Corp President Kathy Lueckert for a second four-year term

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — As is their custom, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation Board of Directors launched day two of their meeting Friday by reporting to one another the progress of the various PC(USA) boards and commissions on which they sit.

The Advocacy Committee for Women and Gender Justice has been crafting statements taking issue with recent laws denying rights to transgender people in several states and the harm those laws are causing, reported JoAnne Sharp, noting that the Spirit of GA Facebook page had recently posted a discussion video on the topic.

The committee also plans to release resources for use by faith communities and mid councils on General Assembly action last summer regarding family leave policy.

Kerry Rice, Deputy Stated Clerk in the Office of the General Assembly, reported on recent efforts by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly to recruit candidates for the Acting Stated Clerk position following last month’s announcement of the resignation of the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, which will be effective June 30. At the same time, COGA is planning for yet another version of the General Assembly in 2024, the fourth such variety in six years. OGA staff is headed to Salt Lake City, Utah, next week to meet with staff and members of the Presbytery of Utah.

Representing the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation board, the Rev. Rebecca Kirkpatrick said the board spent time last month speaking with staff “about visioning and how best to understand the role of PPC in the world of the PC(USA), especially what the church needs us to be publishing.” Sales have been good of late, Kirkpatrick said. Based on a calculation that $50,000 in royalties were not paid to composers of African American and Indigenous music contained in the Glory to God Hymnal, the PPC board endorsed $50,000 in payments to four historically African American churches in Louisville and the non-geographic Presbytery of Dakota.

The Rev. Bill Teng, a member of the Unification Commission, reported the commission is set to meet again at 3 p.m. Eastern Time on Saturday. Teng described the commission’s approach as “listening and trying to find our way forward.”

One key decision, said Rice, who helps staff the commission, is whether commissioners will decide to focus on rewriting the Organization for Mission and then determine a structure of a combined OGA and Presbyterian Mission Agency to reflect that, or first focus on the restructuring and then write an Organization for Mission to reflect that. “Each is a legitimate approach,” Rice said.

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

Also important, A Corp President Kathy Lueckert said, is, “What does the 226th General Assembly (2024) expect to hear?” in the Unification Commission’s interim report. “What kind of input will the commission give to the 2025-26 budget process?” she asked. “There are a lot of moving pieces.” The June 22-24 commission meeting, which will be held in person at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, “will be critical,” said Lueckert, also a staff member to the commission along with the PMA’s Deputy Executive Director for Administration, Barry Creech. “Stay tuned.”

“This is going to be a defining moment for the denomination,” said Bridget-Anne Hampden, A Corp Board co-chair, asking board members to keep the commission and the Funding Model Development Team in their prayers. That team met two weeks ago in Chicago, reported the Rev. Heidi Bolt, co-chair of the A Corp Board, and has heard “a lot” about the funding squeeze felt by presbyteries when per-capita dollars don’t come in at expected levels. The team is developing experiments to try with a handful of mid council partners beginning this fall. Like the Unification Commission, the team will submit an interim report to the 226th General Assembly next spring and its final report to the 227th General Assembly in 2026. “We work closely with the Unification Commission,” Bolt said. “Any kind of funding model will be tied to the work the Unification Commission is doing.”

Four more years

Following a closed session, the board announced it had voted to elect Lueckert to a second four-year term as president beginning Aug. 12. In the same announcement, the board said it will recommend that the 226th General Assembly (2024) confirm Lueckert’s four-year term.

The Rev. Jason Micheli

Board members also elected their colleague, the Rev. Jason Micheli, as co-chair of the board for a two-year term to start on July 1. Micheli is designated general presbyter for the Presbytery of Santa Barbara.

Money matters

Ian Hall, the A Corp’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, and Denise Hampton, controller of the PC(USA), took the board through some financial reports. Through March 31, the A Corp — the corporate expression of the PC(USA) — had $26.7 million in income, or $5.1 million higher than budgeted, and had spent $14 million, or $4.7 million under budget. Higher than expected income came in part from the generosity Presbyterians have been showing for ministries including Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. For the first quarter, investment return was $3.4 million greater than budget.

On the expense side, salaries and benefits were $1 million less than budget due to position vacancies. Administration expenses were $2.1 million less than budget, with much of that in ministries including Information Technology.

“Historically we have underspent on Information Technology. We are not going to do that anymore,” Hall said, filling the board in shortly after than on the progress being made using an Information Technology roadmap and acknowledging the hiring of the Administrative Services Group’s new IT director, Dr. Lawrence Williams. In fact, the board may be asked for additional IT funding sometime in 2023, Hall said.

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.