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Projection: PC(USA) revenues will be down about $9 million in 2020 due to COVID-19

A Corp Board wraps up its three-day meeting with a flurry of reports

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — During Friday’s wrap-up of three days of online meetings, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation Board of Directors circled back to the topic of financial projections in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Denise Hampton, the PC(USA)’s controller, reported that for the period March through July, per capita giving in 2020 was down 22% from the same period in 2019 — about $4.1 million in 2020 and about $5.3 million in 2019.

Contributions to the Presbyterian Mission Agency were down 30% — about $9.9 million during the current year after nearly $14.1 million during the same five-month period in 2019.

Those two agencies are the largest clients of the A Corp’s Administrative Services Group, which provides services including legal, human resources, information technology, building and other services to those and other client partners. Including investments and other income, total revenue is expected to be about $9.1 million less than anticipated on projected revenue for 2020 of nearly $62.5 million against a budgeted amount of nearly $71.6 million.

“But things change so quickly,” A Corp President Kathy Lueckert told the board, “we might be in a different place next month.”

“We are trying to make projections about what to do this fall,” she said, “and manage our cash at the same time. It’s a little bit of a juggling act right now.”

The Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky, remains largely empty, with nearly 500 employees working from home since late March. (Photo by Randy Hobson)

The board was presented a handful of other brief reports before entering into closed session as it had both Wednesday and Thursday. Among those reports:

  • Administrative Services Group’s 2020 Business Plan: The pandemic has slowed work on some initiatives, but to date work on 23 of the 88 items on the 12-page list have been completed, with others in progress. “I wrote early in the year that 2020 is going to be quite a year,” Lueckert told the board. “If I’d only known how prescient I was!”
  • Global Language Resources used staff and contract linguists to translate nearly 350,000 words in the two months leading up to the historic online 224th General Assembly. That’s almost twice the length of the King James Version of the New Testament. In June, GLR provided simultaneous interpreting of all the assembly’s plenary sessions using the Zoom integrated interpreting feature. GLR is set to hire one additional translator each for both Spanish- and Korean-speaking Presbyterians.
  • COVID-19 update: The good news to date, a report states, is there’s been just one incident of a person with antibodies who came to the Presbyterian Center in Louisville, Kentucky, during the pandemic. Tests showed the person was not infected. Nonetheless, a vendor provided a deep cleaning and disinfecting of the affected floor as a precaution. All staff has been teleworking at home since March 23, except for the staff of Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program, who must come to the office for a day or two each week since their work is akin to a mortgage bank. Heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems have been upgraded to maximize airflow. A Corp expects telework to continue into 2021 as well as the bans on travel and in-person meetings.
  • Meeting dates: The A Corp Board will meet via Zoom Oct. 15-16. Four meetings have been set for 2021: Feb. 11-12, May 19-20, Aug. 26-27 and Oct. 28-29. If the board holds an in-person meeting next year, it would be the Aug. 26-27 meeting.

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