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new church development
In 2000, eight retirees led an effort to plant a new Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in the mountains of north Georgia. Today, Faith Presbyterian Church – Blue Ridge has 159 members and is one of the fastest-growing congregations in Cherokee Presbytery and the Synod of the South Atlantic. Last year, Sunday morning worship attendance averaged 109.
As congregations change and traditional church buildings age, the question of what to do about buildings and property becomes paramount. Older congregations wonder if they should continue allowing the building to provide a sanctuary for the members who had sustained it. And new church development leaders must decide whether to commit to bricks and mortar or continue renting space even though the weekly setup and cleanup can siphon off energy that could be used in other ways.
The legacy of a woman known for her dedication to Presbyterian mission is living on through Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) grants that bear her name.
The woman, Joan Chen Fong, died earlier this year 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.
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.