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The PC(USA), A Corporation Board is briefed on 2025-26 unified budget proposal

Proposal includes $5 million in ‘reduction objectives’

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — On Thursday, members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation Board of Directors were briefed on the proposed unified budgets for 2025 and 2026, budgets that will authorize the upcoming work not only of the Administrative Services Group, but the Presbyterian Mission Agency and Office of the General Assembly as those two entities continue to unify under the guidance of the Unification Commission.

The unified budget proposals will be voted on Tuesday during a joint meeting of the PMA Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly, meeting in Salt Lake City, Utah, and the A Corp Board, which will participate via Zoom.

A Corp President Kathy Lueckert called the budget proposal “quite a departure from the way we’ve always done budgets. The Unification Commission was clear they wanted a unified budget, and we took that to heart.”

“It’s not perfect,” Lueckert told board members, “but it’s a really good snapshot for how the work will be carried out.”

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

Last week, Lueckert joined the Acting Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), the Rev. Bronwen Boswell, and the Rev. Dr. Diane Givens Moffett, president and executive director of the PMA, to present the unified budget proposal to national church staff.

Ian Hall, the PC(USA)’s chief financial officer and chief operating officer, told the board the Unification Commission asked for proposed budgets for 2025 and 2026 based on the actual expenses of 2023 plus inflation of 4.1% per year. A new unified reserve policy — which the board approved Thursday — is fully funded.

The budget proposal projects about $94.2 million in revenue during 2025 and $94.3 million in 2026. Including reduction objectives of $3 million the first year and $2 million the second year, expenses are projected to be about $91.2 million in 2025 and $93.8 million in 2026.

Under the proposal, expenses by programs include, with approximate percentages:

  • Support of mid councils, 10%
  • Leadership development, 15%
  • Unifying, 2%
  • Reparative justice, 12%
  • Life of the communion, 14%
  • Strategic partnerships, 9%
  • Operations, 35%
  • Additional work, 2%

The proposal includes a surplus of $3 million in 2025 to pay for an anticipated drop in contributions in 2026 of about $2.9 million.

Ian Hall is the PC(USA)’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer. (Contributed photo)

“There is still a lot to figure out,” Hall said, giving credit to the team that worked hard over the last 10 weeks or so to prepare a unified budget proposal in a way that hadn’t been done before by any of the three entities. “We are still in the middle of unifying PMA and OGA.”

Lueckert and leaders of both the OGA and PMA have committed to bring to the Unification Commission by October a plan to achieve the $5 million reduction objective.

“We don’t know what the structure looks like in 2026,” Hall said. “That’s part of the puzzle yet to be solved.”

“It’s definitely a work in progress,” Lueckert said.

The Rev. Bronwen Boswell (photo by Rich Copley)


“We were conscious of the fact that these are the priorities for 2025 and 2026,” Boswell told the board, meeting via Zoom. “We anticipate some of the priorities will shift in some way. These are the ones we saw growing out of the work that had been given us.”

Speaking to the reduction objectives, Hall said, “I think everyone is in agreement this work has to be done, and it’s not going to be easy work. It wouldn’t be responsible to try to make those reductions right now without knowing the structure and the future. The commitment is to work back and forth with the Unification Commission by October … and have the plan approved by the Unification Commission so we have some time to implement structural change” beginning as soon as the final months of 2024.

“Lots of ideas came forward to meet those reduction objectives, but all of them needed more conversation,” Lueckert said. “They were good ideas that couldn’t move forward without reassessing whether they make sense for unification and follow the right process for the agencies.”

“Rather than rushing something,” Lueckert said, “we used this reduction option to give ourselves a little more time and have more dialogue with the Unification Commission.”

ASG budget

Denise Hampton, the PC(USA)’s controller, walked board members through proposed ASG budgets for 2025 and 2026. Funding, provided under an 80/20 split between PMA and OGA for the services ASG provides to both entities, is expected to be about $24.2 million in 2025 and $25.2 million in 2026. Expenses will match revenues.

Hampton said the budget proposal includes 3% salary increases each year and 7.1% dues increases each year from the Board of Pensions.

Reserve policy

Rather than wait until their August meeting, directors voted to adopt the reserve policy as proposed. The good news, Hall said, is that the reserves are fully funded.

“That’s something we should very much celebrate,” Hall said. “Going into a new structure with a fully funded reserve, that’s something to celebrate.”

The unified reserve fund has three categories: Operational Reserve, about $14.6 million; Capital Replacement Reserve, $3.5 million, and Determined Risk Reserve, about $2.6 million. That last fund has four components: a Program Continuity Reserve, a Property Management Reserve, Insurance Retention Reserve, and Mission Personnel Reserve.

Comments on GA overtures and reports

Board members approved comment on an overture by the Presbytery of Des Moines to conduct a churchwide study to examine the frequency of churches experiencing financial hardships over rising insurance costs. The comment says any recommendations based on the study “should be developed in consultation with the unified New Agency, and this will be reported to the 228th General Assembly (2028).”

They also voted to support and endorse the Special Offerings Task Force Report. “The recommendations will give strategic flexibility and latitude to decision makers in the unified agency that will emerge in 2026,” the comment states. “As the entity charged with promoting the Churchwide Special Offerings, A Corporation believes that the recommendations will position the entire program for continued success in this time in the life of the denomination.”

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