The 225th General Assembly will be asked to OK unified budgets of $88.1 million in 2023 and $90.1 million in 2024
by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Meeting via Zoom Monday, the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly joined with the boards for the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation, to approve proposed unified budgets for 2023-24.
Approved Monday were unified budget requests of about $88.1 million for 2023 and about $90.1 million for 2024, which is the year the 226th General Assembly will be held.
As part of the unified budget, included were proposed General Assembly Per Capita budgets of nearly $15 million for 2023 and about $16.2 million for 2024. The recommended apportionment rates receiving approval were $9.61 for 2023 and $10.28 for 2024. Those are up from the current apportionment of $8.98.
The unified budget will in turn be considered by the 225th General Assembly this summer. Commissioners will also determine whether the 226th General Assembly will be held in person as scheduled in Salt Lake City, Utah, or by using hybrid or strictly online platforms. Each option comes at a different cost; the 2024 proposed budget assumes the 226th General Assembly will be held in person.
The Rev. Gregory Bentley, Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly (2020), moderated Monday’s joint meeting. Presenting for their respective agencies were the PMA’s president and executive director, the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett; Kerry Rice, the OGA’s deputy stated clerk; and Kathy Lueckert, A Corp president.
The unified budget assumes revenues of $71.2 million in 2023 and $72.7 million in 2024. While contributions in 2021 exceeded the anticipated amount by nearly $10 million, at $37.3 million contributions had not returned in 2021 to the 2019 level, the final year before the pandemic, which saw about $40.1 million in contributions.
On the expense side of the ledger, for 2023 16% of the expenses will go toward OGA ministry, 79% for PMA ministry and 5% to the Administrative Services Group, the staff of the A Corporation. For 2024, those percentages are 17, 78 and 5, respectively.
The proposed budget includes 418 full-time staff and 43 part-time staff. This includes OGA, PMA, ASG and mission co-workers.
Rice said at 7% per year for each of the next two years, the proposed apportionment increases are an attempt to stay slightly below the increases granted by the 223rd General Assembly in 2018, which approved a 15% increase over the two-year period 2019-20.
Moffett told the three boards that 27% of the PMA’s 2023-24 budget will go toward grants. That’s the second-largest category after salaries and benefits. New programs being implemented include the Center for Repair of Historical Harm and the Office of Innovation. “The funding rationale,” Moffett said, “is dependent on the generosity of Presbyterians.”
Speaking on behalf of the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), Rice said that the guiding values of the 2023-24 per capita budget are relationships, leadership reformation, equity and justice, innovation and courage, and being faithful and Spirit-led.
Priorities for the budget years include holding an ecclesial formation event in the summer of 2023, determining whether the OGA should pursue funding options outside of per capita, and adding five new positions after eight OGA personnel accepted buyouts in 2021.
Lueckert said A Corporation initiatives will include expanding language hospitality by hiring two additional linguists and spending more on contractors for translation and interpretation as well as getting the new conference facility at the Presbyterian Center up and running and hiring a conference center manager.
After each of the boards approved the budget actions that pertained to their agency, Bentley said it brought him joy “to see the unity expressed.” He also thanked board members for employing the technology that will be used during the upcoming Assembly.
The Rev. Bill Teng, co-chair of the A Corp board, brought the 83- minute meeting to a close with a prayer. Teng thanked God for “the collegiality expressed to glorify you. Since your abundance is without measure and cannot be contained, we pray these budgetary needs will be met by your faithful people, and your church would flourish as a result.”
You 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.
Categories: General Assembly, Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Tags: 225th general assembly (2022), a corp board, committee on the office of the general assembly, kathy lueckert, kerry rice, presbyterian mission agency board, rev. bill teng, rev. dr. diane moffett, rev. dr. j. herbert nelson ii, rev. gregory bentley, unified budget