LOUISVILLE (Outlook) – The executive committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency board heard some good news Sept. 13 – including that Stony Point Center in New York may possibly break even financially in 2016 and that unrestricted revenues for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) were about $1 million above projections as of June 30.
The committee took the first step towards approving the plan to transfer responsibility for operating the Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center in northern New Mexico to the National Ghost Ranch Foundation.
The committee also voted its approval of a measure that – if approved by the full board later this week – would authorize the Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) committee to co-file a shareholder resolution regarding drug pricing in the pharmaceutical industry.
The recommendation states that working with the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, MRTI is interested in co-filing a resolution with one of its ecumenical partners, Mercy Investment Services, the socially responsible asset management program of the Roman Catholic Sisters of Mercy.
The resolution states, “the exact companies in the pharmaceutical industry included in the overall ecumenical engagement strategy will be determined later this fall.”
Sara Lisherness, director of Compassion, Peace and Justice for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, said this is an example of MRTI’s “tenacious work” to encourage more just practices in the corporate world, with the pricing controversy over the Epi-Pen, used to treat severe allergic reactions, being a recent example.
In order to engage with a new cohort of companies, Lisherness said, MRTI needs approval from the board.
The executive committee moved briskly through a pile of business – hearing reports on the range of business that will come to the board at its meeting in Louisville Sept. 13-16.
Earline Williams, the PC(USA)’s chief financial officer, reported that shared mission support for the PC(USA) came in about $1 million over budget – thanks largely to an unrestricted bequest from Washington Presbytery in Pennsylvania. She praised the denomination’s mid councils for their efforts to raise money to support Presbyterian mission.
Expenses for the Presbyterian Mission Agency ran about $2 million under budget for the same time period. And Stony Point is expected to hit its financial benchmarks for 2016 – and may even turn a small profit, said Chip Hardwick, director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism, calling that “a really remarkable turnaround.”
After new member orientation during the afternoon, the full board will hold convene in plenary on the evening of Sept. 13, starting with a worship service led by the PC(USA)’s new stated clerk, J. Herbert Nelson. Here’s the agenda for the meeting and a sense of what’s to come.