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GA News: Leaders for foundation, PILP, and publishing confirmed

SAN JOSE – Leadership is a big deal at this year’s General Assembly – with the election June 21 of Bruce Reyes-Chow, the young, tech-savvy pastor of a multicultural church, as moderator, and with the assembly scheduled to pick a new stated clerk on June 27.


            But the 218th General Assembly also confirmed some other appointments of church leaders on June 25 – those of the Presbyterian Foundation; the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program; and the Presbyterian Publishing Corp., all on votes with no discussion and no dissent.

Foundation. The assembly confirmed Robert E. Leech, president and chief executive officer of the Presbyterian Foundation, for another four-year term.

Leech, a Presbyterian elder who worked for years in the banking industry, told the assembly that the Foundation last year distributed $85 million for congregations, seminaries, retirement homes and others to use. And the Foundation distributed $35 million to the General Assembly Council, about a third of the council’s budget.

“There is much more to do,” Leech said – including encouraging older Presbyterians to develop endowment funds and starting new initiatives with young people.

This year, for example, the Foundation sponsored the Youth Video Challenge, a contest linked to the Foundation’s social networking site, In the contest, church youth groups submitted videos in an effort to win one of three $25,000 endowment funds, which will be used to financially support youth ministry at the winning congregations.

The winning videos, Leech told the assembly, came from Central Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, Ind.; Elmwood United Presbyterian Church in East Orange, N.J. and Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Long Beach, Calif. People can view the videos from all 15 finalists online.

Investment and Loan. The assembly confirmed James L. (Jay) Hudson to a second four-year term as president of the PC(USA)’s Investment and Loan Program, known as PILP

Hudson said he wants PILP to be “the first source that comes to mind” when congregations or middle governing bodies consider capital projects or construction. And Hudson said he wants PILP to grow its investor fund loan portfolio to $100 million by 2011, up from about $56 million now.

Publishing. And the assembly confirmed Marc Lewis, a veteran of the United Methodist Publishing House, as president and publisher of the Presbyterian Publishing Corp. Lewis said the Presbyterian Publishing Corp. already has a “wonderfully talented staff” and attracts “the very best authors in the field,” and he hopes to make the enterprise even more innovative.

“I greatly covet your support and I especially covet your prayers,” Lewis said.