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Proposed mission budget for discussion at PMAB meeting

Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency; Matt Schramm, chair of the Presbyterian Agency Mission Board; and Arthur Canada, the board's vice-chair, consider business at the start of the board's executive committee meeting April 23.
Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency; Matt Schramm, chair of the Presbyterian Agency Mission Board; and Arthur Canada, the board’s vice-chair, consider business at the start of the board’s executive committee meeting April 23.

The mission budget for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for the next two years would stand at $73.6 million for 2015 and $78.2 million for 2016. That compares with a mission budget for 2014 of $79.9 million – a drop of more than $6 million in the first year and a reflection of both declining giving to the church and declining membership.

What that might mean for possible staff cuts or layouts, or for the future of particular denominational programs or initiatives, has not yet been spelled out.

The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board is expected to vote on the proposed budget at its meeting April 23-25 in Louisville and has scheduled part of its time for closed-door discussion – which sometimes happens when job or programmatic cuts are pending. The denomination’s budget also would need approval from the General Assembly in June.

Limited details are given in a budget document now publicly available. Among them:

  • The budgets call for drawing $2.1 million in 2015 and $2.4 million in 2016 from the denomination’s reserves.
  • Money is included for the denomination’s push to establish 1,001 new worshipping communities, with $4.6 million in 2015 and $4.9 million in 2016.
  • The budget reflects costs for 165 mission co-workers for both years.
  • Some of the reductions are due to declines in per capita revenues – the per-member amount which churches are asked to pay, and which declines as congregational membership drops or churches leave the denomination. In 2012, the latest year for which statistics are available, PC(USA) membership slid to just over 1.8 million members, a decline of more than 102,000 members over the previous year and down from more than 3.1 million when the northern and southern branches of Presbyterianism merged in 1983.

 

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