It’s called the Mission Work Plan. It’s the big-picture document that will set the priorities the Presbyterian Mission Agency board will use to create the mission budget for 2017 and 2018 for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The actual vote on the budget – and any program cuts or job reductions for the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) staff, which are expected – will come at the board’s meeting April 27-29. The PC(USA) mission budget then will go to the General Assembly in June for its consideration. On Feb. 4, the board will vote on the Mission Work Plan – which will set the directional goals that will govern the creation of actual budgets.
The proposed new Mission Work Plan has been developed by a group of senior PMA staff, working in conjunction with a group from the Presbyterian Mission Agency board. The proposal is being presented to the full board Feb. 3, and the board is expected to vote on the document Feb. 4.
Here’s some background on what’s being proposed.
Vision and mission statements: They will remain unchanged from the current Mission Work Plan (in effect from 2013 to the present).
Directional goals: The proposal is to drop from six directional goals to three:
- Evangelism and discipleship.
- Servant leader formation.
- Justice and reconciliation.
Tony De La Rosa, the PMA’s interim executive director, said in an interview that in the current plan’s structure, “a department would sort of hang its hat on one of those directional goals.” That led too much to a silo structure, rather than departments working as collaboratively as they could, De La Rosa said. “There wasn’t a sense of a cohesive organizational vision.”
Theological foundation: The theological underpinnings of the plan are being more clearly articulated – built around the Six Great Ends of the Church as listed in the PC(USA) constitution. “We recognize that we are not called to do every single one of the great ends” alone from the church’s national offices, De La Rosa said.
The proposed work plan states that “we know that we are not solely responsible for the achievement of all these Great Ends” but to “be faithful stewards of God’s blessings by focusing only on what the Church needs from the national church today.”
Core values: Since arriving in December, De La Rosa initiated a “values identification exercise” for the PMA staff – asking staff members to select their top choices from a list of potential core values. First they listed 10 values they held as personally important – then selected five they felt were expressed or advanced by their work at the PMA. From that, the list of core values emerged – that the PMA is a Christian ministry which values faith, compassion, accountability, teamwork, dedication, service and justice, with faith being the top value that employees listed.
Feedback: The board also will consider the results of feedback collected in three ways, from:
- A survey of commissioners and advisory delegates to the 2014 General Assembly – which gives a reflection of what those at the presbytery level think the focus of the national church ought to be.
- Listening sessions held in recent months with selected PMA staff members, constituencies of PC(USA) programs, Presbyterian Mission Agency board members and related committees.
- A priorities-setting exercise the Presbyterian Mission Agency board conducted at its meeting last September regarding programs funded significantly with unrestricted dollars.
“None of this is designed to dictate a specific outcome,” De La Rosa said of the feedback collection exercises. The results are “intended to inform the process, but not dictate.”
Download the proposed 2017-2018 Mission Work Plan.
These reports are being presented to the Presbyterian Mission Agency board on Feb. 3. The executive committee approved the Mission Work plan this morning. The Outlook will update its coverage of this issue as the meeting proceeds.