SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Outlook) – The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board whizzed through a pile of business March 23 – from financial matters to appointments to help the board do its work in the months ahead. Here are some of the highlights.
Executive director search committee
The board named seven board members to serve on a search committee to look for a new executive director for the Presbyterian Mission Agency. That search committee will look for a successor for Tony De La Rosa, who is scheduled to complete his service as interim executive director of the agency in December 2017.
Nancy Ramsey, a professor at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas, will serve as chair of the committee.
Board member Marci Auld Glass, a pastor from Idaho, asked how the board will know what qualities it wants in a new executive director at a time when both the structure of the board and potentially of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) agencies is “in a bit of flux” – a reference to groups such as the Way Forward Commission and the All Agency Review Committee, which are hard at work considering what changes might be needed, including the possibility of a consolidation of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly.
Marsha Zell Anson, vice chair of the board, said the executive committee felt that having an interim executive director for two years “was probably long enough,” and the search committee will look for “someone who is a change agent,” so can respond to whatever the groups considering potential structural changes decide to propose.
The names of those appointed to serve on the search committee can be found here: G.001 Personnel and Nominating Committee
The board approved revised mission budgets of $64.2 million for 2017 (an increase of about $444,000) and $63.7 million for 2018 (an increase of about $182,000).
Acting as the board’s corporate entity, the board voted to approve the sale of property in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which the Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center in northern New Mexico had previously used for its Santa Fe conference site. The property is being sold for $3.5 million to El Castillo Retirement Residences, a nonprofit firm.
As of January 1, 2017, Presbyterian Mission Agency Board transferred responsibility for operating the 21,000-acre Ghost Ranch facility to the National Ghost Ranch Foundation, a nonprofit entity established in 1972 for the purpose of raising funds for and supporting the work of Ghost Ranch, and to transfer assets used to operate Ghost Ranch to the Presbyterian Foundation.
Ken Godshall, chair of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, told the board that “the early signs are encouraging” for the future of Ghost Ranch, with the facility operating at a surplus so far this year and with Ghost Ranch having received $4 million in pledges for its $10 million capital campaign.
Walton Award recipients
The board approved four new worshipping communities to be recipients of the 2017 Sam and Helen R. Walton Award, making each eligible for a one-time award of up to $26,250.
The Walton awards were given to:
- The bridge Presbyterian Church in Leland, North Carolina;
- Durham Presbyterian Church in Durham, North Carolina;
- Tidelands Church in Stanwood, Washington.
- Not-So-Churchy in New York City.
New task forces
The board voted to elect members to serve on two new task forces:
- An advisory task force to help develop the next mission work plan, which will guide the process of developing the PC(USA) mission budget for 2019 and 2010.
- A task force to consider the sustainability of the Stony Point Center outside New York City.
The names of those appointed to serve on those task forces can be found here: G.001 Personnel and Nominating Committee
New ministerial teams
The board voted to create two new short-term ministerial teams to consider these questions:
- How shall the Presbyterian Mission Agency respond to each of the 91 referrals that the 2016 General Assembly sent to the agency?
- “What are the three most important strategic responses the Presbyterian Mission Agency can offer to advance Christ’s prophetic and compassionate mission in a divided nation?”
The names of those appointed to the new ministerial teams can be found here: E.001 Ex. Committee Report One