Committee approves proposed Presbyterian Mission Agency budgets for 2023 and 2024

The Resource Allocation and Stewardship Committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency applauded Rosemary Mitchell, senior director of mission engagement and support, for her service to the church. Mitchell plans to retire in June. Screenshot by Leslie Scanlon.

One piece of business coming to the 2022 General Assembly this summer: approval of new budgets for PC(USA) agencies for 2023 and 2024.

While no agreement was reached on a unified budget – with all sources of income and all expenses combined, indicating agreement on priorities and a single vision across agencies – the boards of the PC(USA) agencies are beginning the process of approving their budgets for the next two years to get them ready for General Assembly consideration.

On April 13, the Resource Allocation and Stewardship Committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board voted to approve a proposed mission budget of $70.1 million for 2023 and $70.8 million for 2024 for the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA). That proposed budget will go to the full PMA board for its approval during an April 27 Zoom meeting.

Diane Moffett. Screenshot by Leslie Scanlon.

On May 2, the PMA board will meet jointly with the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) and the board of the PC(USA), A Corporation to approve a unified budget presentation and a recommended General Assembly per capita rate for 2023 and 2024.

The proposed PMA budget includes about $54.6 million in revenue for 2023 and $70.1 million in expenses — so it will be balanced by using designated and restricted funds from prior years.

About $45.9 million in 2023 and $46.7 million in 2024 is listed in the budget as specifically supporting PMA’s commitment to being a Matthew 25 church — with $16.6 million in 2023 for building congregational vitality and supporting new worshipping communities; $12.7 million for dismantling structural racism; and $16.6 million for eradicating systemic poverty.

About 17% of the budget goes for administrative and other support work.

Screenshot by Leslie Scanlon.

This is a high-level budget document — for the most part, there are not line items for specific projects or initiatives below the department level.

Diane Moffett, PMA’s president and executive director, told the PMA committee that the budget also includes funding for “critical intersections” of work that the PMA board approved in February — meaning an emphasis on work involving gender justice and heteropatriarchy, militarism, and climate change. “We have listened for God’s voice and to God’s people,” Moffett said.

Despite the difficulties posed by the COVID-19 pandemic and world events, Moffett spoke of reasons for optimism in the PC(USA), including commitments from congregations and mid councils to participate in the Matthew 25 initiative.

Screenshot by Leslie Scanlon.

Moffett also said the budget provides:

  • Support for about 75 mission co-workers serving internationally.
  • Funding for building “deep, long-term relationships” with 20 congregations, mid councils or international partners — projects that will be initiated through the new Center for Repair of Historical Harm.
  • Funding for a new Office of Innovation
  • Funding for some regional gatherings of young Presbyterians — money that will be made available since the 2022 Youth Triennium was canceled because of the pandemic, and the next Triennium won’t be held until 2025.
Kathy Maurer. Screenshot by Leslie Scanlon.

Denise Hampton, the PC(USA)’s controller, said PMA ended 2021 with about $8 million more in revenue than expected (A.200-Management-Report-as-of-December-31-2021)— mostly because of restricted giving through One Great Hour of Sharing ($2.8 million over budget) and to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance ($3.8 million over budget, in part because of giving for hurricane relief work).

Total expenditures were about $14.6 million under budget, in part because of a pandemic-related ban on staff travel. And the 2020 General Assembly approved a PMA budget that reduced expenses by $8.2 million in 2021 and $6.8 million in 2022 — anticipating that giving might decline because of the pandemic.

Rosemary Mitchell, senior director of mission engagement and support, also told the committee that the first quarter of 2022 has seen “an outpouring of generosity from Presbyterians in response to the war in Ukraine. We can’t say enough about just incredible gifts, of all sizes, from folks.”