COGA approves updates to PHS mission statement, strategic plan

With the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly's approval, the Presbyterian Historical Society's mission statement now emphasizes: “Collect, Preserve, Share, Transform.”

An updated mission statement and strategic plan for the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) was approved Thursday by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA), ending a nearly three-year, COVID-interrupted process.

PHS Executive Director Nancy J. Taylor, in presenting the updated statement to the committee for final approval, noted there wasn’t a lot of significant change other than adding some language from the PC(USA)’s A Brief Statement of Faith and adding a fourth emphasis to its mission statement — “Transform,” so that it now reads “Collect, Preserve, Share, Transform.”

The Mission Statement, which is posted on the PHS website, now reads: 

“The Presbyterian Historical Society leverages its collections and archival work to galvanize the transformative power of history in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and wider community.

  • We collaborate with entities and individuals to gather and share a full record of the past, allowing us to hear the voices of peoples long silenced.
  • We provide broad and equitable access to our collections and resources.
  • We foster reconciliation and repair in the PC(USA) and wider community through programs and resources that support the call to work with others for justice, freedom, and peace.”

The goals and objectives set out specific ways those will be addressed in the next three years. 

The transformation goal says: “Transforming ourselves and our communities through the power of history starts with the imperative to ask critical questions about our received past. We may find biased narratives and gaps that do not adequately represent lived experiences, but we will also discover voices and images that resonate powerfully in the present.”

“We commit ourselves to developing programs and resources that realize the transformative power of history and advance the witness of the PC(USA).”

Thursday’s meeting was held virtually, as will its next meeting on Feb. 15-16, 2024.