PC(USA) takes major move in unifying OGA, PMA and A Corp budgets

Three PC(USA) bodies unanimously recommended “Unifying budget” to upcoming GA.

From left, the Rev. Dr. Diane Givens Moffett, the Rev. Bronwen Boswell, Ian Hall, Kathy Lueckert and the Rev. Michelle Hwang help lead Tuesday’s historic joint meeting. (Photo by Rick Jones for Presbyterian News Service)

In what leaders called a “historic moment” in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the denomination’s three key entities unanimously approved the first “unifying budget,” a major step as the church moves to merge the three into one.

Meeting together virtually via the internet and in-person in Salt Lake City, Utah, the site of this June’s 226th General Assembly, the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA), the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation (A Corp) board recommended a $91.2 million budget for 2025 and a $93.8 million budget for 2026.

Ian Hall discusses projected revenue and expense figures included in the proposed unified budget for 2025 and 2026. (Photo by Rick Jones)(Photo by Rick Jones for Presbyterian News Service)

The recommendation now goes to the Unification Commission, which oversees unifying the three agencies. If the commission also approves, the budget will be recommended to the 226th GA for approval. Any action at the assembly that would increase the budget could result in further increases in per capita, per-member assessments paid by congregations to the General Assembly. The proposed budgets include a 40-cent increase in per capita, from $9.80 to $10.20 for 2025, and an additional 42 cents to $10.62 for the following year.

The full budget presentation can be seen at this link.

Michelle Hwang, co-moderator of the PMAB, said the budget adoption was an “historic moment.”

The presentation to the committees explained budget writers labeled their work a “unifying budget” instead of a “unification budget.”

“Although unifying the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly is under way, it is incomplete and will require adjustments as we live into it,” the presentation read.

The commission has set a date of July 1, 2025, for completing the unification, although the groups’ communications offices have already been combined.

“This vision, these values, and the mission and ministry priorities articulated in this proposal help us take a major step in that direction. We offer this budget to help us grow in our work and witness to Jesus Christ and become effective in action that “seems good to the Holy Spirit and to us (Acts 15:28),” the presentation said.

The budget was developed by:

  • From the Office of the General Assembly: Bronwen Boswell, acting stated clerk; Jihyun Oh; Kerry Rice.
  • From Administrative Services Group: Kathy Lueckert, president; Lemuel Garcia; Ian Hall; Denise Hampton.
  • From the Presbyterian Mission Agency: Diane Moffett, president and executive director; Barry Creech; DeEtte Decker; Tamron Keith; Sara Lisherness; Corey Schlosser-Hall; Mienda Uriarte

Earlier, the groups were welcomed to Salt Lake City by Executive Presbyter Mirjam Haas-Melchoir, who stressed how important having the General Assembly in the Presbytery of Utah was to the churches there.

Noting the overwhelming presence and influence of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, Hass-Melchoir said, “Our churches see that that you (the denomination) support them and that you support us in our ministry. … We’re trying to show you can live a life and not be a member of the dominant religion.

“There are weird conceptions about people in Utah,” she said. “We’re hoping to dismantle those prejudices about Utah … We are here and we’re proud to be here.”

COGA will continue meeting through Thursday, mostly reviewing, and possibly commenting on, business coming before the General Assembly.

Update: On Thursday, May 9, the Unification Commission unanimously approved the unifying budget proposal. It will be sent to the General Assembly this summer. Learn more.