From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
MISSION OBJECTIVES READIED FOR COUNCIL
05 May 1996 07:32:51
95009 MISSION OBJECTIVES READIED FOR COUNCIL
by Alexa Smith
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Eight mission objectives to guide the
denomination's future program and budget were proposed by the
General Assembly Council Executive Committee (GACEC) -- and its
members left Dallas Jan. 7 with homework aimed at development of
the 1996 General Assembly mission budget.
Led by consultant Mary Ann Woodruff, members left with the
tasks of identifying mission programs that are a "good, solid fit"
with the objectives and those that are of "lower priority."
The General Assembly Council (GAC) has two months to put
together a budget based on reduced unified (unrestricted) dollars
from congregations and presbyteries and that reallocates restricted
monies to fund more flexible programming -- with staff increasingly
deployed across divisional lines to achieve specific objectives.
"I would like to see a list of what we're going to do,
thankfully or regretfully," said Corporate and Administrative
Services (CAS) chair Fern Crane of Woodstock, Ill., who reiterated
the need for measurable objectives to guide planning. "We just
can't keep spreading the butter thinner. ..."
Chief financial officer G.A. "Pat" Goff backed that rationale,
saying the 1996 budget -- due at the March 8-12 GAC meeting -- is
both "do-able" and "manageable," using accumulated income from
1994-95 and increased restricted revenues from Presbyterian
The 1996 budget assumes a 5 percent reduction in unrestricted
giving from congregations and presbyteries, Goff said.
Crane pointed out that unified dollars will be shifted around
to offset potential imbalances created by the influx of more
restricted monies. "(It's not that) somebody gets a windfall and
somebody has to make terrible cuts," she said.
After lengthy small group and full committee discussions,
executive committee members approved eight objectives within the
denomination's four existing mission goals and began initial
conversation on finding ways to measure results.
"I would say we've come a long way in terms of our process,"
said GACEC vice chair Cayetano Santiago of Barrington, Ill.
That process yielded proposed objectives to:
1. Strengthen the spiritual vitality of the members of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) so that
* the disciplines of Bible study, prayer, theological and
ethical reflection, worship, community life and service would
become more central to the life of the church.
2. Engage the whole church in ministry with youth and young
adults and their families that will lead to lives molded more and
more in the likeness of Jesus Christ so that
* more youth and young adults will experience the transforming
power of God's Spirit, and
* more will grow in their commitment to Jesus Christ and life
in the church, and
* more will live out the good news of God at work in this
1. Equip Presbyterians to share effectively the gift of faith
in Jesus Christ so that
* more people will respond to Christ's invitation to be
faithful disciples within the church and the world.
2. Increase the number and visibility of congregations by
working in partnership with middle governing bodies and partner
churches so that
* there is an increase in the number of new church
* there is significant redevelopment of urban and rural
* there is increasing Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
participation in the growth of the church worldwide.
1. Expand opportunities for compassionate ministries with
those who have critical human needs and address the root causes of
those needs so that
* more people of faith take initiative in restoring wholeness
in community and creation.
2. Support, in partnership with congregations, middle
governing bodies, and ecumenical and global partners, justice for
women, racial ethnic persons, and others who suffer injustice so
* there is a decrease in violence toward them and clear
movement toward their full participation in church and society.
1. Increase direct mission involvement and ecumenical
participation by Presbyterians within the church universal so that
* there is an increase in the number of congregations and
presbyteries directly involved in mission, and
* there are increased numbers of Presbyterians involved as
both mission volunteers and mission personnel, and
* there is an increased commitment in the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) to the unity of Christ's church worldwide.
2. Covenant with governing bodies, related organizations, and
ecumenical and interfaith partners so that
* mutually supportive approaches to funding and implementing
the mission of the church are continued and enhanced.
Preliminary indicators of success were discussed for each
objective, seeking ways to measure -- or to gather -- data: for
example, how to secure figures on the number of adults under 35
attending church or to achieve a 10 percent increase in the use of
PC(USA)-produced study resources.
"What is written is good, but not adequate," said the Rev.
John "Pete" Hendrick of Austin, who summarized the group's
reluctance to adopt indicators of success after the meeting's
preliminary conversation. By common consent, the group adopted
Hendrick's suggestion to invite feedback from others on how to
establish outcomes for the objectives.
Executive director the Rev. James D. Brown said achieving the
mission objectives means redeployment of both dollars and people,
phasing out some programs and redirecting resources into others to
meet emerging priorities, which, he said, is not the same as
He described the budget process as one of "hard choices," but
said Shape and Form envisioned "a body like this" using its
judgment. " ... And (we) shouldn't spend more than 60 days," he
said, adding that delaying only increases anxieties.
Division and CAS committees are to send proposals for work
plans and for the budget to the staff leadership team by Feb. 10
and that information will be shared among divisions the week of
Feb. 20. The staff leadership team will complete a proposed 1996
budget during the week of Feb. 27, which will go out to GAC members
Division committees will convene on the evening of March 8 to
discuss and revise the proposed budget, which will then go to the
executive committee March 9, the division committees, March 10, and
then to the full council.
# # #
For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
phone 502-569-5504 fax 502-569-8073
E-mail PCUSA.NEWS@pcusa.org Web page: http://www.pcusa.org
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