From the Worldwide Faith News archives www.wfn.org
COUNCIL APPROVES 1996 MISSION BUDGET
05 May 1996 08:07:03
95077 COUNCIL APPROVES 1996 MISSION BUDGET
by Jerry L. Van Marter
LOUISVILLE, Ky.--Buoyed by better than expected financial reports for 1994,
the General Assembly Council (GAC) approved a 1996 General Assembly mission
budget totaling $110.8 million at its March 8-12 meeting here. The budget
now goes to the 1995 General Assembly for adoption.
The 1996 figure is $4.3 million less than the 1994 budget but $3.6
million higher than the 1995 budget adopted by last year's General
And continuing the pattern of recent years, it is based upon an
anticipated decline in unrestricted giving that is more than offset by
increased designated giving.
1994 results exceed expectations
According to figures released at the GAC meeting by controller Nagy
Tawfik, the General Assembly mission enterprise finished 1994 with a $1.6
million surplus. Total receipts were $103 million, $10.4 million under
budget. Total expenses were $101.5 million, $13.7 million under budget.
Tawfik attributed that result to "the commitment expressed by
congregations, presbyteries and synods ... and the planning by the GAC and
its staff ... during difficult times."
Withholding of funds from the General Assembly by sessions objecting
to the church's involvement in the controversial November 1993 Re-imagining
Conference raised fears of a financial debacle in 1994. Accordingly, the
GAC reduced the budget by $1.9 million in the middle of the year and GAC
leaders instituted an austerity spending program for the remainder of the
Tawfik reported that unrestricted income, which was most affected by
Re-imagining protests, came in less than 1 percent below budget while the
unrestricted portion of the expense budget was underspent by a whopping
10.5 percent ($4.7 million).
Outlook somewhat brighter for 1995, 1996
The Presbyterian Church faces "a lot less uncertainty than in 1994,"
said G.A. "Pat" Goff, director of Corporate and Administrative Services.
He said the 1994 financial results mean the 1995 budget faces little
revision. That budget, adopted by last year's General Assembly, totals
The 1995 income projections include a 5 percent decline in
unrestricted giving -- a continuing pattern. However, a new formula by
which the Presbyterian Foundation distributes income from endowments to the
mission budget is expected to generate an additional $3 million this year.
"This is a healthy increase in restricted income," Goff noted.
The GAC approved a 1996 budget totaling $110.8 million. That budget,
too, includes a 5 percent decline in unrestricted giving by congregations,
which represents about a quarter of the General Assembly's income. All of
the increases are traced to increased income from restricted endowments.
Reversing decline in unrestricted giving targeted
"Somewhere down the line we will need a blue-ribbon panel to address
how to reverse the decline in unified (unrestricted) giving," Goff advised.
Council member the Rev. John B. Evans, executive presbyter for New
Harmony Presbytery, concurred. "We've got some excitement about many new
programs that if they are marketed properly will be supported by
presbyteries and congregations," he said. "We have not had a well-rounded
asking program in many years."
# # #
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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