From the Worldwide Faith News archives

GAC priorities will show in 2002 budget

Date 20 Feb 2001 14:13:07

Note #6389 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


GAC priorities will show in 2002 budget 

Nearly $1 million will be redistributed in controversial process

by Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- More than $850,000 in unrestricted funds will be
redirected to programs that the General Assembly Council (GAC) has
determined are "high-impact," according to a 2002 budget plan presented to
the council's executive committee on Feb. 20.

Under the plan, each of the three ministry divisions will contribute 1
percent of its total unrestricted budget to what GAC executive director John
Detterick called a "pool" of funds to be redistributed to "high-impact"
programs within the divisions in the areas of evangelism and discipleship.
An additional 1.5 percent of unified money from support services, such as
finance and accounting, research, communications, human resources, property
management and the Presbyterian Distribution Service, also will go into the

Two support agencies -- the Office of Information Services and the Mission
Partnership Funding office -- are exempt from the 1.5 percent assessment.
Mission Partnership funds, which go to synods and presbyteries, are already
committed, Detterick said, and OIS is exempt "because we need to beef up our
technological infrastructure, not cut back on it."

Detterick estimated that the divisions -- which will draw from the pool in
proportion to their share of the total unified budget -- will get back 1.2
percent for their 1 percent contribution. Support services will get back

The redistribution plan grew out of the controversial prioritization process
the GAC initiated last fall, in which every program was rated "high-impact,"
"medium-impact" or "low-impact" in terms of the council's top priorities --
evangelism and discipleship.

In the wake of the prioritization process, many Presbyterians argued that
the GAC's top priorities are not broadly shared in the church. Numerous
entities, most recently the Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare
Association, objected that the church's historic commitment to justice was
given short shrift.

The two priorities were established during a GAC executive-committee retreat
last summer. Detterick has staunchly defended them as "clear mandates" of
General Assemblies, and the primary concerns expressed in the middle
governing body gatherings he has attended over the past year with the Rev.
Clifton Kirkpatrick, the denomination's stated clerk.

When the impact rankings were done, GAC leaders urged low-ranking programs
to establish "partnerships" with high-ranking programs to heighten their

During this week's executive committee meeting, Detterick said more than
$600,000 worth of such partnerships had resulted. He praised those
initiatives, saying that those programs would receive a "credit" when
reallocations are made. "We don't want to penalize those programs which have
responded to the challenge to be creative in making partnerships," he said.

The 1 percent and 1.5 percent reallocations are necessary, Detterick said,
"because (the $600,000 in partnerships) are a good start, but not a
significant enough impact. We consider the $865,000 (reallocation) a
significant impact."

The total unified portion of the 2002 budget is estimated at $49 million. 
The budget must be approved by the GAC later this week and adopted by the
upcoming 213th General Assembly, which convenes in Louisville on June 9.

pcusaNews mailing list

To unsubscribe, go to this web address:

Browse month . . . Browse month (sort by Source) . . . Advanced Search & Browse . . . WFN Home