From the Worldwide Faith News archives

Committee approves mission budget

Date 19 Jun 2002 12:43:25 -0400

Note #7268 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


Committee approves mission budget

by Gary Luhr

COLUMBUS, OH-The Assembly Committee on Mission Coordination and Budgets gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a $130 million mission budget for 2003. Final approval will come as one of the last items of business Saturday morning before the 214th General Assembly adjourns.

The vote - unanimous except for one abstention - came after the committee heard details of the Mission Initiative, a plan to raise $40 million over five years for church growth and international mission personnel. 

The committee spent more than an hour Monday night discussing the budget and the elimination of 34 long-term mission service positions earlier this year as part of a $4 million budget reduction by the General Assembly Council (GAC). Earlier Monday, some committee members had expressed interest in restoring the positions.

The Rev. Marian McClure, director of the GAC's Worldwide Ministries Division said the division could not meet its share of the budget reduction "without temporarily reducing mission personnel." 

McClure said the people in the 34 affected positions had completed their current terms of service, and none had sought reappointment. About one-third were retiring, one was leaving mission service to pursue a graduate degree, another had died, and some were not being replaced because of changes in the priorities of partner churches or because their skills did not match the needs of partner churches, she said.

"Not one of them left early because of the budget reductions," McClure said.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) still has a presence in all of the countries affected, she added, and mission recruitment for other positions is continuing despite the reductions.

The committee defeated an amendment that would have directed the GAC to use any surplus funds to reinstate the 34 positions. It approved, 28-17, an amendment that would establish an Extra Commitment Opportunity to support a "faith factor increase" in the 2003 budget "of sufficient size to permit continuity in the recruiting, placement, and support" of mission personnel.
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