From the Worldwide Faith News archives

GA approves sale of Morganwood homes

Date 20 Jun 2002 14:29:02 -0400

Note #7292 from PCUSA NEWS to PRESBYNEWS:


GA approves sale of Morganwood homes

by Bill Lancaster

COLUMBUS, OH - The 214th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) on June 19 approved the sale of the Morganwood homes in Swarthmore, PA, to PresbyHomes & Services, a mission program of the Presbytery of Philadelphia.

The PC(USA) Board of Pensions (BOP) has owned the homes as part of its ministry to offer retirement housing at a moderate cost to ministers with modest incomes. As their retirement incomes have increased and as they have shifted to owning their own homes rather than living in manses, the need for BOP housing has declined. Moreover, the BOP had found that other organizations had better housing-management expertise.

The Board, which started the Housing Supplement Program to provide financial assistance to retired ministers with modest incomes, received permission from the 200th Assembly in 1988 to sell its retirement properties. 

That Assembly withheld the sale of two properties - Morganwood and El Sombroso Oaks, in Los Gatos, CA, making their sales subject to GA approval.

Now BOP has worked out an "agreement in principle" for the sale of Morganwood to PresbyHomes. The agreement provides for the continuing care of current residents.

This year's Assembly asked BOP to study a design and funding source for a program of "compensation for adoption expenses for all eligible members of the Benefits Plan." It would help cover the cost of adoption, which does not now qualify for coverage.

The commissioners also approved a BOP experience apportionment to be granted as a 2 percent increase in benefits for disabled members receiving benefits as of Dec. 31, 2001. The increase, which will cost $796,000, will become effective on August 1. 

The Pensions, Benefits and Stewardship Committee of the Assembly reported that income from special offerings amounted to 13.7 percent of total income for the PC(USA) mission program, and 26.09 percent of mission gifts from congregations.  

All special offerings were up in 2001from 2000 except the One Great Hour of Sharing, which was down 5 percent, "probably due to increased giving (for) disaster response from $1,960,573 to $8,100,668," the committee said.

The Assembly also approved cutting the number of Presbyterian Foundation trustees 42 to 19 to cut costs, consolidate the fiduciary interests of the Foundation's two predecessor organizations (from before reunion) and reflect the shifting of some tasks from the Foundation to subsidiary corporations.
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