Culminating a ten-month strategy process, the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) today approved a recommended mission budget of $82 million for 2013 and $78 million for 2014. The budget aligns the ministries of the GAMC with the six strategic directions of the Mission Work Plan for 2013–16 that was approved by the GAMC in February 2012:
- Cultivate, nurture, and sustain diverse, transformational leaders for Christ’s mission.
- Encourage compassionate and prophetic discipleship by making, receiving, and sending disciples who demonstrate and proclaim God’s justice, peace, and love in an increasingly globalized world.
- Ignite a movement within the PC(USA) that results in the creation of 1,001 new worshiping communities.
- Engage and join with young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.
- Engage with, respond to, resource, and represent the General Assembly in alignment with the vision and mission for the General Assembly Mission Council.
- Ensure organizational integrity by building confidence, trust, and engagement in all that the GAMC does by being Collaborative, Accountable, Responsive, and Excellent (C.A.R.E.).
"This plan," said Linda Valentine, GAMC executive director, "builds upon the work of the previous Mission Work Plan by continuing the shift away from doing ministry on behalf of the church and toward inspiring, equipping, and connecting the church for Christ's mission."
Highlights of the 2013–2014 budget include the following:
- a strategic reorganization of World Mission staff to inspire, equip, and connect U.S. Presbyterians for mission in the world while continuing and building on the church's 175 years of international mission engagement and longstanding relationships with international partners
- a call for tripling the number of Young Adult Volunteers
- creating a new position to advocate, inspire, and equip for the implementation of 1001 new worshiping communities among presbyteries
- extending GAMC work with new immigrants and emerging ministries and partnering with the fastest growing racial ethnic membership groups in the (PC)USA: Korean American Presbyterians, African immigrants, and Brazilian Presbyterians.
- a renewed commitment to fill an interfaith associate position
- a shift from financial aid for studies to financial aid for services by incorporating a discernment process exploring the meaning of vocation into the undergraduate scholarship program
- adding a new position promoting socially responsible investment as a means of advancing a congregation or mid council's missional priorities
“The 2013 budget will be $7 million less than the current 2012 budget of $89 million (which includes $4 million from prior years for disaster relief) but $5 million more than the GAMC actually spent in 2011,” said Joey Bailey, GAMC chief financial officer. “We were able to keep expenses low in 2011 due to a number of unfilled positions, and we expect to build on that with this budget by eliminating a number of those vacant positions and taking advantage of process improvements made possible by technology.”
The proposed budget eliminates 14 current positions as part of the strategic realignment, and it creates 18 new positions. In addition, 17 vacant positions have been eliminated, producing a net change of 13 positions overall, changing the size of the GAMC workforce from 321 to 308.
“We have made every effort to minimize the number of employees impacted by these changes while also realigning the organization with our strategy,” said Valentine.
The General Assembly Mission Council is the mission agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The 2013–2014 budget will be forwarded to the General Assembly for approval when it meets this summer in Pittsburgh, Pa.