How Did We Get Here?
The Per Capita & Financial Sustainability Special Committee was tasked with the requirement to “provide a comprehensive resource projection analysis and summary assessment” of national church assets and income. In addition, we were tasked to address “how we can better resource our congregations and mid-council bodies and their work on the ground”; and “to review the current per capita based system of funding the ministry of councils higher than session for financial sustainability into the next ten years.”
The beginning of the per capita story
In 2018 the 224th General Assembly approved an overture that directed that a team be appointed to “review the current Per Capita based system of funding the ministry of councils higher than the session, for financial sustainability into the next ten years. The team will accomplish this by identifying the adaptive and technical challenges of sustainability in funding the ministry of councils higher than the session, consulting and receiving feedback/input from the leadership of the presbyteries, synods, and the Office of General Assembly as well as the Presbyterian Foundation.”
Okay, this handbook starts with an overture.
Is there more to the story?
Yes, there is more. The Co-Moderators, seeing that this team and another recommended team for Financial sustainability Review had similar requirements, merged the work together and the Per Capita Review and Financial Sustainability team was formed.
What were the responsibilities of the Financial Sustainability Team?
They were tasked to “provide a comprehensive resource projection analysis and summary assessment” of national church assets and income.” And in reference to shared services, “how we can better resource our congregations and mid-council bodies and their work on the ground”.
The two teams were merged together and then what?
The Per Capita Review and Financial Sustainability team were appointed in early 2019. With a long “to do” list they divided into two groups to tackle the work. The Per Capita Working Group focused on the listening sessions and developing the experiments. The Financial Sustainability Team reviewed the financials of the agencies, asked lots and lots of questions and provided a “comprehensive resource projection analysis and summary assessment” by the allotted deadline of December 31, 2019. The two teams met together often as well as working on their own tasks. Information and feedback were shared freely.
The focus of our work on financial sustainability was narrowed primarily to the OGA and PMA. The conclusion of this committee is that while the analysis predicts difficulty sustaining OGA in the near future, the primary concern is that the current allocation of funding between PMA and OGA is not sustainable.