As the Church Growth and PILP (Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program) Committee was wrestling with the report of the GA Special Committee on the Changing Nature of the Church in the 21st Century, one of its members quipped, “I have a plane to catch on Saturday afternoon.”

Great laughter in response seemed to help the committee clarify some of its amended language in the first three (of 10) recommendations.

Eventually, the committee recommended that the General Assembly:

  • Direct mid councils to assist congregations in discerning new ministry possibilities, provide guidance to closing congregations in the selling of assets, distribute these proceeds for starting new churches—especially among new immigrant communities and communities of color—and strengthen existing congregations.
  • Affirm the importance of bi-vocational ministry by directing the General Assembly Mission Council to recommend development and training for bi-vocational ministry and address the issues of compensation and benefits to support this critical form of ministry.
  • Call on PC(USA) to develop courses to better prepare students for the emerging cultural realities of the 21st century.

Earlier in the day the committee confirmed the slate of board of directors for PILP and the re-election of PILP’s President Jay Hudson.