The 220th General Assembly approved the recommendations of its Church Growth and PILP committee Friday night (July 5), which included the following:
- The declaration of a churchwide commitment to ignite a movement that results in the creation of 1001 worshiping communities in the next ten years.
- Approval of the committee’s amended recommendations to the GA Special Task Force to Study Racial Ethnic and New Immigrant Church Growth, and the Special Committee report on the Nature of the Church in the 21st Century.
The recommendation in the Nature of the Church report that instructed the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC) and the Office of General Assembly to provide “essential GAMC information to Korean and Spanish language groups” created the most discussion.
Commissioners considered an amendment that would have changed “essential GAMC information” to “all denominational news, policy statements, web information, telephone direction, church statements and other communications” (the original language of the report before it went through committee). Commissioner Joann Lee (Twin Cities Area Presbytery) encouraged the Assembly to “put our money where our words are.”
But upon hearing that this would add more than one million dollars to the GAMC mission budget—for the hiring of staff translators and working with a transcribing service—the amendment was defeated by a vote of 362-194-1.
The General Assembly also approved the African Church Growth Strategy Report and directed the GAMC (specifically Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries, Presbyterian Women, and Evangelism and Church Growth Ministries) to:
- Train and deploy regional coaches to collaborate with mid councils and congregations to implement African American Church Growth Strategy,
- In coordination with the African American Church Growth Strategy, hold a consultation to develop strategies and policies to support racial, ethnic, multicultural and new immigrant church growth in the PC(USA).
On consent agenda, the Assembly also approved the board of directors for the Presbyterian Loan Investment Program and the re-election of PILP’s President, Jay Hudson, who told the commissioners he was thrilled to lead an organization that was a “bridge between Presbyterian investors and Presbyterian dreams,” adding that in February of 2011 PILP achieved its goal of having $100 million dollars in church loans with “none in default.”