The bill is coming due from the actions at the 221st General Assembly (2012), and commissioners found out Saturday just what it's going to be.
Ruling Elder Commissioner Linda Scholl of Presbytery of Mid-South, moderator of the Assembly Committee on Mission Coordination, reported to the Assembly that actions taken during the Assembly added $295,119 to the General Assembly mission budget for 2015 and $68,418 for the 2016 budget.
Therefore, the Assembly approved revised mission budgets for the two years of $73,671,744 and $78,226,389 respectively.
The 2016 budget is higher because in that year the next Presbyterian Youth Triennium will be held, drawing thousands of Presbyterian young people to the campus of Purdue University in Indiana.
“The church suffers when funds are diminished,” said Teaching Elder Commissioner David Ealy Jr., vice-moderator of the Mission Coordination committee. “We must find a way to reverse this trend,” he continued. “Let’s lift up this concern to congregations and presbyteries to do their share to contribute to the shared ministry of our church.”
Linda Valentine, who earlier in the week was elected to a third four-year term as executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, praised Teaching Elder Matt Schramm, who concluded a two-year term as chair of the board with the adjournment of the Assembly.
“Matt Schramm brought the perspective of a new generation, a fresh and forward perspective,” Valentine said. “Much of it had to do with the launch of ‘1001 New Worshiping Communities,’” she added, “and there are not enough superlatives in my vocabulary to describe Matt’s extraordinary, outstanding leadership.”
Schramm in turn introduced his successor as PMA Board chair, Marilyn Gamm, who said the agency is “a co-mission partner” with the General Assembly “in its many expressions of Christ in the world ― ministry in Christ’s name.”
She urged Presbyterians to pause each day at either 10:02 a.m. or p.m. to pray the words of Jesus in Luke 10:2 ― “The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.”