LOUISVILLE – The confirmation of the Rev. Diane Givens Moffett as president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) will be among the items before the Mission Coordination Committee when the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 223rd General Assembly meets June 16–23 in St. Louis.
Moffett was elected to the position May 8 by the PMA Board for a four-year term, but her election is subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. She begins her duties June 11 as head of the PMA, the agency that leads the national and international mission work of the PC(USA).
Moffett comes to the position from St. James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, N.C., where she was pastor and head of staff for 13 years. Previously, she was pastor of Elmwood Presbyterian Church in East Orange, N.J. (1995–2005), executive director of Harbor House Ministries in Oakland, Calif. (1993–1995), and student pastor of Elmhurst Presbyterian Church in Oakland (1987–1992).
The committee will also take up the PMA’s 2019–2020 mission work plan. The two-year plan includes three emphases:
- Congregational vitality – prioritizing faithfulness over self-sufficiency
- Poverty – fighting unjust economic systems that perpetuate destitution and need
- Structural racism/white supremacy – dismantling structures and ideologies that oppress people of color
In addition, the committee will consider PMA budgets for 2019 and 2020. The PMA Board is proposing budgets totaling $71,589,237 for 2019 and $70,531,957 for 2020.
The PMA Board is also asking the Assembly to recommend approval of a report on the Doctrine of Discovery, a legal concept that U.S. courts have used to invalidate or ignore possession of land by Native Americans.
The report, titled “The Doctrine of Discovery: A Review of Its Origins and Implications for Congregations in the PC(USA) and Support for Native American Sovereignty,” describes the doctrine and its history and makes recommendations on how congregations can support Native Americans in their efforts for sovereignty and human rights. The report was mandated by an action of the 222nd General Assembly (2016), which also called on the church to confess “its complicity and repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery.”
In other action, Committee 10 will consider:
- A resolution from the Advocacy Committee for Women’s Concerns asking that a five-member task force be created to determine the need for a committee to advocate for LGBTQ+ concerns
- An overture from Grace Presbytery urging the creation of a PMA office dedicated to the ministry and mission of small congregations
- An overture from Grand Canyon Presbytery requesting that the PMA inventory the physical needs of Native American congregations and chapels and create a fund for repairs and improvement
- An overture from Mission Presbytery asking that a $250,000 grant be established for the development of resources related to serious mental health issues. The resources would be for presbyteries, congregations, and seminaries and would serve as a foundation for denominational action.
- An overture from Greater Atlanta Presbytery calling for a study of the purpose and place of the humanities – including religion and ethics – in PC(USA)-related colleges and universities
Pat Cole is communications specialist in the Mission Engagement & Support Office of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and a General Assembly Newsroom veteran. He is covering Assembly Committee 10 for the General Assembly News.