Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Service and Per Capita

Yesterday there was a called meeting of our presbytery (New Covenant) because instead of having a stated meeting as we usually do in August, we are having a Day of Service instead. About 60 of our churches have already committed to the project.

Each congregation chooses a service project in their community which will be done on Saturday, August 1. My church is going to do a day at a nearby middle school which serves a low-income neighborhood. We'll landscape, paint, and generally fix-up the school just before the new school year begins. At the Outreach Committee's meeting last night, I heard that we are getting a lot of sign-ups for our project!

Then on Sunday, August 2 a presbytery-wide celebration will be hosted by a Houston church and possibly by some churches in other areas of our geographically large region.

I'm excited the presbytery is encouraging the churches to get out and share the love of Christ with their neighbors through service to them.

In other news, the annual budget was approved at the called meeting (we don't use a calendar fiscal year). The budget does not make provision for "equalizing" per capita contributions by churches that do not (for whatever reason) make them. Because of revenue shortfalls the finance committee declared that funds are not available at this time for equalization because they did not want to cut back on PNC's programs--especially our extensive new church developments--in order to cover per capita. If revenues exceed projections later in the year, this may be up for reconsideration.

Interestingly my church's session sent an overture to the last meeting asking that per capita not be equalized (we are withholding per capita this year) and the overture was narrowly defeated.

PNC is the sixth largest presbytery in the denomination, so this can't be good news in Louisville.


Teri said...

May I ask why y'all are withholding per capita? (I'm just curious...)

Quotidian Grace said...

It's an attempt to send a message to the denomination. The session believes that the PCUSA is not addressing the decline in membership and generally has its priorities wrong.

Mac said...

Sounds as if y'all have it about right. Good for your presbytery to encourage congregations to be missions agencies.

Neither Louisville nor any other "central office" can do real ministry and mission. In my travels throughout the third world, I was taken aback by the life-style of many so-called Christian missionaries.

The local congregations (fixing up a school that needs it) or a ministry network of a few churches (joining in long-term local mission, church planting, or supporting real foreign mission) can make the real difference in a post-Christian United States. With a grin on his face, a Pastor friend recently mentioned a new translation of Acts 1:8 that had opened his eyes: he says that we are commanded to be Christ’s witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and) to the end of the block!


Presbyterian Gal said...

Yeah, I'd say your presbytery is doing great. I love that mission project.

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