By Leslie Scanlon
An evaluation committee is recommending that a proposal to separately incorporate the Stony Point Conference Center not move forward at this time – saying too many questions remain unanswered about the business plan for Stony Point and the possibility of whether it can become financially self-sustaining.
The committee also is recommending that the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board consider a more fundamental question: Does the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) want to be involved in the kind of multi-faith peacemaking and justice work that co-directors Rick and Kitty Ufford-Chase have embarked on at Stony Point?
Depending on the answer to that question, the committee report states, the alternatives that the board, or ultimately the General Assembly, might want to consider could include:
- Financially supporting the center’s operations or requiring it to become fiscally self-sufficient;
- Spinning it off to be operated by a mid-council or an independent entity; or
- Shutting down Stony Point and selling the property to support other mission work of the PC(USA).
The evaluation committee’s report is strongly worded, saying that the reports of earlier groups which considered incorporation for Stony Point did not resolve key budgetary and legal issues – including the question of financial viability for Stony Point and the capital needs of the property.
Those earlier study groups – both of which the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board created – relied too heavily on a business plan that the Stony Point leadership team presented, and their reports “did not result from a full and robust analysis of the issues which would be crucial to determine whether an approved corporation would most likely succeed” if incorporation were recommended, the evaluation committee report states.