By Gregg Brekke, Presbyterian News Service.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board of the Presbyterian Church (USA) met via conference call last evening to receive a first-month report from interim executive director Tony De La Rosa and to hear an update on the churchwide survey from moderator Heath Rada.
De La Rosa began his remarks noting he had now been at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville for exactly one month, saying the amount of information he has been presented in that time was like “drinking from a fire hose.”
Preliminary observations included progress on the transitional 2016–2018 Mission Work Plan, which he indicated is nearing completion. The two-year span of the plan—a diversion from the standard four-year cycle—was, he said, “in anticipation of some larger reorganizations of our agencies.”
Pointing out the centrality of the Mission Work Plan and its use in guiding the work and priorities of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, De La Rosa said, “We really need to recognize that we can no longer do everything that we once did or even that we are doing today.”
Presbyterian Mission Agency to offer voluntary separation program
PMA Leadership Cabinet recommends elimination of 2016 salary increases
From the beginning, mission work has been an important part of church life. Daily, it is done on a local, national, and global basis. Everyday, thousands of people give freely of themselves in order to help others. God bless those who do our Lord’s work.
The flurry of activity concerning the PMA-OGA and the forest of trees cut to generate the related paperwork and reports have nothing to do with mission, the work of Christ or that of the Great Commission. It is simply careerist institutional denominational bureaucrats, acting to protect the same institution for the sake of their survival alone. The true end goal of PMA has been exposed. In essence it exists as a make-work jobs program for those who could not employed in the church otherwise.
What you see on display here at this level is being repeated again and again at the Synod, Presbytery levels nationally as the institution is in the process of systemic collapse. Folks just trying to preserve their own paycheck.
But again, this is about Presbyterians, at least in terms of the mainline-progressive-liberal branch. Meetings will happen, reports generated, study commissions formed, breathless appeals for support made, motions to refer to other study commissions made. At the end the results will not change, just turn off the lights on the way out.
Should a man who is not qualified to be ordained in any Presbyterian denomination in the USA other than the PCUSA, be trusted to run a mission agency? Should a man in a relationship considered unacceptable to the three major branches of the church for most of the last two millennia be considered for the same job, the most important mission of the church? Should a man failing both of those criteria be considered for the same job?
Legal Disclosure: This a purely hypothetical question.
Excellent hypothetical question, Keith. My own hypothetical answer to your hypothetical question would be that such a hypothetical person would be more than qualified for any of the high offices in the PCUSA – provided, of course, that the PCUSA is no longer considered to be a part of the Christian Church or of any one of its three major branches, hypothetically speaking. 🙂
Saw this today, this is interesting: http://www.pcusa.org/news/2016/1/11/wiley-provides-clarification-presbyterian-panel-su/
It is announced that 46 employees of the Presbyterian Mission Agency will be offered a voluntary separation package to reduce the budget.
One wonders what these 46 people have been doing to justify their presence. One wonders if they will be missed when they are gone.
This is only the most recent downsizing of the staff of the PCUSA. There have been several others as the denomination continues to shrink and contributions fade away.
There likely will be more downsizing in the future.
Yes, but is any mission work actually being done?
Interesting article, thNks for posting.
Wiley tries to explain away the large number of PCUSA leaders who were not sure or disagreed with the statement “Only Followers of Jesus Christ Can be saved” by making it about the sovereignty of God to save.
The question may not have been properly stated and was not clear?? However, Similar responses to other statements like “All the world’s different religions are equally good ways of helping a person find ultimate truth ” had 11 % Strongly Agree and 26 % Agree. On the statement “Jesus will return to earth some day” 24% were not sure and 6% disagreed.
So, clearly there is something like a quarter of the leaders and pastors in the PCUSA who are very confused about the meaning of Scripture, the Gospel message and the very nature and purpose of God. It is proof of the pressure To accept universalism in the PCUSA
Also, 12 % were not sure if there was life after death.
Do they have a test to determine the understanding of the leaders on OGA and the PMB?
Thanks for the link to Wiley’s PCUSA clarification on salvation dated l/11/16. It still leaves questions because the 2011 survey didn’t ask respondents to explain how they interpret the question; or why they answered the way they did to the wording of the question.
I suspect that there are questions concerning which ‘Lord’ is being served in Louisville, and what their actual mission is. Goal displacement is not uncommon in the secular world. Many feel the same has happened in the PCUSA. Efforts to correct this error have failed, so members and congregations leave, revenue decreases, and staff reductions become necessary. It looks as if the ‘circle of life’ has become a death spiral.
The tone of much of the discussion within the Wiley link borders on discussion you might hear regarding the question: “How many angels can dance on the head of a pin”. That is to say, it is dealt with in an academic manner. Most laymen, such as myself, think about their own reason to believe or not believe – they haven’t had to comfort a brother of a special needs man who has just died, for whom the question: “Did he know Jesus?” could not be answered in a yes or no fashion.
What an odd question. Should someone who is qualified to be an elder in the PCUSA be employed by the PCUSA? Um….Yes.
Remember that the current Presbyterian Lay Committee President is not qualified to be an elder in several Presbyterian denominations due to her gender.
Keith’s question is as silly as asking, “Well how can he be the executive director of a mission organization when he isn’t qualified to be Pope?”
I would disagree. The pope is the avowed leader of the church of Rome. To the thinking and preying man (or woman), PCUSA perhaps was a pretender to Reformed leadership in the USA. It now looks as if the more “conservative” ministries (ARP, RP, CP, OP, BP, PCA, EPC and now ECO) are producing more fruit. I have attempted to be silly many times in my life, but not on this thread. If I have amused you, at least I have succeeded at something.
“praying”, not “preying”, and also what about the Baptists, Methodists, Lutheran and a thousand other reformed denominations in the US alone?
btw, I wasn’t intending to amuse you. Sometime we succeed in an area where we have made no attempt.
So you think that the Pope, who is Catholic, and not Reformed, is qualified to be employed by a Presbyterian denomination, while a Reformed Protestant, who has been ordained as an elder in our denomination is not qualified to be employed by our denomination.
That is a very odd understanding of our polity.