In this time of change and uncertainty for the denomination, Grace Presbytery in central and northeast Texas has decided to invest in the future of the church by donating $2.85 million to Presbyterian World Mission. The presbytery met and voted Thursday afternoon on a comprehensive proposal to strengthen mission through leadership development, seminary education, Hispanic outreach, the Young Adult Volunteer program and mission co-workers.
The gift will fund in perpetuity half the cost of two mission co-worker positions and fully fund 20 Young Adult Volunteer scholarships. Other presbyteries and congregations will be challenged to complete the funding for the mission co-worker positions.
The money came from a legal settlement in September 2014 in which Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas agreed to pay Grace Presbytery $7.8 million in exchange for a release from the PCUSA’s trust clause and for ecclesiastical dismissal from the denomination.
“It was an unexpected gift to us,” says general presbyter Jan DeVries. “We felt strongly that the money should be used to strengthen ministry and not just our operating budget. We felt the responsibility to be involved in supporting the larger church and in growing our young adult leaders.”