General Assembly Council to weigh $400,000 deficit funding for NCC
The Layman Online, December 2, 1999
LOUISVILLE, Ky.– A showdown vote on how much money – if any – the Presbyterian Church (USA) will give to the National Council of Churches to shrink its $4-million deficit will be held in February.
The final decision will be made by the 96-member General Assembly Council. The council’s executive committee met by conference call on Nov. 29 but did not bring the bailout funding to a vote. Instead, the committee decided to pass along a request for $400,000 to the full General Assembly Council in February.
Meanwhile, Clifton Kirkpatrick, General Assembly stated clerk, has written a “Letter on the National Council of Churches” that urges the Presbyterian Church to help retire the deficit. In his letter, he takes issue with unnamed news sources that have publicized the NCC’s deficit and financial and management irregularities that were revealed by its independent report.
In the past two weeks, The Layman Online has posted 14 articles about the National Council of Churches, including investigative stories about financial irregularities and the NCC’s plans to use hunger relief funds to reduce the budget. Presbyterian News Service, the official PCUSA news agency, has published two stories on the NCC issues.
Without mentioning The Layman, Kirkpatrick attacks its accounts and seeks to put a positive spin on the National Council of Churches. Parker T. Williamson, executive editor of The Layman, has written a response to Kirkpatrick’s letter.
Originally, Presbyterian leaders were asked to contribute $600,000 to reduce the NCC deficit. That figure has been pared to $500,000, including $100,000 from the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and $400,000 from the General Assembly Council.
John Detterick, executive director of the General Assembly Council, told The Layman that the staff leadership team he will recommend that the council attach five requirements to a bailout contribution:
- The contribution will not be funded until the balance of the full amount needed to cover the deficit is subscribed by other denominations.
- Recognizing that different members carry different loads, each member of the NCC must contribute to the fund.
- If receipts exceed the deficit, the balance is to be placed in the NCC’s reserves.
- The NCC Executive Board must approve a balanced budget for the year 2000 that includes a provision for rebuilding NCC reserves.
- A provision must be made to cover health care costs in the NCC pension plan.