Speaking during a plenary session on April 10, PMA Executive Director Linda Valentine reiterated the six directional goals of the plan that was approved last year, noting that a progress review of the multi-faceted program will be conducted every four years.
“How do we know we are doing what we set out to do?” Valentine asked. “We have to look at how each individual part of the plan is working and contributing to the organization. We need to know if we are making an impact and if we are using money wisely.”
The vision of the plan implemented in 2012 is to have “Presbyterians joyfully engaging in God’s mission for the transformation of the world,” with a mission to “Inspire, equip and connect the PCUSA in its many expressions to serve Christ in the world through new and existing communities of faith, hope, love and witness.”
The directional goals chosen to emphasize in reaching that mission include:
1-Transformational leaders – Inspire, equip and connect the church to cultivate, nurture and sustain diverse, transformational leaders for Christ’s mission.
2-Compassionate and Prophetic Discipleship – Inspire, equip and connect the church to make, receive and send disciples who demonstrate and proclaim God’s justice, peace and love in an increasingly globalized world.
3-New Worshiping Communities – Inspire, equip and connect the church to ignite a movement within the PCUSA that results in the creation of 1,001 new worshiping communities.
4-Young Adults – Inspire, equip and connect the church to engage and join with young adults in reforming the church for Christ’s mission.
5-General Assembly Engagement – Engage with, respond to and represent the General Assembly in alignment with the vision and mission for the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
6-Organizational Integrity – Build confidence, trust and engagement in all that we do by being Collaborative, Accountable, Responsive and Excellent (CARE).
Valentine noted that young adults are playing a vital role in helping the PMA achieve its goals through their volunteer experiences. She shared stories of mission work being done in Tucson, Ariz., that impacted the lives of those serving and being served.
In one of them, Valentine spoke of a couple who helped Habitat for Humanity. Kendra now has started working to develop communities, and Karl’s experience led him to accept a call in the ministry.
Stephanie focused her efforts on gender justice advocacy (workers’ rights, wages paid, etc.) and now works with others to empower them in standing up for their rights.
Toddy just graduated from high school and spent her time working with homeless men and women.
“All these young adults have heard God’s call in their lives during their year of volunteer service,” Valentine said. “It’s a year of service for a lifetime of change. Imagine what an impact that will have.”
Valentine added that scholarships also have been made available to support the development of future church leaders, helping identify those young adults who may represent diverse and transformational leadership.
Additionally, Valentine noted that revenues and expenses are down, but the PMA has a surplus of funds thanks to three substantial – and unexpected – gifts.
She summed up her report to board and staff members in attendance by talking about how the PMA strives to meet the needs of people on a global scale, particularly by following the mission framework now in place.
“We joyfully serve with faithful love and witness,’ Valentine said. “The needs of the world are great; our programs are many; the passions of Presbyterians are vast. We are grateful for the guidance and alignment the Mission Work Plan has provided us.”