By Leslie Scanlon, Presbyterian Outlook.
Two committees of the Presbyterian Mission Agency board met by conference call Nov. 11 to discuss third-quarter financial performance for the Presbyterian Church (USA) – a small glimpse into the denomination’s bigger-picture financial difficulties. More budget cutting is expected this spring as the board shapes the mission budgets for 2017 and 2018.
Here are some highlights of Presbyterian Mission Agency finances included in the discussion by the board’s finance and audit committees:
- As of September 30, 2015, unrestricted receipts were about 2 percent under the projected budget (about $164,000) and restricted receipts 3.3 percent under budget (about $1.3 million), according to controller Denise Hampton. One reason: Investment income on short-term bonds fell below what had been projected.
- Restricted giving from congregations was about 12 percent over budget – with the money being used to support mission co-workers serving overseas – but giving to the PC(USA)’s Special Offerings fell short by about 4 percent (about $368,000) of what had been projected, and below the giving levels for 2014 by about $250,000.
- Expenses for the first three quarters came in about 11 percent ($6 million) less than what had been budgeted, in part because of staffing vacancies and the timing of grants being made.
- Extra commitment opportunities (designated giving for particular causes) was up about $500,000 over budget, in part because of gifts given for work in South Sudan, Egypt and Nicaragua.