Friday, June 16, 2006

GA217: Surprise announcement electrifies Assembly

PC(USA) receives historic $150 million gift for church growth

by Evan Silverstein

BIRMINGHAM, June 15 A Colorado businessman and elder has contributed a historic $150 million gift to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) aimed at helping presbyteries start new churches, transform struggling congregations and develop new racial-ethnic congregations.

The money from Stanley W. Anderson of Denver, CO, for the new Loaves and Fishes Church Growth Fund will be distributed to presbyteries through grants ranging from $250,000 to $1 million each.

Presbyteries will be required to apply for the grants and will have to match a portion of it.

Word of the money came through a surprise announcement Thursday that electrified those attending the opening of the PC(USA)’s 217th General Assembly here, prompting commissioners to stand and cheer.

Presbytery mission causes and Presbyterian seminaries will also benefit from the money. ..."

This is astounding, and I hope it will be used wisely. While this is a designated gift, it does seem to fit in with the recent General Assembly Council actions in shifting the locus of action away from Louisville and closer to the congregations.

It does boggle the mind to realize that this gift is 50% larger than the entire GAC budget....

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