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April 2, 2008: Financial Issues

This will be a much shorter note today. Recommendation #25 seeks to amend Appendix A of the Organization for Mission.

Here's what it would replace: Appendix A of the Organization for Mission. (pages 28-42 of the document; pages 33-47 of the pdf.)

The Organization for Mission is -- well -- how the denomination is organized to do mission. Profound, eh? Come here for all the best in analysis.

Appendix A of the Organization for Mission deals with financial issues. How do the activites defined and described in the Organization for Mission get funded? The stated reason for this recommendation is

As noted previously, Appendix (of the Organization for Mission) is a document that outlines a collection and distribution process for mission funding. What we have learned is that though the process outlined and envisioned in that document was a good one, it was never successfully implemented. This was in part due to the length of the document, and an unintentional failure to make its contents known and enforceable. In any event, it is apparent that there remains a need for such a document that is more enforceable, shorter and clearer.

Further, we note that noncompliance with some portions of Appendix A risks the federal tax-exempt status of the PC(USA), therefore it is important that the document state accurately the mission funding and accounting policies of the church.

The vast majority of the new proposal is identical to the previous version. The biggest change was the elimination of a section on per capita and its use. I do not know if it has been moved or simply deleted. I also am trying to figure out what is the significance, if any, of the elimination of that section.

Other changes seem like amendments of definitions for the purpose of reflecting the new organizational structure of the GAC. I realize that's incredibly vague; however, yesterday's note was so long and -- with the exception of pondering why that per capita section was eliminated -- the changes here seem so specifically directed towards achieving the goal of accurately detailing the actual organization and complying with federal tax law, I just cannot get excited about writing a whole lot more.