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PCUSA Develops Ambitious Five-Step Mission Plan

Feb 18, 2004 07:31 AM EST

The General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church USA adopted a five-tier Mission Work Plan for 2005-2006, during their annual conference, Feb. 14.

According to the GAC executive director, the plan was an ambitious addition to the outreach of the PCUSA.

“This is the first time in 10 years that the council has taken charge and proactively, intentionally set the direction for the work of the GAC. For the first time, the council has together affirmed who it is and what it intends to do. For the first time you have given the staff strong leadership and direction,” said Detterick.

“This is a new day… a new chapter in the life of the General Assembly Council,” he continued.

The newly adopted plan follows eight core values:

Celebration — embracing our Reformed tradition through Word and Sacrament;

Proclamation — listening for and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ;

Stewardship —giving, working and living faithfully and responsibly;

Nurture — supporting and caring for each other;

Trust — communicating with integrity;

Openness — expecting to be transformed by the God of justice and love;

Partnership — living in community with the PC(USA) and the people of the world;

Vision — serving with joy, living in hope, hearing and responding to diverse voices and obeying God’s will.

By the end of 2006, the GAP plans to accomplish five goals:

Evangelism and Witness — “We are called to invite all people to faith, repentance, and the abundant life of God in Jesus Christ, to encourage congregations in joyfully sharing the Gospel, and through the power of the Holy Spirit to grow in membership and discipleship.”

Justice and Compassion — “We are called to address wrongs in every aspect of life and whole of creation, intentionally working with and on behalf of poor, oppressed, and disadvantaged people as did Jesus Christ, even at risk to our corporate and personal lives.”

Spirituality and Discipleship — “We are called to deeper discipleship through scripture, worship, prayer, study, stewardship and service, relying on the Holy Spirit to mold our lives more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ.”

Leadership and Vocation - “We are called to lead by Jesus Christ’s example, to identify spiritual gifts, and to equip and support Christians of all ages for faithful and effective servant leadership in all parts of the body of Christ.”

Role and Identity of the GAC — “We are called to address opportunities and concerns which clarify the role and responsibilities of the GAC in the life of the PC(USA).”

Ken Newbold, the Mission Work Plan team member said that the group will continue with “action planning,” once the goals are established.

“It’s a matter of who specifically is going to do what when and how, and what are going to be the measures of success,” said Newbold.

Paul Masquelier, who retired recently as executive of San Jose Presbytery, called the plan “a road map for the future,” expressing optimism that falling revenues are not a permanent condition. “God has a future for this church, and what I like about this is it charts the way forward as more resources become available,” he said.

Detterick expressed confidence that the council’s “ability to decide what’s important and to prioritize with theological grounding and a commitment to both evangelism and justice” will “result in an abundance of people and an abundance of resources for the work of the Presbyterian Church (USA).”