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Church News 2019 Per Capita

WHAT IS PER CAPITA? In the Presbyterian Church (USA) each member is assessed each year so that all our ministries and mission work can be carried out. In Lehigh Presbytery, the per capita apportionment for 2019 is $36.00 per member.

Each governing body, or council, needs income so that it can carry out ministry and mission. Here are the three areas of governing bodies to which we here at the Hokey church belong: 1) the local PCUSA churches make up the Lehigh Presbytery. Our staff offices are in Allentown. 2) All the presbyteries in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and eastern Ohio make up the larger governing body called the Synod of the Trinity, whose staff offices are located near Harrisburg. 3) All of us in the PCUSA have the governing body called the General Assembly. Our staff headquarters are in Louisville, KY. To carry out its work, Each has staff to do this, as well as volunteer committees made up of elders and pastors. As in everything, money is necessary to carry out the ministry and mission for all these areas of governance and mission. (Please remember that the people on the staff that work in all these areas do not work in order to tell us what to do. Rather, they are elected by elders and pastors, carrying out the ministries and mission as brought to them and voted upon by presbyters—e.g. elders and pastors.)

Here is some information from the PCUSA website. “Why is per capita important? Per capita brings Presbyterians together — literally! Presbyterians are connected in many ways, including our church government. We believe we discern best what God is calling us to do when we gather as mid councils, ‘seek[ing] together to find and represent the will of Christ’” (Book of Order F-3.0204). Per capita dollars pay for the costs of holding a General Assembly — including costs of travel, room and board of commissioners and advisory delegates, many of whom would not be able to afford these expenses on their own. Per capita makes it possible for Presbyterians to govern ourselves. Presbyterians have a form of government built upon shared power and mutual accountability as we seek together to represent the will of Christ. By providing the primary means through which commissioners and advisory delegates can do their work, per capita dollars help to undergird our governance system. The per capita funding that is sent to General Assembly helps to pay for our staff persons there, as well as (just a few examples) Bible study materials for Presbyterian Women, the design and content of the website, the Youth Triennium, and the materials for the denomination’s special offerings and missionary efforts. This is what the per capita money does for us in each area: the presbytery, the synod, and the general assembly.

More than half of the per capita funds our members give, go to Lehigh Presbytery, and the remainder to Synod and General Assembly. Every year, our Session has budgeted an amount to pay our total per capita assessment out of the general budget, because the Hokey church has to pay it, whether each member remits it to us of not. We must pay the assessed amount, based on the number of active members in our church during the previous year. If you give your annual per capita apportionment, we are able to spend all the funds the Session has budgeted for our own local ministry in Hokey, for their designated purposes. Thank you from your Finance Committee and the Session! If you have any questions about per capita, please see our Treasurer, Sue Butchinski.

[Note: Please be sure to indicate that your contribution is for “Per Capita” or use the designated blue envelope in your 2019 offering envelope box. Thank you!]

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3005 S. Front Street, Whitehall, PA 18052 | 610-264-9693 |
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