PCUSA ranks first in per-member giving to National Council

PCUSA ranks first in per-member giving to National Council

The Layman Online, October 16, 2006

Compared with its mainline sister denominations, the Presbyterian Church (USA) is more than twice as generous in per-member support of the National Council of Churches.

Recent financial reports by the NCC showed that the PCUSA gave the organization $302,499 for the 2005-06 budget, 13.1 cents per member.
The largest overall contribution was by the United Methodist Church – $532,368. But the 8.5-million member UMC gave only 6.3 cents per member.

Episcopalians, with a membership of more than 2.1 million, gave the NCC $132,026, about 6 cents per member. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with 5.5 million members, gave $70,300 – 1.3 cents per member. The United Church of Christ gave $40,000 or 4 cents per member.

Most of the denominations in the organization – especially those related to Orthodox bodies – give little or nothing. Bob Edgar, the general secretary of the NCC, told the group’s board of directors recently that a handful of members provide most of the support.

The NCC has managed to stay in business because of a handful of grants from liberal organizations and individuals who support the NCC’s liberal causes and its opposition to the Republican administration.

But Edgar told the board the low support from most of the denominations is a problem in trying to raise grant money. He said foundations and large donors “always ask if member communions are giving 100 percent.”