One of the new things you may have received as the New Year began was your new set of offering envelopes. You may have noticed a blue envelope near the front of the box labeled "Per Capita." Like many Presbyterians, you may have wondered, "Exactly what does per capita do?"
Per capita is an amount of money per member that our congregation pays to our larger Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This money is part of the glue that holds Presbyterians together. It is the money that enables us to work with other Presbyterian churches in our presbytery and across the country. It is also money that allows us to work with other churches to further the mission of Jesus Christ around the world.
How important is per capita? Here are some examples:
- Does our congregation want to benefit from relationships and cooperation with other Presbyterian churches across the country? Your per capita pays for the General Assembly meeting every two years where Presbyterians gather together to worship and discern the mind of Christ for the church.
- Does our congregation want to be involved in mission work throughout the world, sharing the gospel in all parts of the earth? In many places in our world, it is difficult to "do mission" except by working ecumenically with other churches. Your per capita helps to pay for meetings of Presbyterians with people of other Christian churches, allowing us to maintain those ties for mission.
- Do we want to benefit from helpful Presbyterian resources such as the Book of Order and The Book of Confessions? Your per capita pays for producing these basic resources, including in Spanish, Korean, and Braille.
- Do we want future generations to learn about our congregation's present work (e.g., anniversary celebrations, membership rolls, session actions)? Your per capita helps to fund the Presbyterian Historical Society - preserving and sharing the Presbyterian experience.
- Do we want pastors who are well prepared to lead our congregations? Your per capita funds the preparation, administration, and grading of standard ordination examinations for seminary students.
- Do we want well-trained leaders for our presbyteries and more? Your per capita pays for annual training events for presbytery executives, stated clerks, and others who help lead our work and mission.
In addition, your per capita pays for the travel expenses of the Moderator and Vice Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as they make their way across the church to share with and listen to folks like you about the exciting things God is doing in our midst.
We do not believe in being lone rangers in the PC(USA). We need each other as we work together to share the good news of Jesus Christ. As we benefit from the gifts, skills, vision, and ministry of each other in this place, so, too, do we benefit from an even wider array of gifts and ministry of our Presbyterian brothers and sisters across the church. Your per capita pays for the programs, training, and resources that help us work together and discern the mind of Christ for the PC(USA).
For 2017, the assessment has been set at $38.00 per person. The assessment is broken down as follows:
$27.00 for the Presbytery of Utah
$ 3.50 for the Synod of the Rocky Mountains
$ 7.50 for the General Assembly
The total per capita we must pay each year amounts to nearly $10,000 or about 5% of our annual budget. We are asking each member of the congregation to reimburse the church for their individual assessment and we thank all of you who have already paid your share of our obligation. By contributing your portion of per capita, you have freed up dollars in our regular budget for the work of our congregation in this community. If you haven't yet contributed, we hope you will consider doing so.
You can make your payment by dropping a check in the offering plate on Sunday (be sure to note Per Capita on the memo line) or online by visiting our donation page and entering your payment on the Per Capita line.
Thank you for your support.