What is Per Capita and Why Should You Pay It?

It’s a new year, which means Per Capita is due to our governing bodies, which NWPC pays on behalf of each of the 400+ members of the congregation. We invite you to offset the cost of your Per Capita, which is $40.41, by placing a check in our Sunday offering to “New Wilmington Presbyterian Church” with Per Capita in the memo and/or using the Per Capita envelope in your Offering Envelopes for 2020.

What is Per Capita?
Per Capita has been a part of our history for over 160 years. It was first used to enable commissioners from all areas to attend meetings of the General Assembly. Per Capita is an apportionment, a means of fairly sharing the costs of governance across the Presbytery, Synod, and General Assembly. It is not a tax or an assessment or “dues.” Yes, it is a voluntary offering.

Historically, Per Capita has been used to fund those ecclesiastical functions essential to the continuance and decision-making process of the governing body. There are also necessary administrative costs of running the church. Per Capita provides opportunity for the financial participation of all local churches as part of a connectional and representative church. It is not the personal responsibility of members of a congregation. It is the responsibility of the presbytery and the sessions. (1994 interpretation of the B.O. G9.0404d). Per Capita funding enables a governing body council to make decisions regarding the distribution of mission dollars without itself being funded by those same dollars. If Per Capita were eliminated, the dollars received would first have to fund those areas currently funded by Per Capita, thereby compromising mission dollars.

Shenango Presbytery 2020 Per Capita is $40.41 per member.

What does it fund?
Per Capita giving makes it possible to call outstanding Presbytery staff (clergy and laypersons alike) that possess leadership skills in the area of administration and ministry, and are therefore able to serve the local churches in some of the following ways:

  • Help with pulpit supply in case of illness or vacancy.
  • Help PNC’s search for new pastors.
  • Maintain, advise and supply aids for officer training, Christian Education and church programs.
  • Distribute gifts to your designation.
  • Order and distribute Planning Calendars, Books of Order and Books of Confession.
  • Keep accurate financial records for mission giving, church loans and Per Capita.
  • Keep necessary statistics for all churches.

A Real Bargain!

Why Pay It?
To share the costs of maintaining good governance within our church body is a mutual responsibility and a moral obligation. Per Capita provides the opportunities necessary for fair representation because everyone who is a member of the PC(USA) shares in the benefits of our connectional system of government. It encourages unity in that we not only think about ourselves, but we consider the concerns of the whole church across these United States. We do not want other people making decisions for us; we want to be a part of that decision-making process. Per Capita is a responsible way of sharing costs that fairly belongs to the entire Presbyterian Church.

Your Generosity Steering Committee takes its responsibility very seriously and makes every effort to be good stewards of the gifts you give. When all churches are willing to assume the financial responsibility of maintaining our Presbytery operations, the costs are shared equally. A decision not to participate in Per Capita giving places undue financial burdens on your sister churches. This is especially true in Shenango Presbytery where our budget is tight, with little or no opportunities for additional funding.

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