The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a connectional church, and the Board of Pensions fulfills its own, unique role in the community. The Church looks to the Board to uphold the commitment made by congregations to care for installed pastors, and to provide ways for churches and other Presbyterian-affiliated employers to care for other teaching elders and other employees.
The Board is one of six agencies of the General Assembly of the PC(USA). It collaborates with the other agencies in areas that include funds development, information technology, communications, and education.
The relationship of the Board of Pensions to the Church is set forth in several key documents and opinions of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution. The Board appears as a General Assembly-related corporate body in the Organization for Mission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
The Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), also a General Assembly agency, may elect one of its Directors to sit on the Board’s Board of Directors. The Board’s President and the Chair of its Board of Directors have the privilege of the floor at PMA meetings but without a vote. The two also belong to an informal group comprising the chairs and executives of the six General Assembly agencies.
The Board continually seeks gatherings in which its leaders might enter into conversation with mid council and congregational representatives, to share thoughts and ideas. Such gatherings provide an opportunity for participants to learn about Board plans and programs.
The Board of Pensions hosts biannual meetings of the Advisory Forum at its headquarters in Philadelphia. The group consists of mid council leaders and pastors serving in congregations of various sizes. The Advisory Forum provides an opportunity for the Board to gather ideas and suggestions from a cross section of church leadership.