During the 222nd (2016) General Assembly, the Way Forward Committee mandated that a team be appointed by the Co-Moderators, Jan Edmiston and T. Denise Anderson, and named as the Vision 2020 Team. The mandate was to develop a draft Guiding Statement for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and a plan for its implementation. Our final report will be presented to the 225th (2022) General Assembly with the hope that the church will embrace the Guiding Statement as a tool for discernment, action and vision.
What is a Guiding Statement?
For generations before the industrial era, people used the North Star to guide them to their destination. A vision statement describes the destination you are trying to reach. This Guiding Statement is the North Star that helps you navigate your way there. It helps focus the direction of the denomination while still allowing room for unique visions and missions.
Why was an acronym created?
The acronym Prayerful, Courageous, United, Serving, Alive (or PC[USA]) came out of many hours working on different themes and words that we heard throughout the denomination and beyond. It was truly a Holy Spirit moment when we finally settled on these five words that just happen to spell out our name. No, really! The words came first, not the acronym! To learn more, visit Our Story page.
Who is this for?
This is for anyone looking for who the PC(USA) is or guidance on where our denomination is going. We have had individuals, congregations, presbyteries, synods and the national Church at large use the Guiding Statement as a tool for discernment. Follow us on Facebook to keep up to date as stories are shared with us.
How do I use this?
You can use this for discernment, strategic planning, inspiration, visioning, personal reflection, liturgy, preaching and so much more. This is designed to be a lens through which to see ministry in a different light. It is a platform on which many applications can be built. We designed this with the hope that it can be used in many different contexts in many different ways.
What resources are available to me?
On our Resources page, you can find documents to download and use to engage with the Guiding Statement. We will be updating it as the Vision 2020 Team creates resources, so keep checking back!
Who can I share my story with?
We want to hear how the Guiding Statement has helped you. If it's a personal story or one of an entire synod, we're excited to hear about it. Email us at if you are interested in writing your story or would like to be interviewed.
Are there PC(USA) initiatives that help me live out the Guiding Statement?
We believe the Office of the General Assembly's Hands and Feet initiative and the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Matthew 25 vision are examples of how we are living out the call to be Prayerful, Courageous, United, Serving, and Alive!
Hands and Feet is an initiative to highlight and strengthen local and national efforts by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to facilitate change and communicate God’s love.
Matthew 25:31–46 calls us to actively engage in the world around us, and congregations and mid councils to act boldly and compassionately to serve people on the margins.
Has the General Assembly officially adopted the Guiding Statement?
As the name implies, the Vision 2020 Team Guiding Statement was scheduled to be approved by the General Assembly in 2020. As we know, the COVID-19 pandemic intervened and transformed that GA to an online urgent business docket. At present, we are scheduled to be approved at the 225th GA (2022) in Columbus, Ohio.