- Session approved annual Statistical Report to the Presbytery. We had 762 members on the roll as of 12/31/23. The per capita paid to the Presbytery in 2024 will be $27.00 per member.
- Session called a meeting for February 4, 2024, at 10:35 am in the Chapel to receive new members.
- Session called a Congregational Meeting for February 25, 2024, following the 11:00 am worship service for State of the Church and Election of Officers for the Class of ’27.
Finance: For the first time in several years, 2023 ended in a deficit of ($3,842). While expenses were well managed and came in under budget by ($64,696) – total income and giving did not have the end of year boost as past years have had and did not meet our targeted number by ($68,538). In the last several years we have ended the year with a surplus and we have rolled that surplus into the next year to help us fund our budget. That did not occur this year. Finance committee did not have a balanced budget for Session to approve. Having a “fuller” church with more activities and increases in prices for everyday expenses, more funding is needed to support the ministries and building expenses of the church. The Finance committee asked for more time to work on obtaining more income (pledges), cutting expenses, and looking at endowments that could fund special programs and projects (not general operating expenses).
Session approved a motion from Building and Grounds & Finance to fund new boilers for the church in the amount of $88,500 to be funded from the 1820 Fund which was established for maintenance of the church building.
Session approved a motion from Finance committee to use one time money from the Employee Retention Credit (ERC) to pay off the line of credit for the UPerk Coffee Shop in the amount of $120,000. The church assumed the liability for the Line of Credit upon the closing of UPerk.
A called meeting of Session will occur as soon as Finance has a budget to present.
Stewardship: Reported that over 200 families made a pledge giving commitment to 2024. That was an increase in the number of families over 2023 but a decline in the amount of dollars pledged. It is hoped that it will be good for the church over time with new families helping with pledging.
Endowment: Our endowment portfolio had a very good year with a 2023 return of 17.52% and a 5-year return of 9.88%. We ended the year with a balance in over 40 investments of $7,245,823. Endowment Chair, Bob Singleton, led an effort to put our investment management services out for bid in 2023. We had 7 firms respond, 3 firms interviewed, and the subcommittee recommended to Session to retain Jordan Plaster and his group with Ameriprise Financial Service to continue providing investment services to FPC. Session endorsed this recommendation. (continued next page) FPC Session Notes (continued)
Personnel: Shared with Session new job descriptions for our 3 pastors and the Communications Director. The previous job descriptions were very out of date. Now that we have new job descriptions, Personnel has developed an assessment tool that they are putting in place for reviews. Additionally, Personnel had the following recommendations for Session:
- A formal sabbatical leave policy for the pastoral staff was adopted by Session for the church. This was the first time FPC had its own policy, formally just following loosely a Presbytery policy.
- A sabbatical was approved for Rev. Lou Ann Sellers upon submission of her written plan to Personnel, sometime in the year 2024 for two months.
- Mike Till is retiring on February 29, and will be celebrated by the Congregation on Sunday February 18.
Mission: Global Mission Festival this Sunday. Shelley Hancock reported that 35 local agencies had received slightly over $52,000 in grants and distributions from FPC in 2023.
Nominating Committee: Still needs your nominations.
Next Stated Meeting: Monday, February 26, 2024, at 5:30 pm.