Session Highlights from most recent meeting

Stated Meeting - February 27, 2023

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  • Current Membership of FPC: 1,013 as of February 27, 2023
  • Communion Next Scheduled: Maundy Thursday, April 6, 2023
  • Wedding Approved: Martha Grace Mize to Gaines Gibson on June 24, 2023
  • Next Presbytery Meeting: Rescheduled for March 9, 2023 at Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church. Commissioned Elders: Scott Taylor, Becky Compton, and Emily Deal

Session Highlights

Listening: Session began its meeting with a discussion of what Elders heard from the Congregation after the annual  meeting the day before. A Member was interested in UPerk and the amount of financial support that was being given to the Coffee Shop/Community Space by FPC. Session members suggested one service for the annual meeting in the future and to avoid the Lenten Season. A Bible Study on “listening” was shared.

Special Order: UPerk. UPerk Board of Directors led by President Cal Holt and Exec. Dir. Caroline Ford met with Session for a Special Update.  In 2022, UPerk showed a small profit due to direct donations of $57,264 ($15,000 from FPC) and income from the forgiveness of the PPP loan. The current 2023 YTD numbers show a net loss due to a lack of the other income sources to support the endeavor at this time, causing a need to draw on its line of credit which bears a 7.75% current rate. Many good things are happening at UPerk with cost controls, hiring and training staff, marketing strategies, and growing its awareness at FPC and the Tuscaloosa community as well as its target market at UA reported by Cal Holt. Financial plans developed by UPerk state that sales need to be at least $600 a day to approach a break-even point depending upon other activities. The Board remains positive about the potential for the coffee shop to do better financially and serve as a mission-based operation providing many services for our church and community. The Board requested from Session $50,000 for operating purposes this year (2023), and moving forward, to include UPerk as a line item on the FPC budget with a funding need to be presented from time to time – in addition to the $12,000 annual rent currently paid by FPC to use the space for our UKirk ministry.

Finance: Robert Almon presented 3 recommendations to Session for funding major initiatives before Session.

  1. Our Columbarium expansion project is underway, this will also address our drainage issues in the Rose Garden. Requested that Session approve a loan from Endowments (fund tbd) to fund the $190,000 project that will be repaid with proceeds from the sale of the spaces. $17,425 to get the project started will come from our FPC operating surplus account. Session approved.
  2. HVAC/Chillers. Building and Grounds recommended replacing our 19-year-old chillers which sustained damage during 2022 electrical storm, of which we collected $87,492 in insurance proceeds for storm damage. Some proceeds were used for repairs; we have $49,339 remaining to apply to chiller replacement. Working with McAbee Construction, there is a 32-week lead time for this large capital outlay and the estimate/quote is up to $510,000 that we will need to approve to fund this replacement after the insurance money. No deposit required now; Finance recommends looking at the Endowment portfolio to fund. This is why we saw the need to establish and build the 1820 Fund. Session approved.
  3. UPerk. The Finance committee recommended to Session to fund the up to $50,000 requested by UPerk for 2023 operations in up to $12,500 quarterly installments, which would have to be requested each quarter by the UPerk Board. Session approved.

Long Range Planning: Recommended a Sexual Misconduct Policy for approval. Session approved. Session recognized Elder Mike Henderson and the Nominating Committee for a job well done.  

Preschool: Elder Vicki Holt reported that we have 72 children on the waitlist for the FPC preschool and that we are recognized as the best faith-based Pre-K in the State.

Worship: Session approved moving to one service at 10:00 a.m. (Summer Schedule) on May 21, 2023. The Chancel Opera commissioned in memory of Ed White will be debuted that afternoon at 3:00 p.m.  

Next Stated Meeting: Session will meet on March 27, 2023, at 5:30 p.m.