During our Fall Town Hall meeting, some of the members in attendance requested that additional information on several topics be made available prior to the November 10 Annual Meeting.
What follows is some detail about constitutional changes, the feasibility study for the proposed mission campaign and about our heating and cooling system needs. Should you have additional questions prior to the meeting, please contact one of the pastors.We look forward to seeing you on November 10th!
Two Constitutional items that will be up for a final ratification vote. These items were already approved by a majority vote at the June Congregational Meeting. Because these items contain changes to the Church Constitution (as opposed to the ByLaws), they are required to be approved by both a simple majority vote and then ratified later, without change, by a 2/3 majority vote. There will be no additional presentation of these provisions at the Annual Meeting prior to the vote, but there will be time for questions. If anyone has questions that can be addressed prior to the meeting, please contact Leslie McCarthy at email@example.com.
Constitution Committee Proposed Changes
These are the proposed amendments to the Church Constitution. Only the sections that contain changes are included, as well as any adjacent sections needed to provide context to understand the proposed change. New proposed language is underlined, new proposed deletions are shown with a “strike-though.” Where there are sections with substantive change there is a brief note explaining the reasons for the proposed change. For your reference, the current 2016 Constitution is available here.
Expenditure Change Proposal
This proposed Constitutional change, which increases the amount of money that Congregation Council can spend without prior approval from 2% to 4% of the annual budget, is as follows:
Delete C12.05(d) and replace 12.05(c) with the following language:
“The Congregation Council shall prepare an annual budget for adoption by this congregation and shall supervise the expenditure of funds in accordance therewith following its adoption. The Congregation Council may enter into contracts for items not included in the approved budget in a cumulative amount not to exceed 4% of the approved budget. The Congregation Council may enter into contracts for items not included in the approved budget in a cumulative amount that exceeds 4% of the approved budget only after approval by a Congregation Meeting. The budget shall include this congregation’s full-indicated share in support of the wider ministry being carried on in partnership with the synod and churchwide organization.”
Mission Campaign FAQs
- What is a mission campaign?
- A mission (or capital) campaign seeks to raise a set amount of money for specific purposes over a defined period of time.
- What would we be raising money for in this campaign?
The pastors and lay leaders envision three components of a campaign aligned with our vision statement. Some of the raised possibilities for projects are noted for each component. These are examples only, not a comprehensive list:
- Loving God
- Worship needs, e.g. AV systems
- Stewardship of property, e.g. heating and cooling system, parking lot, furniture
- Loving Neighbor
- Mission outreach, social ministry, and global missions, e.g. Busoka
- Making Disciples
- Education, e.g. Christian Education
- Worship needs, e.g. music ministry
- That seems like a lot of things! Can we do them all?
- Maybe! A feasibility study will assess the capacity, capability, and readiness of the congregation to launch a successful campaign.
- What exactly is this feasibility study?
A feasibility study is the first phase of campaign planning, conducted by an external fundraising consultant. Its goals are to:
- discern the congregation’s vision for ministry
- determine how this is connected to the hopes and dreams for additional resource needs
- gauge the members’ level of understanding of resource needs and willingness to support the mission
- gather the necessary input and data to develop an effective path for the appeal process.
- Why do we need to hire a firm to raise money when we could just do it ourselves?
- Churches often need fundraising experts to help guide their capital campaigns. These experts help provide the necessary resources to allow churches to execute these campaigns. While St. Peter’s has members with past and current fundraising skills and experience, this is too big of a job for our staff and volunteers to undertake.
- How will we pay for the feasibility study?
- Thanks to a generous donor, a lead gift has been made to fund the study. Much like the donation given to cover the Volunteer Steward position, both the donation and the expense will appear in the 2020 budget and will offset each other.
- We still have mortgage debt. Shouldn’t we raise money to pay that off before we undertake more projects?
- Different people are motivated to support different types of needs. The feasibility study will consider a variety of funding opportunities, including debt reduction. But we also have some pressing property needs that can’t wait until the mortgage is paid off.
- Why can’t we just put these things in the 2020 budget and pay for them that way?
- While our annual giving covers our annual regular operating expenses, it is not realistic at this time to believe it could cover a major capital expenditure (for example, a new heating and cooling system for the church).
- We have a lot of money in the endowment! Can’t we just use that to pay for these things?
- An endowment fund is an investment fund set aside for specific purposes. Guidelines state that only a portion of the interest made on those funds may be used for expenses. The fund’s principal (i.e. the original amount contributed to start the fund) may only be used in an emergency. If we had a disaster and no line of credit or ability to borrow, we could use those funds, but that isn’t the case..
- What does HVAC mean?
- HVAC is short for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. In the information below, “HVAC equipment” refers to the physical chillers and boiler units while “control system” refers to the heating/cooling management software/computer.
- What is wrong with the HVAC system?
- Heating and cooling in the newer side (South side) of the church is currently controlled by a Carrier i-Vu control system that was installed during the building project in 2005. This system uses a main computer to control heating and cooling scheduling as well as provide control of 2 chillers, a boiler, and other HVAC components throughout the South side of the church. Currently, the i-Vu control system is not functioning properly and the HVAC equipment is not able to be controlled efficiently. Without full control of the system, the HVAC equipment is at risk of complete failure as the chillers and boiler are not designed to run in an uncontrolled manner.
- What has been done to attempt to fix the known HVAC control system problem?
- The property committee has worked with multiple companies to try and fix the control system problem. Carrier sent a technician to diagnose the problem with their i-Vu system and was unable to provide a resolution after inspecting the system. Trago Mechanical was brought in and was able to bypass the Carrier system to allow for manual heat control, however this requires the HVAC equipment to run full time and will quickly shorten the life of the equipment.
- What options do we have to fix the HVAC control system?
- The property committee is exploring options to replace the control system for our HVAC equipment. Due to the age of the current i-Vu system, Carrier has suggested a total replacement of the control system with an updated version. Dynatech and Siemens have been contacted to provide estimates for control system replacements as well. There currently are no known options that will allow for repairing the current system due to the age of the installed system.
- What is the cost of replacing the HVAC control system?
- Estimates are currently being collected from multiple businesses to replace the control system. Based on the current estimates that have been received, it is anticipated that a replacement of the control system will cost roughly $120,000 – $140,000.
- What is the condition of the HVAC equipment used with the control system?
- The two chillers and boiler used on the South side of the church are in okay condition, but there are a few lingering concerns. The chiller that serves the sanctuary has a condensate leak from a poorly installed water line that has created mold and rust issues inside the unit. All three pieces of equipment have required multiple expensive service calls in the last year alone and they are losing efficiency as they age. If a new control system is installed, it will use the equipment we have, but will not fix the mold and rusting issues. The only way to fix the mold and rust issues in the sanctuary chiller at this point is to replace the unit entirely, but this is not required to maintain a fully functional HVAC system.
- Are there any warranties in place on our HVAC equipment and control system?
- All original warranties on the HVAC equipment and control system have expired. There is a service agreement currently in place with Trago Mechanical to service the units and change filters on the units, but this agreement does not help fix the control system or chiller issue.