September 2023

By Ann Lin

There is excitement in the air in the CE Building and NextGen program. This is reflected by a large anonymous donation, of which $250,000 will be used as a matching gift toward our ongoing NextGen capital improvements fundraising campaign. Two years ago, we surveyed our congregation to learn what was important to us and how we wanted to grow. Last year, we published the results in our Mission Study Report to provide clarity of our vision and direction. It was clear our top goal was to reimagine and revitalize our child, youth and family ministries. We are now delivering on that as shown by the growing participation of 40+ children and students every Sunday since the NextGen kickoff just five weeks ago. We see families returning with their children after a multiple year hiatus and there is a refreshing pattern of families and children inviting their friends to NextGen.

Here is the President’s report for the Board of Trustees meeting held September 11, 2023.

Stewardship reports that it has approved the use of $250,000 of the larger anonymous gift to be used for matching funds to the NextGen fall campaign as the donor requested.  The potential $500,000 designated ($250,000 goal from the congregation plus $250,000 match) for NextGen will be used to renovate the CE Building.  $70,000 has already been pledged by the Trustees. The remaining gift will be used throughout our facility as prioritized by Buildings & Grounds Committee. The only  restriction to the large anonymous gift is that the funds be used for capital improvements. 

Buildings & Grounds did not meet in August. The CE Building renovations have been very successful in creating an exciting and welcoming space for the children, teenagers and volunteers.

Finance is now reporting expenses by each program, including staff salary allocation. This will show the true cost of the programs. The Mexico Mission trip will begin allocating the indirect cost of staff time in student fees. Tim Recker will chair the Investment Committee. The budget will be updated with the large anonymous gift.

Personnel reports the posting for our new Operations Coordinator position resulted in over 60 applications. Interviewing is in process. A small team of board members and Toni will be undergoing training on 403b fiduciary duties as a sponsoring employer. Personalized employment letters and updated letters of call will be sent shortly to staff and pastoral staff. Joan, Julie and Toni are working to update the Employee Handbook to include sections on sabbatical, merit increases, benefit changes and other issues. We have been using Merit HR as our outside HR resource, however we will talk to additional resources that are church focused. Now that staff reviews are being completed, job descriptions will be adjusted, dated and stored in Planning Center with computer access to that module.

Mission Board is updating the agreements for the three organizations with which we will associate to title these documents as ‘Shared Vision Agreements.’ The Board of Trustees felt ‘Partnership Agreement’ might expose the church to liability. A monthly schedule of service opportunities for our congregation is created through November. Christmas activities are under discussion for Primera Iglesia Presibteriana  Hispana (PIPH), Alternative Gift Market, City Team and Harbor House. Our three partner organizations will each receive $8,000. Our Better World Fund will award $16,000 to other organizations that must apply for project grants. Letters to announce the new project grant availability will go first to former recipients of our Better World Fund grants. The Mission Board has asked the Nominating Committee identify more members for the Mission Board, specifically looking for one or two high school students, representatives from some church ministries and new members. 

Deacons report they only need two ushers per Sunday except communion Sundays for which three ushers are needed. More ushers are needed on Christmas Eve because of multiple services. Usher instructions will be kept inside the Sanctuary main entrance. Randy and Liz will be the Deacon representatives to the Nominating Committee.

NextGen reported August was all about training, screening and onboarding 33 volunteers who serve critical roles in the success of the program. There are large groups and life groups for each designated class. 53 kids and students attended August 20. MailChimp email templates are developed for kids parents, student parents, kids volunteers and student volunteers. When kids are picked up, parents receive information on what was covered that day and how to keep the conversation going with their child. Weekly parent reminder emails are sent and the annual calendar of events has been created so parents can plan ahead. Social channels ‘Piedmont Church Kids’ and ‘Piedmont Church Students’ are active on Instagram. As for safety and compliance, our child protection and check-in guidelines and procedures became fully operational starting August 20. Parents also must complete both the NextGen Family Information and Parent Consent and Release of Liability forms. The check-in process is integrated into Planning Center software. 769 people were migrated from the existing CCB software to Planning Center software for tracking purposes.