2023 Shared Mission Pledge Request
Please watch your mailbox for the 2023 Shared Mission pledge request and Per Capita notice letter. These letters were mailed to the treasurer, Clerk of Session, and pastoral leader of each church. Please return the pledge card to this office at your earliest convenience.
We encourage each Session to thoughtfully consider our request. The information provided when a church returns their pledge card, no matter the response, is essential to our effective management of the presbytery’s financial resources. So, we urge treasurers, Clerks of Session, and pastoral leaders to make sure that their church has returned their pledge card to this office by January 31, 2023.
If you have any questions about shared mission pledge, Per Capita, or other benevolences, please let us know (304-744-7634, firstname.lastname@example.org).
2022 Year-End Benevolence Processing
As the year comes to an end, I want to encourage you to remit any amount remaining in your church’s Shared Mission pledge, Per Capita, or other benevolence payments for 2022. The General Assembly is allowing us a little extra time to submit payments for this fiscal year. So please, forward all remaining 2022 contributions to the Presbytery office by Friday, January 13 and those contributions will be included in the 2022 records.
Sending Benevolence to the Presbytery
The presbytery has a new mailing address:
Presbytery of West Virginia
PO Box 11720
Charleston, WV 25339
Please use this address to mail your benevolence and any other correspondence to me or other PWV staff.
2023 Per Capita
The 2023 Per Capita rate will be $30.30 per member, according to the church’s membership in the most recently filed statistical report. The 2023 Per Capita was approved at the August presbytery meeting. With the total rate at $30.30 per member, the Presbytery of West Virginia will keep $18.05 and sending $9.85 and $2.40 to the General Assembly and Synod of the Trinity, respectively. The letters detailing your church’s Per Capita amount for 2023 are being prepared and will be in the mail soon.
Helping us understand the importance of Per Capita to our connectional church is this excellent article from Presbyterians Today, titled (coincidentally enough) “Understanding Per Capita.”
2023 PWV Budget
At the Stated Meeting of the Presbytery on August 18, the 2023 budget was approved. The final, approved 2023 budget can be found here and is available in the Financial Documents section of the Documents page.
News from the Board of Pensions
1. Pastor’s Participation medical dues increasing for 2023
The Directors of the Board of Pensions approved an increase in Pastor’s Participation dues for the first time in five years. Effective January 1, 2023, medical dues will increase 2 percent, from 27 percent to 29 percent. As a result, total dues for the benefits package will be 39 percent, up from 37 percent. Directors raised the cap on the maximum annual dues amount by $1,500, from $33,500 to $35,000, and on the minimum annual dues amount by $500, from $11,000 to $11,500.
The vote to increase dues followed a review of cost forecasts by Milliman Inc., the agency’s medical actuarial counsel. Healthcare costs spiked in 2021 as medical costs continued to climb and healthcare use increased following the coronavirus crisis. In summarizing actions taken at General Assembly, the Reverend Dr. Frank Clark Spencer, agency President, discussed specific requests directed to the Board concerning parity of medical dues and affordability for small congregations, particularly within communities of color. He affirmed the need for ongoing evaluation and assessment of existing benefits structures that may not best serve an evolving denomination. And he reiterated the Board of Pensions’ commitment to providing affordability and flexibility in its benefits and to eliminating plan designs that perpetuate disparities and inequities.
2. Assistance Program Resources
The Assistance Program of The Board of Pensions provides support to all eligible members enrolled in the Benefits Plan. This includes not only ministers but also all lay staff enrolled in the plan, too. The Board is committed to providing all who serve the Church with access to these opportunities to support wholeness. We’ve expanded access to meet the growing needs and diversity of the Church, and introduced a new grant this year – Minister Debt Relief. If you know someone on your staff who might need assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me to set up a time to discuss eligibility guidelines and how to apply for a grant.
You also may have recently seen that federal student loan borrowers may receive credit for past periods of repayment that would not have qualified for Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Ministers enrolled in the Benefits Plan may visit the EdAssist page for more information.
That Time of Year
It’s beginning to look a lot like…time to begin thinking about/working on next year’s budget. To help with this, we have a couple of resources available to help with your budget development process. First, we have an article from Church Law & Tax titled “Tips for a More Effective Church Budgeting Process.” It contains key points to remember to help your church have a more successful process and an effective budget that supports your church’s goals. Second, we have information on creating a narrative budget document. Instead of presenting a budget that has columns, numbers, and a list of line items, a narrative budget tells a story of how the various components of the budget contribute to the congregation’s missions and ministries. Please let me know if you would like either, or both, of these resources.
As we enter the last weeks of 2022, it is time for church treasurers to start working on closing out 2022 records and preparing for 2023. We should take a moment to make sure all our ducks are in a row and everything is ready for the new year, such as designating the housing allowance for our minister for the upcoming year, reviewing employee W-4s, and making sure that all revenue and expenses are accounted for prior to closing the books. To help with this, the resource website Free Church Accounting has a helpful checklist.
Minister and Staff Appreciation/Christmas Gifts
As we approach the holiday season, Sessions and congregations will be contemplating an appreciation or Christmas gift to ministers and other church staff. It is important to remember if the gift comes from the church or passes through the church’s account(s), the gift is taxable income to the recipient. Here are some examples:
- The Session decides to give the minister a Christmas bonus and directs the treasurer to write an extra check to the minister. This would be considered taxable income (and should include a S.E.C.A. adjustment).
- A church takes an offering from the congregation for a Christmas gift to the minister. The treasurer deposits the offering into the church’s general fund and then writes a check from the church to the minister. This would be considered taxable income (and should include a S.E.C.A. adjustment).
If the gift passes directly from the donor to the minister, this would be considered a non-taxable gift. Changing the previous example, a church takes an offering from the congregation for a Christmas gift to the minister. The treasurer collects and counts the offering and then gives the offering directly to the minister. This would be considered a non-taxable gift. Please note, however, in this scenario, a gift to an individual is not a tax-deductible charitable contribution.
It’s important to consider the tax implications of these heartfelt gestures for both the recipient and the giver.
2022 Special Offerings Calendar
Here is this year’s calendar for the four churchwide Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), of which one remains.
CHRISTMAS JOY: Nov. 27 to Dec. 18
A gift to the Christmas Joy Offering is distributed equally to the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, which provides assistance to current and retired church workers in their time of need, and to Presbyterian-related schools equipping communities of color by providing education and leadership development.
NOTE: Donations to the four Special Offerings are accepted at any time. The dates above are for times of special emphasis on the offerings. Click here for more information or to order resources, or call the PC(USA) Store at 800-533-4371.