2021 Per Capita

The 2021 Per Capita is $ 30.05 per member. Approved at the August Presbytery Meeting, it is a five cent increase from the 2020 rate. The increase was in response to a three cent increase in the General Assembly rate for 2021 to $8.98 and to provide a little relief to the Presbytery of past increases at the other levels that we have absorbed. Therefore, with the total rate at $30.05 per member, the Presbytery of West Virginia will keep $18.67, sending $8.98 and $2.40 to the General Assembly and Synod of the Trinity, respectively.

2020 Shared Mission Pledge Request

Hopefully, all of our churches have received a 2021 Shared Mission pledge request and Per Capita notice letter. These were mailed to the treasurer, Clerk of Session, and pastoral leader of each church. Please return the pledge card to the Presbytery office 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 their church has returned its pledge card to this office by January 31, 2021.

If you have any questions about mission pledge, Per Capita, or other benevolences, please contact me (304-744-7634, treasurer@wvpresbytery.org).

New loan program from Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program

From the Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program (PILP), a nonprofit corporation of PC(USA): “In order to be responsive to the needs of our congregations and entities, now and in the future, the Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program is introducing the Safety and Technology Loan for the funding of projects that will meet necessary safety and technology needs to reopen church campuses and provide online worship.” 

NOTE: If your church has technology needs, please consider applying for an Innovation Grant from New Life Congregational Grants program now available from the Presbytery. Information on these and Covenant Grants is available here

Information from the Board of Pensions

The Board of Pensions (BOP) is offering dues deferments or waivers to assist churches during the coronavirus crisis.  There are also expanded benefits available to those participating in the benefits offered. Click here for the Board’s website with more information.

Also, for members of the Board of Pensions’ benefits plans, the annual enrollment period ends Friday. If they have notm already done so, members should log on to BOP’ Benefits Connect website to review benefits options and costs for coverage effective Jan. 1, 2021. 

Annual enrollment is member’s opportunity to review and make changes to current benefits to ensure they have the coverage they want and that best meets their needs for 2021. During this time, members can review the benefits available, including any new benefits their employer may offer for 2021; add or remove eligible family members from coverage; enroll for benefits and/or make changes to current coverage; and review and update beneficiaries and/or personal information. If you have questions for the Board of Pensions about the Benefits Plan or the benefits selection process, call 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and select “Employer Services.”

Additionally, I highly recommend that churches sign up to receive the Board of Pensions’ monthly “Employer News” newsletter, which provides information regarding recent Board news, important updates, and information specifically for employers. To receive it, please contact the Board of Pensions (1-800-773-7752, communications@pensions.org), or get in touch with me (304-744-7634, treasurer@wvpresbytery.org) and I can help you get a copy.

Finally, the last Board of Pensions’ Well-Being Respite, focusing on physical and emotional health, with keynote speaker Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia, is Wednesday afternoon. For more information and to register, click here.

PPP Loan Forgiveness

The Small Business Administration (SBA) began accepting loan forgiveness applications in August. The most recent release of additional guidelines for the forgiveness application process, in another set of interim final rules, were issued the first week of September. We continue to be advised by lenders participating in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and CPA sources that loan recipients wait to apply for forgiveness. There are potential significant changes to the forgiveness application process currently under consideration in Congress.

In preparation of applying for forgiveness, now is the time, if you have not already done so, to build a documentation file of how the loan proceeds were used. Here is a list of some of the documents that should be in the file: Documents verifying the number of full-time equivalent employees on payroll and their pay rates, payroll reports, payroll tax filings (ex. Form 941), documents verifying any retirement and health insurance contributions (ex. Board of Pensions invoices), documents verifying eligible interest paid, rent, and utility bills (canceled checks, payment receipts, account statements).

Here is the latest information/guidance we have received from Brown Edwards CPAs.

On Oct. 8, the SBA released a streamlined loan forgiveness application for PPP loans totaling $50,000 or less. The new two-page forgiveness application, Form 3508S, includes certifications from the borrower and does not require calculations to be submitted with the application, but still requires submission of supporting documentation. This new application is supposed to require less information and time to complete than the EZ form.

The following are some helpful reminders and hints for completing the forgiveness application process, for all application forms, based on client feedback and experiences to date:

  • Borrowers can submit an application for forgiveness once they have satisfied the qualifications for forgiveness. It is not required to wait 24 weeks.
  • Borrowers must choose the Covered Period option of 24 weeks or 8 weeks. Twenty-four weeks must be used if the Covered Period is longer than eight weeks.
  • If you are able to qualify for forgiveness based on payroll only, you should do so because it makes the process move quicker and there are fewer document uploads. You do not have to include or indicate that you have any other qualifying expenses if you are able to qualify based on payroll only. NOTE: Payroll is different than owner compensation.
  • The SBA has up to 90 days from the date your lender issues their decision on your application to remit your forgiveness amount. It is expected that the SBA will use most, if not all, of this time.

As of this writing, it is unclear how this announcement will impact plans in Congress for automatic PPP loan forgiveness. The HEROES Act was recently passed in the House. This legislation said that for loans under $50,000, recipients would not have to ‘submit any documentation or application to receive forgiveness’ as long as they certified that they used the funds in compliance with the rules. For loans between $50,000 and $150,000, recipients would have to request forgiveness with ‘a simplified one-page application form that does not require the submission of any documentation.’ This has not yet been passed by the Senate.

Again, and I cannot overemphasize this, if your church received a PPP loan, your lender should be providing information to you. If not, you should contact them to make sure the church is on their list to receive PPP information and updates from the SBA. Please stay in contact with your lender and rely on them for information on applying for PPP loan forgiveness. We will do our best to keep you updated, and you can also visit the Small Business assistance page of US Treasury website.

Also, I have been emailing church treasurers with PPP Loan news/updates that happen between the publishing of the PWV newsletter.  If you would like to be added to this email list, please email me at treasurer@wvpresbytery.org.

Stewardship and Budgeting in a Time of Uncertainty

I have compiled resources and information on managing church finances, stewardship, and budgeting during difficult times, like those we find ourselves in now. Attached is a list of resources and information I have found that may be informative and helpful to you.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance COVID-19 Relief

Any churches that want to assist Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) with their response to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic may direct donations to the PDA Matthew 25 Fund (#E052197). Donations may be made directly through the PC(USA) website or can be included with benevolence sent to the PWV office. If sent to the office, please be sure to note on the 2020 Benevolence remittance the amount that is for the Matthew 25 Fund.

Special Offerings news and 2020 calendar

The Presbyterian Mission Agency now has a private Facebook group, Special Offerings: Promoting Presbyterian Mission Together. Learn how leaders in congregations across the PC(USA) are effectively using video, print resources, social media content, and more to promote the four Special Offerings. Take advantage of this special opportunity to share best practices and creative ideas, and post any questions you may have about your unique congregational context. As always, the members of the Special Offerings team stand ready to resource, serve, and support you; call 800-728-7228 ext. 5047 or email special.offerings@pcusa.org. The group is visible to everyone on Facebook, so if the link above doesn’t take you there, you can search for it and join.

Also, the 2020-21 Presbyterian Giving Catalog is here, and there has never been a better time to support it. Your gifts have always been significant, but this year, the unprecedented global COVID-19 crisis makes your generosity absolutely critical. Even a small gift can make a big impact. Whether it’s providing healthcare for mothers and their infants or helping dig a community water well to deliver life-saving access to clean water, there are so many ways to create positive change and inspire hope. Visit the catalog today, and help us make a difference!

Finally, here is the 2020 calendar for the four churchwide Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), of which only one remains – CHRISTMAS JOY: Nov. 29 to Dec. 20. A gift to this 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 Presbyterian-related schools equipping communities of color by providing education and leadership development.
Donations to these offerings are accepted at any time. The dates in the calendar 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.