Each year in the first days of January a letter goes out to Clerks of Sessions asking Sessions for a whole ream of information for the upcoming calendar year. I ask for updated contact information for our online Directory, the mission pledge, the installed ministers’ compensation report (temporary pastor’s reports come through the HPCC on an annual basis), the minister’s concurrence on the compensation report, and the Sexual Misconduct Prevention policy, and salary sharing report. In the raft of detail, it’s easy to pass by one or more of these documents.
We thrive on updated information. Clerks change. Treasurers change. Emails and phone numbers occasionally change. So does our mission pledge. Mission monies put 78 mission co-workers in some 45 countries around the world. Mission pledges pay presbytery salaries so there’s someone there to handle conflict when it rears in local congregations and help congregations find pastors between calls. Mission monies start new worshipping communities which existing churches (e.g. Community, Cathedral City’s Kid’s Reach) and start new works in immigrant communities (e.g. Arabic Fellowship of Temecula).
Knowing how much pastors make and making sure it’s recorded prior to it being received makes the minister better able to handle IRS audits. We ensure the presbytery minimum salary is being followed, a number which HPCC struggles over each year. And finally, salary sharing helps both active and retired ministers with their special financial needs. We are a presbytery principally of small churches. We want to make sure everyone who has committed themselves to the ministry of Word and Sacrament has the resources they need to lead a fruitful life.
Five pieces of information that sustain our life together. When the Office of General Assembly, the statistical aggregator, and presbytery come knocking, please be part of gathering the information we need to maintain life in God’s name.