In a continuing effort to share a better understanding of the church’s financial strengths and needs, the Session is undertaking a series of newsletter articles about how committees work to define the mission and program of the church, and how the program is funded and managed through the operating budget. The third installment explains the Personnel Committee’s work.

The Personnel Committee’s Budget pays for our team.

We are blessed with three wonderful ordained pastors and a phenomenal staff – all of whom support and assist our community, and each other, in driving the mission of Westminster Presbyterian Church: to do justice, love kindness and walk humbly. They are an exceptional team and we are lucky to have them.

Having an excellent team requires commensurate compensation. One of the Personnel Committee’s tasks is to review and recommend each staff member’s salary and compensation within the framework of the overall budget. This can be a challenging and daunting task in light of the ever increasing costs of healthcare and associated costs of living. The Personnel Committee is well aware that this budget represents the largest portion of WPC’s overall budget. As a result, the committee remains mindful of the balance between the desire to compensate and retain our excellent staff members and the financial realities of the overall budget.

For 2017, the budget for the Personnel Committee is $675,975. Those dollars are distributed as follows:

  • Ordained Salary & Compensation: 35% ($234,807)
    The Board of Pensions calculates a 36.5% fee based on total compensation for each pastor. That percentage is further broken down into the following categories:
    – Pension: 11%
    – Death/Disability: 1% + flat monthly age-based fee
    – Health: 24.5%
    It is important to note that as recently as June 24, 2017, the Board of Pensions has indicated that the fee associated with Health Care coverage for ordained pastors will rise to 25% for 2018. This increase is based on the rising costs of healthcare and will certainly continue to climb over time.
  • Program Staff Salary & Compensation: 22% ($147,429)
  • Administrative Staff Salary & Compensation: 18% ($123,860)
  • Childcare Staff Salary & Compensation: 3% ($22,500)
  • Benefits, Healthcare, & Taxes: 22% ($147,379)

As I mentioned when I had the opportunity to report on the Terms of Call at a recent congregational meeting, our ordained staff – Chris, Betty, Taylor – are outstanding spiritual leaders to whom we owe very much. We trust them to teach us, and guide us, and walk with us as we struggle and strive to live our mission of doing justice, loving kindness, and walking humbly with God. They rejoice with us in times of celebration. They console us in times of sorrow. They challenge us. They support us. Chris inspires with his sermons and leadership. Betty loves with her constant care and connection with our members. Taylor shines with infectious energy and passion for our youth. They do each of these things, and they do all of these things, together.

And right beside them – hard at work– is the rest of the team without which, none of this would happen: Monica, our unparalleled Minister of Music. Heather, our tireless and fearless Director of Christian Education. Elizabeth, our calm, steady and resourceful Office Manager. Kara, our exceptionally creative and organized Communication Coordinator. Thoko, our loving and nurturing Nursery Staff Supervisor. Barb, our consistently joyful and multi-talented Administrative Assistant who greets us at the door or on the phone and keeps all these moving parts in line. They do each of these things, and they do all of these things, together.

We have an exceptional team and we are lucky to have them.In light of our overall budget, the challenge for the Personnel Committee – and ultimately Westminster – is to fairly compensate and retain our outstanding staff based on their effort and merit, and communicate that they are valued here.