Thursday, October 27, 2011

Letter to Congregation Re: New Boiler & Year End Finances

October 28, 2011

To the congregation:

After worship last Sunday, the Finance Committee presented an update on congregational finances and presented initial estimates for the cost of replacing the church hall boiler, which cracked two weeks ago.

As for the congregation’s finances, our income is up slightly due to the preschool but a 60% rise in the cost of oil in addition to staff pay raises have caused expenses to increase as well. Congregational giving has also been slightly weaker than in previous years. Taken together, this leaves us with a projected $6,000 deficit for 2011.

The boiler is expected to cost approximately $20,000 to replace, an amount that includes asbestos removal, disposal of the old boiler, purchasing the new boiler, installation and other expenses associated with a possible conversion to natural gas.

The good news is that a new boiler will considerably lower our energy use. This plus the growing preschool bodes well for the congregation’s long-term financial picture.

At this time, however, we need everybody to dig a little deeper and challenge themselves to both help balance this year’s budget and raise the funds necessary for the new boiler. By the end of the meeting last Sunday, we had already received four pledges toward the new boiler exceeding $6,500. We also received lesser commitments toward helping balance the operating budget.

Community Presbyterian is our spiritual home. It is where we gather to praise God, to raise our children in the faith, to fellowship together, to pray for each other and the world and to serve our neighbors. Enclosed with this letter is a simple form asking you to do your part to help move the congregation over the hump. If you could prayerfully consider how much you are able to give, both toward the boiler and the projected deficit, and then fill out the form, it would be of great help. Completed forms can be put into the offering plate or given to Nancy Stalb.

Thank you

Lorne Birch


Download Pledge Form

In Memoriam - Church Hall Boiler

On Sunday we offered our thanks to God for the life and service of the church hall boiler. For 81 years, first as a coal boiler and then as an oil fired boiler, it provided heat for scout troops and AA meetings, community theatrical productions and talent shows, the thrift shop and fellowship club dinners, church fairs and coffee hours.

Over the years, the boiler tank began to rust away with age, developing leaks and then sealing the leaks over with rust. Over the years, congregational leaders also questioned the boiler's efficiency, wondering about changes but then balking at the cost of replacement.

At its September 2011 meeting, the Session questioned once again whether, with rising oil prices we could continue affording to operate the church hall boiler. They appointed a team to begin reviewing options. And then when our Sexton John Wolfe test fired the boiler, water began running out the bottom as quickly as it went in the top. The boiler had finally rusted through.

For years, when we felt we could not afford to replace it, the good Lord kept our boiler going. And then, when we were wondering whether we could afford to run it, the boiler died. Our God watches over us in all ways.

The church is currently soliciting bids for all aspects of the boiler replacement process. We expect it will cost in the vicinity of $20,000 once costs related to a possible conversion to gas are factored in.