Update from Session

Praying for our staff

As we enter the second quarter of our fiscal year, your Session (elders) wants to remind you of commitments we made this summer. These include:

· The faithful work presented by the Trustees outlining their recommendations of spending parameters. We deeply appreciate (and depend greatly upon) the diligent and circumspect effort of these faithful stewards to give us wise counsel and direction in the financial and temporal aspects of our ministry. Their heart to honor Jesus is wonderfully evident!

· The generous giving spirit of our congregation as a sign of health in our church. While the economic climate continues to be challenging, the commitment to extend Christ’s Kingdom remains a priority. This generosity is also evidence of a hospitality of spirit God is growing among us. It is love in action!


· The desire to lovingly support our staff and provide for their financial wellbeing (along with other aspects of their lives!) We are incredibly blessed with a staff that is competent, enthusiastic, unified and humble. This is, and they are, indeed a blessing. Our support and care of them is an important part of our life together.

We also discussed some important areas to be addressed:

· The need to educate and help our congregation grow in a biblical perspective of financial generosity, with a particular emphasis on engaging younger partners. As Rob and Brently have recently guided us, generosity in all aspects of life is a Christian virtue. Our giving is a reflection of our growing. We desire giving to be a dynamic, joyful – yes, even worshipful! – aspect of everyone’s life.


·  A concern that expectations might be created by dependance on annual bonuses. While the blessing of “end of the year surplus” has been a wonderful way to grace our staff beyond their regular pay, it really isn’t a sustainable or predictable practice. It doesn’t fully address our commitment to their care.

As servant-leaders of our congregation, we want to be faithful, responsible, caring and encouraging toward those who are called to serve in paid staff positions. Did you know that the following statements are included as part of the Terms of Call for our pastor and associate pastors?:  


…we commit to support you and your family in prayer, in participation in the work of ministry, and in your material needs.


…We commit to continue this remuneration as long as you continue as our Pastor/Associate Pastor. We commit to review this pledge annually in a manner specified in the bylaws and/or policies of this church, and adjust it appropriately (considering all applicable factors, including changes in cost of living).


These are commitments we take seriously, and believe extend to all the paid staff serving at Covenant. 

So, at our congregational meeting, Session shared our commitment to the spending plan presented by the Trustees for ’23-’24, subject to a six-month review, with the intention of adding in an appropriate salary increase on January 1, 2024. The exact percentages and distributions would be determined by that review. Our hope is that this will allow the congregation to examine their giving in light of the desire to provide increases, and provide a “phasing in” of a budget increase. 


This commitment has important implications for budgeting in the years to come. It also represents another “Next Step” in our life together! We believe this is an important area of growth for us, and continue to look to the Lord for wisdom and guidance as we consider it. We’ll be sharing more during the November 19, 2023, worship services, and invite any questions or thoughts you may have!


For the Session,

Tom Jameson