Session Letter and Motions

January 6, 2020

At a Special Congregational Meeting on August 7, 2018, the Session (Board of Elders) requested the approval of the membership to purchase 8.46 acres of property on Teague Trail. Of those members present, 75% voted in favor of the purchase. In the fall of that year the purchase was completed.

At the time of the vote, it was understood that we, the membership and Session, would undertake a time (not to exceed three years) of discernment to determine if we should develop the property or sell it. Since then, the Session has heard from many of you through personal conversations, emails and recently through a church wide survey in which 75% of you recommended we sell the property. We have also sought through prayer the guidance of the Holy Spirit and asked God to lead us in making this decision. We have considered alternatives for using the property and have determined that there is no one overriding option that would provide a long- term benefit to the church and be financially sustainable.

Consequently, at our December 17th Session meeting, we voted to approve moving forward with the sale of the Teague Trail property. The final sale and contract will be contingent on receiving the approval of the Session, the Congregation and the Presbytery. We also delegated to the Finance Committee, led by Elders Lyn Jensen and Bill Johnston, the responsibility for implementing whatever actions are required to place the property for sale including obtaining a market evaluation, selecting a realtor and negotiating a contract. The Finance Committee will report to the Session each month regarding progress in selling the property and will provide periodic updates to the congregation.

Though last spring’s Count Me In campaign did not reach our $3,000,000 goal, we have received over $900,000 in pledges and to date you have given more than $400,000 in cash toward your pledges. We thank all of you who made a pledge and have followed through with your commitment. Clearly, we are unable to proceed with all the projects outlined in the Count Me In campaign brochure. However, we have heard from many of you that the expansion of the choir room is an important initiative. Therefore, the Session has also approved the expansion of the choir room with a portion being paid from a designated account and the remaining balance being paid from the Count Me In campaign receipts.

We have also heard from many of you that one of our primary financial objectives in the coming years should be paying down our debt. In order to formalize that objective, we have adopted a guiding principle that all monies received from the sale of the property and from the campaign in excess of the funds required for the choir room expansion, will be used first to pay off the loans associated with the purchase of the Teague Trail property and that the excess will be used to pay off the current debt.

We recognize that the past 18 months have been challenging and that the purchase of the property was a contributing factor. As we move forward, we hope that with your continued commitment to North Lake and God’s endless blessings we can enter a time of unity and service to our community and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Your Session
(Below is a copy of the motions which were approved at the December 17th meeting.)
December 17, 2019

Motions from the Finance Committee

1. Based on the feedback received from the survey as well as the limited response to the capital campaign, the Finance Committee recommends that the Session approve moving forward with the sale of the Teague Trail property. The sale and contract will be contingent on receiving the approval of the Session, the Congregation and the Presbytery.

2. It is also recommended that the Session authorize the Finance Committee to proceed with whatever actions are required to place the property for sale including obtaining a market evaluation, selecting a realtor and negotiating a contract. The Finance Committee will determine an initial sale price which will be approved by the Session. The Finance Committee will also report to the Session each month regarding progress in selling the property and any potential offers.

3. The Finance Committee also recommends that the Session approve the expansion of the choir room with a total cost not to exceed $130.000. Of the total amount, $20,000 will be paid from a designated account that has an approximate balance of $20,483 which was set aside for choir equipment. The remaining balance will be paid from the Count Me In campaign receipts. As of now, our cash balance from the campaign is $92,030. (Attached is a breakdown of the campaign.) The committee proposes that construction begin no earlier than June 1, 2020 and that the start of the project should be contingent on having adequate funds available from the campaign.

4. In addition, the Finance Committee recommends that the Session adopt the guiding principle that all monies received from the sale of the property and from the campaign in excess of the $110,000 for the choir room expansion, be used for the following purposes:

-pay off the bank loan for the Teague Trail property

-pay off the internal loan that was used to purchase the Teague Trail property

-pay down the current mortgage debt