First Presbyterian Church of Chittenango

Mission Study Report

First Presbyterian Church of Chittenango

March 10, 2015


The First Presbyterian Church of Chittenango
118 Arch Street
Chittenango, NY   13037
315.687.7355
www.firstpreschittenango.com
Mission Study Team:
    Deb Malay – Co-Chair
    Pat Sweeney – Co-Chair
    Mark Pulver
    Rich Kocher
    Jim Gooley
    Rev. Paul Doriani

  

TABLE OF CONTENTS


SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY

            MEMBERS OF COMMITTEE

            SOURCES OF INFORMATION

OUR CHURCH

            CHURCH MISSION STATEMENT

            HISTORY

            FACILITIES

            MEMBERSHIP

            WORSHIP ATTENDANCE

            DEMOGRAPHICS

            EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

            EMPLOYMENT STATUS

            CHURCH BUDGET

            EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

            EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

            ADULT EDUCATION

            OUR COMMUNITY

            DEMOGRAPHICS

            SCHOOL DISTRICT

            BUSINESS

            OTHER CHURCHES

            ACTIVITIES and LEISURE

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

            CHURCH STAFF

            BUDGET and CHURCH STAFF

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS

CONCLUSION

            LEADERSHIP RETREAT

            “WHO WE ARE”

            WHAT NEXT

APPENDIX

            2014, 2015 BUDGETS

            PROGRAMS and MINISTRY

            SURVEY RESULTS

 


SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY

 

MEMBERS

Our Mission Study Committee consisted of 5 members and our interim Pastor Paul Doriani.

Deb Malay  ... Co-Chair

Pat Sweeney ... Co-Chair

Mark Pulver

Rich Kocher

Jim Gooley

Rev. Paul Doriani 

They were selected by our nominating committee and appointed by the Session in July of 2014. We met on a weekly basis from July until December and as needed until March 2015.

SOURCES OF INFORMATION

In conducting this study, the committee obtained information from a variety of methodologies and sources including:

God

Prayer

Previous mission studies from 1994, 1998 and 2012.

Congregational survey consisting of 48 questions, with a 93 return rate.

Multiple group meeting and open forums with the congregation.

Concluding retreat with Elders, Deacons, Pastor, held on February 16, 2015 and facilitated by Rev. Bob Stauffer. 

Input from our local and regional legislature and law enforcement on the needs of our neighborhoods and community.

 

 

 

                 


 

OUR CHURCH

 

CHURCH MISSION STATEMENT

We, the people of the First Presbyterian Church, strive to glorify god by encouraging all people to grow in their personal relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

 

HISTORY 

On January 12, 1828 a decision was made to form the first church, which was to be a Dutch Reformed Church.  This was just around 18 years after the village of Chittenango was started.  The grounds for the church were donated by Dr. John B. Yates. The first corner stone was laid on April 24, 1828 and the dimensions of the building were sixty by eighty feet and it cost just over $3300 to build. The church was dedicated on January 15, 1829. The first pastor was Rev, Hutchins Taylor and he stayed till 1830. He received $200 annually and use of a house. Between 1829 and 1888, there were over a dozen Dutch reformed ministers. In 1888 a resolution was passed asking the church be made a member of the Syracuse Presbytery. This was the first church meeting that the ladies were allowed to vote. Rev. Charles H. Walker became the first Presbyterian minister and 53 new members were added to the church.

 

The church has sustained two fires one in October 1918 when the wooden steeple was stuck by lightning and one in October 1943 almost 25 years after the first. The church sustained almost a complete loss each time. In October 1943 the church was rebuilt again at the cost of $60,000 and took four years to complete. 

 

The 5,000 square foot educational wing was added on June 11, 1967. It consisted of classrooms, a dining room, and kitchen, library, study and storage areas. It was dedicated to the memory of John R Kay. 

 

Today the church building remains the same by structure but has been updated with many upgrades and improvements. 

 

FACILITIES

The stone church building is located in the center of the village facing a park across from our front steps. We are often referred to as the “stone church”. Our facilities occupy a small village block so the building is surrounded by treed lawn. The sound of our carillon, donated by one of our church families in honor of their daughter, can be heard throughout the neighborhood. The sanctuary, which seats about two hundred people, was built in 1828 and is a local landmark. 

 

As you approach our church, you pass by the Lynn Eggert memorial garden which is a mixture of annuals and perennials. Volunteers from the congregation take turns maintaining the garden. People from the community admire the garden as they walk by and comment on what a beautiful and peaceful space it provides.

 

The entrance to our church is at the top of the steps. As you open the doors, you are standing in our narthex. Continuing on, you pass through doors that take you into the sanctuary. Wooden pews with comfortable cushions are either side of the center aisle that leads to the raised pulpit. A cross, made by a former congregational member, hangs on the wall behind the pulpit and is the focal point of the sanctuary. Six large clear glass windows reflecting the Reformed Dutch origins of the congregation bring light into the sanctuary. A central pewter chandelier with matching sconces on the walls supplements the light of the sanctuary. Both spiritually and physically, our church provides an inviting atmosphere.

 

The Christian education wing, added in 1967, contains eight classrooms as well as the pastor’s and clerical offices. The original stone building contains three additional classrooms. Over the years, changes have been made to decrease maintenance and energy costs as well as to update technology. Below the sanctuary are the dining room and kitchen which provide space for social events and meetings. A ramp provides access to the lower level while a lift provides access to the sanctuary accommodating those for whom the steps are a hindrance. Parking is provided by paved areas adjacent to the building and some on-street sites. A congregational member owns property nearby that may be used for additional parking.

 

Through the care of many volunteers our building and grounds are well-maintained. 

 

MEMBERSHIP

2004      220 members

2014      168 members  

 

WORSHIP ATTENDANCE

Average attendance: 100

 

The membership has been slowly declining since 2004.  Our church is in a transitional period because of pastoral vacancy and our recent theological issues related to the PCUSA changes in the book of order.     

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

Female:   104

Male:       64

 

AGE DISTRIBUTION

26-45       13

46-55       29

56-65       58

Over 65    68

 

White: 165

African American: 2

Asian:  1

 

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

4%     High school graduates

32%   Have some college, trade or vocational school

30%   College degree

32%   Post graduate work or degree

 

EMPLOYMENT STATUS

8%     Service worker

15%   Clerical worker

2%     Farmer/rancher

2%     Trades person

2%     Proprietor, manager, public official

69%   Professional

 

CHURCH BUDGET

The total income for 2014 from pledges, loose and unpledged, use of building and miscellaneous was $198,916.00.  Potential giving units approximately 130.  The list below is the budgeted amount for each area.

 

Worship $3,275.00
Christian Education $1,350.00
Administration $13,500.00
Property $19,650.00
Stewardship $2,250.00
Per Capita Assessment $6,750.00
Total Local Mission $3,832.37
Total Area Mission $4,838.15

 

Note: (see attached copy of 2014/2015 budgets for review)

 

EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS

Christian Education is offered every Sunday after service between 10:00-11:00. Each class room as a group of dedicated teachers who love our Lord and have a passion for bringing God’s word to our children. The following is a list of classes and number enrolled.

 

Nursery 3
3 and 4 year olds 3
Kindergarten & 1(FROG pond) 2
Grades 2 and 3 6
Grades 4 and 5 7
Grades 6,7,8 6
Grades 9,10,11,12 4
Total 31

                          

 

Curriculum is based on materials by David Cook and various Bible Study books on current issues and personal religious growth. 

 

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES

There are three areas used by all members of the congregation that have various sources of acquiring information. The Church Library is a dedicated space filled with a wide variety of books, DVDs, CDs and magazines. Two areas of the church have media centers with wide screen TVs, internet access and DVD players.

 

ADULT EDUCATION

Educational classes are offered each Sunday from 10:15-11:15 am. Currently a class on Evangelism is being taught by our Pastor. In addition, small group studies led by members of our church are available throughout the week. A list of small group meetings.

 

Pulver Home Bible Study

Durfee Home Bible Study

Sandy Button Bible Study

John Button Bible Study

 

Average Attendance:   11 per study

 

 

 

PROGRAMS and MINISTRY

In the appendix is a list of our programs and ministry from 1998-2014. 

 

 

 

 

 

                 

OUR COMMUNITY

 

 

Chittenango is a village located in Madison County, New York. The village is located in the southern part of the Town of Sullivan. 

 

DEMOGRAPHICS

Population: 

Madison County: 72,382

Town of Sullivan: 15,339

Chittenango; 5,042

Median age; 40

Total housing units: 2,258

Median household income: 61,905

Individuals below poverty level: 12.2%

White: 96.2%

African American: 0.7%

Native American: 0.5%

Asian: 0.1%

Hispanic or Latino: 1.8%

Other races: 1.6%

 

SCHOOL DISTRICT

The school district is located 15 miles east of Syracuse, New York, and occupies approximately 80 square miles within the Town of Sullivan in Madison County. The school community has approximately 15,000 residents who highly value the education of the 2,100 students they serve. The tax base is residential/agricultural (95%) and commercial/business (5%).

 

Lake Street Elementary educates 330 students’ grades K-2, Bolivar elementary 340 student’s grades 3-5 and Bridgeport Elementary 230 students grades K-5.

 

Chittenango Middle School educates 465 grades 6-8 and the Chittenango High School has 700 students’ grades 9-12.

 

BUSINESS

There are many small businesses and stores that serve our local residents. Most residents commute to Syracuse and nearby areas for employment. The biggest employers in our area are retail, education and health care.

 

OTHER CHURCHES

Within a ten mile radius of our Church there are approximately 13 other Churches. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest congregation in the community and our church is the largest Protestant Church. Cross Roads Community Church has the largest concentration of children and youth with a dedicated youth pastor serving their congregation.

 

ACTIVITIES and LEISURE

 Many community events revolve around the school music, drama, and sports programs. There is also an active parks and recreation department that provides programs for all ages and interests. Chittenango Falls Park is located 3 miles from downtown and provides panoramic views of the 300 foot falls and walking trails. Oneida and Cazenovia Lake are within short distances and provide wonderful opportunities for all varieties of water recreation. Within Chittenango there is a creek walk with manicured trails that meander along our picturesque Chittenango Creek, where fishing and wading is thoroughly enjoyed by all. 

 

Chittenango is world renowned for its three day festival the OZ-Stravaganza that celebrates the literary works of L. Frank Baum, who was born in Chittenango. The Wizard of Oz themed celebration consists of parades, visits by the actors and families of the Wizard of Oz film, festivals, rides and costume themed judging contests. 20,000-35,000 people attend each June and it is a wonderful community wide event in which our church is the host for all the downtown activities.

 

 

 

                 


ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE

 

The organizational structure for our church is the Session and the Deacons. Members of both groups are elected and ordained by the congregation. Session is responsible for the spiritual leadership and governance as trustees of the congregation. Session members have responsibilities in specific areas, i.e.: Christian Education, Worship, Outreach/Missions, Finance/Stewardship, Property, Personnel and Nominating. Session leadership includes the moderator who is the pastor and the clerk of Session who may be a member of Session or an appointee. The Deacons provide a ministry of compassion and service. A moderator and other officers as needed are elected by members of the group.

 

CHURCH STAFF

We have a full and part time paid staff of 9 individuals with the following positions:

 

Pastor

Administrative Assistant

Custodian

Choir Director

Organist

Worship Leader

Child Care Provider

Nursery assistants

Bell Choir Director

 

 

BUDGET for CHURCH STAFF

Total expense for Pastoral Ministry:   $80,931.00

Total non-pastoral salaries:   $66,030.00

               

 


 

ATTENDANCE STATISTICS:

The PC-USA website contains useful information for the last decade regarding our congregation available at the following website:

http://apps.pcusa.org/tenyeartrends/report/5928/

This information regarding Worship attendance, membership and age distribution is represented in the following tables and graphs:

 

Attendance Data and Age Distribution

 

 

This shows that the congregation is in decline both in membership and attendance.  Average weekly worship attendance and membership increased slightly in years 2003 through 2008 and plateaued at about 165 during the years 2005 through 2008.  (Average weekly worship attendance was not reported to the Presbytery in 2009 and we have inserted a data point midway between 2008 and 2010.) In 2009 we began a 39% decline thereafter to 118 in 2013, with the largest loss the three years between 2008 and 2011 when average worship attendance dropped by 44 or 27%.  During the three year period 2011 to 2013 average weekly worship attendance stabilized at about 120.

The histograms above the Attendance Chart above show the age distribution of the congregation at the beginning of the decade, the year 2009, and the end of the decade in 2013.  You can see that the congregation is ageing while we have lost a disproportionate number of younger people in membership.  In 2003 we had 46 members under age 45, that number declined to 39 members in 2009 and hit a low of 13 at the end of the decade in 2013.

These age distribution data are compiled below in a histogram:

 

 

https://dl-web.dropbox.com/get/Mission%20Study-1_files/image005.gif?_subject_uid=117354507&w=AACEsMjAAuZjvrCGFK4GOjyPx1oE2aEJoPnpcCUlJv6P1w

 

During the last 10 – 20 years three local Churches have grown significantly and attracted many of our members seeking to be involved in more effective evangelistic communities that offer lively fellowship opportunities for adults under 45 years old along with their children.  There are two reasons, in general, that families make the move; first is to be more effective in their desire to reach the lost for Christ and second, is to provide the youth with the same opportunity along with the opportunity to participate in active Sunday schools and youth groups.

               

CONCLUSION

 

LEADERSHIP RETREAT

On February 16, 2015 sixteen Church leaders gathered offsite for a six hour revitalization retreat to seek the leading of the Holy Spirit to see our Church through the lens of the Bible and its call to reach the lost for Jesus.  It was a sobering process that all involved pray will bear real Kingdom fruit.

The Mission Team, with the assent of Session, invited Pastor Bob Stauffer of the EPC Presbytery of the East to prayerfully asses where we are as a Church, and God’s vision for our future.  Pastor Paul encouraged all participants to pray daily during the weeks prior to the meeting that the Holy Spirit would bring us back to our powerful first love for Jesus and show us the open door he has prepared for us along with the vision to make His future for us a reality.  Dr. Stauffer specializes in facilitating vitality seminars using a Church life-cycle model he has developed for just this purpose in which Church leaders work through a self-assessment process.  He was the Pastor a very successful new Church plant called Gateway Community Church at Slippery Rock University, Pennsylvania.  The EPC General Assembly generously provided his services to at little cost.

During the Retreat we wrestled with two very important questions in the context of Jesus’ words to us in, what Pastor Stauffer called, His five “greatest hits”:

The questions:

       Who are we as a congregation?

       Who are we trying to reach and how will we reach them?

o   How do we want them to grow once reached?

o   What environment will best effect this mission?

Jesus’ five “greatest hits”:

       The great promise – Matthew 16:3-18.

       The great commandment – Matthew 22:34-40.

       The great witness – Acts 1:8.

       The great mission – Luke 19:1-10

       The great commission – Matthew 28:16-20.

The Mission Team, after prayer, study of the word, and reflection upon this entire Mission Study process capped by the leadership retreat, prepared a short statement about “Who we are,” not who we are now, but who we could be as God leads us to new life as a congregation.  

  

WHO WE ARE

We are Reformed believers1 committed2 to serve Jesus Christ3,4 to reach5 those whose spirits are challenged by this world (6) with the good news of new life in Jesus7.  We do this by living and proclaiming this good news so clearly that our community will see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, turn and be healed8.

1.       Ephesians 4: 14-16, Spiritual maturity:  Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.  Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”

2.       2 Chronicles 16:9a, For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose are fully committed to Him.  Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him and He will do this

3.       Matthew 9:37:   "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.  Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field."

4.       Matthew 22:36-40, The Greatest Commandment:   "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?"  Jesus replied:” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.'  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."

5.       Matt 28: 18-20, The great commission:  Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.  Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

6.       Matt 9:35-36, See with Jesus’ eyes:   Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

7.       John 3:7  The inscription over our front door:  You should not be surprised at my saying, 'You must be born again.'  John 3:16   For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.  

8.       Acts 28:26b-27  The process for reaching our community:   "The Holy Spirit spoke the truth to your forefathers when he said through Isaiah the prophet:  " 'Go to this people and say, "You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving."  For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.’

 

WHAT NEXT

In order to follow God’s leading as He continues to create Vision among us the Mission Study Team recommends that the Session commission a Vision Team.  This team should consist of about six people carefully selected as mature spiritual leaders fervently committed to the Church’s mission to reach the lost of our community.  Additionally, each member of the Vision team must have at least three prayer partners, who are not members of the Vision Team, committed to an active role interceding for the personal prayer needs of their team member and the work of the Team.

The Mission Study Team prays that God will heal our Church and give us his Vision for us as He makes us fit and useful to Him as He seeks those who are otherwise lost and dying in our community.  We are also grateful and humbled that we were given this opportunity to serve Jesus and His Church.

               

APPENDIX Budget

 

   

2014 Budget

2015 Budget

 
 

Income

     
 

Pledges

$156,416

$127,312

 
 

Loose & Unpledged

$35,000

$49,832

 
 

Use of Building

$1,750

$1,750

 
 

Misc

$750

$1,819

 
 

Transfer from Special Accounts

$0

$5,000

 
 

Faith Account *

 

$13,000

 
 

Total Income:

$193,916

$198,713

 
         

A

Pastoral Ministry

     
 

1. Salary

$41,000

$41,000

 
 

2. Social Security

$4,131

$4,131

 
 

3. Pension Fund

$18,900

$18,900

 
 

4. Travel Allowance

$3,000

$3,000

 
 

5. Study Leave (reimb.)

$900

$900

 
 

6. Housing

$13,000

$13,000

 
   

$80,931

$80,931

 

B

Non Pastoral Salaries

     
 

1. Church Organist

$6,000

$5,500

 
 

2.Chancel Choir Director

$6,500

$6,000

 
 

3. Worship Team Coordinator

$6,000

$6,500

 
 

4. Handbell Director

$1,200

$1,000

 
 

5. Admin Assistant

$20,000

$20,000

 
 

6. Nursery Staff

$2,100

$2,100

 
 

7. Custodians

$15,400

$14,400

 
 

IT & Website Support

$1,700

$1,700

 
 

8. Health Benefits

$480

$480

 
 

9. Social Security

$4,250

$4,400

 
 

10. Worker's Comp

$1,500

$2,200

 
 

11. NYS Unemployment

$400

$600

 
 

12. Disability

$500

$350

 
   

$66,030

$65,230

 

C

Worship

     
 

1. Pulpit / Worship Supplies

$1,800

$1,500

 
 

2. Music

$500

$500

 
 

3. Licenses

$475

$475

 
 

4. Equipment Maintenance

$500

$500

 
   

$3,275

$2,975

 

D

Christian Education

     
 

1. Curriculum

$1,000

$1,000

 
 

2. Youth Fellowship

$0

$0

 
 

3. Supplies / AV

$250

$300

 
 

4. Library

$100

$100

 
   

$1,350

$1,400

 

E

Administration

     
 

1. Insurance

$7,000

$7,000

 
 

2. Postage

$1,250

$1,300

 
 

3. Supplies

$1,500

$2,000

 
 

4. Office Equipment

$150

$150

 
 

5. Copier lease, Maintenance

$2,500

$700

 
 

6. Training

$300

$300

 
 

7. Annual Fees and Memberships

$300

$500

 
 

8. Miscellaneous Expense

$500

$500

 
   

$13,500

$12,450

 

F

Property

     
 

1. Utilities

     
 

              a. Telephone

$2,250

$2,250

 
 

              b. National Grid

$7,500

$7,500

 
 

              c. OCWA

$200

$200

 
 

              d. Sewer

$700

$700

 
   

$10,650

$10,650

 
         
 

2. Supplies

$1,000

$1,300

 
 

3. Grounds Maintenance

$3,500

$2,500

 
 

4. Building Maintenance

$4,500

$2,500

 
   

$19,650

$16,950

 

G

Stewardship

     
 

1.  Accounting Services

$1,750

$1,750

 
 

2.  Treasurer's Supplies

$500

$800

 
   

$2,250

$2,550

 
         

H

Per Capita Assesment

$6,750

$3,600

 
 

(174 members)

     

I

Mission Giving

     
 

1. Local Missions

     
 

              a. Association of Churches

$446

$446

 
 

              b. Sullivan Food Pantry

$223

$223

 
 

              d. Care Notes

$0

$0

 
 

              e. The Christian Preschool

$1,337

$1,337

 
 

              f. Mission Trips/Supplies

$713

$0

 
 

              g. Undesignated

$446

$500

 
 

              h. Chitt Young Life/Wyldlife

$668

$668

 
   

$3,832

$3,174

 
 

2. Area Missions

     
 

              a. Vanderkamp - Pres

$1,560

$1,560

 
 

              b. The Rescue Mission

$446

$446

 
 

              c. WMHR

$267

$267

 
 

              d. Young Life Syracuse

$668

$0

 
 

              e. Teen Challenge - Dave Pilch

$668

$668

 
 

              f. New Hope Pregnancy Center

$446

$446

 
 

              g. Joe & Jen Sassel - Campus Crusade

$783

$783

 
   

$4,838

$4,170

 
 

3. International Missions

     
 

              a. Greg and Chris Callison - Pres

$1,783

$1,782

 
 

              b. Bob and Koleen French

$1,649

$1,649

 
 

              c. Chinese Lay Pastor Training - Pres

$1,783

$1,782

 
 

              d. Bob and Linda Pittman

$1,649

$1,649

 
 

              e. Scott and Louise MacGregor

$1,649

$1,649

 
 

                  1. Philippino Pastors

$357

$357

 
 

              f. Peter Atiah

$1,649

$1,649

 
 

              g. Terry Malone

$1,248

$1,248

 
 

              h. Malawi Generator Project - Pres

$1,337

$1,337

 
 

              I. Sudan Lost Boys Clinic - Pres

$1,337

$1,337

 
 

              J. Dave & Sue Whitlock - African Hope

$891

$891

 
   

$15,329

$15,329

 
         
 

Total Missions

$24,000

$22,673

 
         

J

Deacons

     
 

a. Fellowship

$850

$850

 
 

b. Services

$100

$100

 
   

$950

$950

 
         

K

Program Development

$250

$350

 
 

Total Expenditures

$218,936

$210,059

 
 

Income - Expenditures

-$25,020

-$11,346

 
         
 

Checking account balance beginning of year

$41,423

$21,489

 
 

Checking account balance at end of year

$16,403

$10,143

 
         
 

* Faith Account, created by session, represents additional income needed for 2015.