Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of Questions and Answers that are commonly asked of the Presbytery Leadership and Staff. If you do not find an answer to your questions below, please contact the appropriate staff member. Not sure who to contact about a specific question, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to point you in the right direction.
General Questions and Answers
Q. What is a Presbytery?
A. A Presbytery is the local governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA), consisting of presbyters (that is, ruling elders and teaching elders (ministers). National Capital Presbytery (NCP) is made up of 110 churches, almost 300 teaching elders, and about 32,000 church members. NCP serves Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and part of Maryland.
Q. I want to keep up with things going on in and around NCP, how do I subscribe to the Thursday Mail (TM), NCP Monthly, or NCP & FRIENDS on Facebook?
A. Send an email to LaJuan Quander and she will add you to the lists.
Q. How do I find information about past or future Presbytery Meetings?
A. You can find the Presbytery Packet, which is posted on www.thepresbytery.org ten days prior to the Stated Meeting, by clicking HERE. If you are looking for minutes from a previous Presbytery Meeting, they are available HERE, for members only. Dates for Presbytery Meetings for this year and next can be found HERE.
Q. How do I find records, such as baptism or marriage certificates, from a church that has closed?
A. The Presbytery office is not large enough to house any such records. Contact the Presbyterian Historical Society at email@example.com.
Q. Where can I get pages for our Session Minutes book, register of baptisms, deacons, deaths, etc
A. Try looking at Cokesbury, which has a large selection of supplies for certificates and minutes. (800-672-1789). For minutes, you may use loose-leaf, machine-numbered pages (available from Cokesbury) or you may print them on standard 8 ½” x 11” paper. [Note: You are no longer required to use pre-numbered pages or to number pages using a numbering machine, but the pages must be numbered in sequential order.] Minutes may be submitted in the traditional, leather-bound minute books, or stored/bound in a manner that is consistent with the needs of both protection and accessibility. For greater permanency if you elect to maintain the minutes in some manner other than the traditional minutes books, minutes should be printed on acid-free paper, and it is highly recommended that they be bound. See the Presbyterian Historical Society’s website for more information about records retention. http://www.history.pcusa.org/cong/
Q. Where can I find out what events are going on in the Presbytery?
A. The Presbytery Calendar is available for viewing HERE. If your group is having a Presbytery related event that you would like to be on the calendar, please contact Adele McCullough-Graham.
Q. Where can church leaders and teachers get new materials to use?
A. NCP has partnered with other denominations to host an Ecumenical Resource Center, the SOURCE. It is conveniently located in the Presbytery Office. The collection has well over 5,000 print, media and curriculum resources available for loan to partnering congregations.
Q. Our Minister will be on vacation. Who can supply our pulpit?
A. We do not post personal information on our website, but a Pulpit Supply List is available to our churches. Contact the Presbytery Office and request a copy of the Pulpit Supply List (240-514-5348), leave a message in the General Mailbox, or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Q. How can I find out about the work of Committees?
A. Each Committee of Council and Committee of Presbytery has their own webpage on our site. To access the list of Committees, click HERE.
Q. How can I get more information about joining a Committee of Presbytery or Committee of Council?
A. Committee members are coordinated through the Nominating Committee. To contact Mary Hill, Chair of the Nominating Committee, send her an e-mail.
Q. Where can I find statistical information about my congregation?
A. Click HERE to connect to the PC(USA) website that includes Demographic information and 10 Year Trends report for your church. You will need your church pin number, found in the presbytery directory. There is other helpful information there as well.
Mission Questions and Answers
Q. Where can I bring a workgroup to the Washington, DC area?
A. The Pilgrimage (Church of the Pilgrims) (202-387-6612) and The Washington Seminar Center (Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church) (202-547-8118) both offer overnight and daytime programs for groups looking for mission projects in Washington, DC.
Q. Where can I find information about Mission Trips?
A. The PC(USA) has launched a site dedicated to planning and coordinating Mission Trips. It can be found HERE.
Financial Questions and Answers
Q. What is Per Capita? How much is it? Where do I send it?
A. Per Capita is an amount of money that each church pays to the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly for each active member of its church. The 2014 Per Capita Amount in NCP is $35.35 per member. You can find a brochure by clicking HERE that explains the use of these funds (also in bulletin format here). Per Capita payments should be sent to the Presbytery Office, attn: Debbie Golden.
Q. What is the budget of the Presbytery?
A. The NCP Budget is put together in the spring, and brought to the September meeting of the Presbytery. The budget is broken down into Operating and Mission Budgets. The funds for the Operating Budget come from Per Capita. Funds for the Mission budget come to NCP either through Shared Mission Support (Unified Giving) or Directed Mission Support. You can find this year’s budget by clicking HERE.
Q. Where do I send my funds for NCP or General Assembly?
A. Any monies for General Assembly, Special Offering, Designated, Unified Giving or Disaster Assistance can be mailed directly to the Presbytery Office. If you have any questions, contact Debbie Golden directly via e-mail or at 240-514-5357.
Q. What are the four PC(USA) Special Offerings?
A. Information about these offerings is available through the PC(USA) website: One Great Hour of Sharing; Peacemaking Offering; Pentecost Offering; Christmas Joy Offering.
Q. What does presbytery recommend as a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for pastors in the upcoming year?
A. For 2014, the Committee on Ministry is recommending a COLA of 2.0% over 2013 salary levels. More information is available in the Compensation Policies HERE.
Q. Does presbytery have a recommendation for how we compensate our pastor for mileage?
A. Presbytery urges adoption of an “accountable reimbursement plan” which reimburses the pastor for vouchered mileage at the IRS rate – currently$0.565. If you are simply giving your pastor a set amount for which he/she does not account to you, that is taxable income to be included on the pastor’s W-2.
Q. Our pastor lives a long way from the church; can we compensate for commuting to/from work?
A. NO – the IRS forbids reimbursement for commuting mileage.
Q. Does presbytery have a clergy compensation policy?
A. Yes, changes are posted every year based on the approved formulas in the policy, typically at the June Presbytery meeting. It can be found HERE.
Q. Our pastor has asked our Treasurer about a “voluntary withholding agreement” ; what is this?
A. Clergy are not subject to withholding of federal or state taxes; instead most make quarterly estimated tax payments. But the IRS allows for a “voluntary withholding agreement” by which the Treasurer withholds federal and/or state taxes as the pastor directs. NOTE: withholding for self-employment taxes (SECA) from pastors’ compensation is never allowed, although clergy can request via a W-4 that an additional amount of income tax be withheld to cover their estimated SECA tax.
Office Questions and Answers
Q. How do I reach a Staff member at NCP?
A. Click HERE to find a list of staff, with email addresses and phone numbers.
Q. What are the Presbytery Office Hours?
A. Staff members work different hours during the day, but as a rule the office is open between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. See the Presbytery Calendar HERE for specific dates that the office is closed. During the months of June, July and August the office closes at 2:00 pm on Fridays.
Q. Where is the Presbytery Office? Where are directions?
A. The Presbytery Office is located just outside the Beltway at 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 1009, MD 20852. Directions are available HERE.