Trustees function as Christian stewards of property God has entrusted to the congregation. This includes supervising and maintaining both the physical property of the congregation and gifts made to the congregation so that the ministries of the congregation can be effective and all legal requirements related to the property are satisfied. Examples of recent activities by the trustees at Fairhaven include purchase and installation of a new gas-fired boiler, using part of a bequest to install new playground equipment, completing an initiative to replace the church lighting with efficient LED lamps, and improving the efficiency and environmental friendliness of the church’s heating and cooling systems.
Fairhaven’s Finance Committee is responsible for the stewardship of the financial resources of the congregation. The committee, among other things, ensures that bills are paid in a timely fashion (primarily the responsibility of the treasurer); ensures that income from all sources is collected, documented, and deposited transparently and responsibly; regularly informs the pastor and congregation about the church’s financial situation; annually gathers all budget requests and compiles a budget that is submitted to the church council for approval; develops plans to raise sufficient income to support the church’s necessary expenditures; ensures that church funds are responsibly deposited in checking and savings accounts; tracks individuals’ commitments and donations and provides them with appropriate tax documents in a timely fashion; and arranges for an annual audit of financial records and the creation of a record of this audit
Council on Planning and Administration
The Council on Planning and Administration (COPA) provides for planning and implementing a program of nurture, outreach, witness, and the responsible use of resources in the local church. It also provides for the administration of the church’s organization and temporal life. It envisions, plans, implement, and annually evaluates the mission and ministry of the church. The church council also functions as the administrative agency of the charge conference (that is, it implements the decisions of the charge conference). COPA debates and approves the annual budget recommended by the finance committee. It also discusses and decides upon major initiatives in the life of the church, including items that require major capital expenditures outside the annual budget such as the purchase of a new boiler, the recent purchase of three acres of land adjacent to the existing church property, and the purchase and installation of a new Allen digital organ. At its meetings, it receives reports form the chairs of each of the committees of the church and provides suggestions and assistance for overcoming any difficulties that there may be..
Committee on Lay Leadership
The Committee on Lay Leadership is chaired by the pastor. It guides church leaders on matters regarding laity in leadership and identifying, training, and supporting leaders in the congregation. This committee helps members of the church identify their calls from God, their leadership gifts, and places for Christian service. It helps people discover their spiritual gifts, name their skills, interests, knowledge, and life experiences in addition to developing a system for tracking this information. Once the Committee on Lay Leadership becomes familiar with the responsibilities for each leadership position and matches potential leaders with particular opportunities for spiritual leadership, it invites people to positions of spiritual leadership, receives their responses, and provides training and support for these individuals.
Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee
The Staff/Pastor-Parish Relations Committee (SPRC) functions as Fairhaven’s human resources department. It is responsible for overseeing relations between the congregation and the staff, taking steps to ensure that this relationship remains positive and productive. The committee works with the lead pastor and other staff to fulfill legal and ethical responsibilities related to staff.
SPRC encourages, strengthens, nurtures, supports, and respects the pastor(s) and staff and their families. They confer regularly about the personnel conditions and issues that affect the congregation’s total ministry, including healthy life-work balance. SPRC maintains confidentiality and strives to resolve conflict in a respectful manner. SPRC communicates openly and regularly with the pastor, staff, and congregation; advocates for the pastor and staff; makes annual recommendations to the finance committee concerning pastor and staff compensation; completes annual assessments of pastoral and congregational effectiveness; resolves conflicts; recommends needed staff positions; develops and approves written job descriptions and titles for staff; and develops and oversees Fairhaven’s “Safe Sanctuary” procedures.
For more information about Fairhaven’s committees and opportunities to serve on them, please contact us.