Town Hall Minutes

St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church: Town Hall meeting

June 25, 2017   12:05 PM (started with approx. 90 people, 65 by end of the meeting)


  1. Opening– Father Michael and Mike


2020 is well under way.  We have pledges of $405,000.  Pledges to 2020 Vision will go toward the following:

  1. Pay off the mortgage

  2. Replace church boilers – already done

  3. Improve church acoustics

  4. Renovate the Cultural Center

  5. Re-Pave our parking lot

  6. Re-carpet halls

  7. Create a teen gathering room

  8. Modify church windows

  9. Purchase a church van

The first 2/3 of every dollar collected will immediately be used to pay down our mortgage principal balance.  The remaining funds will go into a separate savings account, to be used for items 2-9 above.

Every Parishioner will be asked to make a pledge.



Questions – Comments /Answers


It is a big effort, if we rush are we going to compromise quality of the projects on the list? Is the plan to close the windows, this is not acceptable?

(Father) Nothing will be rushed

(Keith) We are not going to cut corners

(Mike) No specific plan to cover the windows has been reviewed, let alone approved.


-How much interest we paid so far? (Email) 

(Mike) $1.8M-$1.9M for the life of the loan


-How much more would cost if we don’t pay off the loan?

(Mike) The current interest rate is 4%, current principal is $1.2M.  It’s hard to predict what future interest rates will do, but most concur that they will rise.


Leadership of the Church should present a plan on how to pay off the mortgage

(Mike)  This work has been done already, and based on this plan all will be paid off in 2019. 2/3 of all pledges are going towards mortgage payment.  We have contributed over $130,000 against our principal balance already since launching 2020.


If we would pay off tomorrow how much would be?

(Mike) $1.2M


Beside mortgage are there other items with interest?

(Mike) We took out a short term loan in order to complete the flooring project a few years ago.  Since then, it has been paid off and there are no other outstanding loans beside the mortgage.


Will we commit for future debt?

(Mike)  We don’t know at this time, but we will be in a much better position with mortgage paid off. Our objective is to avoid future debt.


What is the current policy on donations that are specific?

(Mike) In an example such as memorial donations, when the donor would like something specific, Father will bring it to PC’s attention and members will vote to secure a decision. Always mortgage payment will be considered as a priority, but the votes result will decide.


A criteria will need to be developed for this type of decisions.

(Father) After mortgage is paid off the criteria may change.


Does the parish have a broad financial policy in writing on how things are being handled?  

(Father and Mike) We have a detailed policy on how funds are managed and our accounting practices.


Is there anything for this in the Constitution related to conditional (prescripted) giving?

(Father) Not in our current constitution.


When did we change our policy about conditional giving?

(Roger David)  In 2002 Parish Council voted to change it based on financial conditions at the time. What hasn’t changed is that no name plates are being assigned / posted to items donated.

(Father) There should be no rumors across the Parish, I can be approached by all Parish members, and also Parish Council members can be approached with questions.

(JoAnn Abraham) Financial reports hard copies have been handed out to attendees, and discussed at a high level.


Are there any automatic systems for payments?

(JoAnn)  Our PayPal program is nearing completion to facilitate electronic payments.

(JoAnn) We have to pay more than $4,000/month in Archdiocese dues ($50k/year)


Keith provided an update from the Parish Administrator’s Office:

A year ago we set a goal to engage every member of the Parish–new ministries have been established including five fellowship groups. This Church Year, our focus is on service both within and outside the Parish. Parishioners were encouraged to use their talents and become a part of the service opportunities that arise. St. Nicholas needs everyone!


The Mission Statement was reviewed and the 4 Vision Statements that arose out of the second Strategic Planning weekend were read and commented on.


Fall activities were highlighted.


The act of hospitality was emphasized. Everyone in the Parish was encouraged to greet visitors as well as care for members of the Church by visiting the sick and homebound, provide rides to those in need, etc. A volunteer Hospitality team is being formed. This team’s responsibility is to ascertain where Parish needs are and alert Fellowship Groups and the Parish about these needs. Anyone interested in being on this team should contact Keith.


2019 Archdiocese Convention:

Mike provided an update on 2019 Antiochian Convention.

(Father) We have a unique opportunity to provide a very family oriented convention.


2. Close

Father closed the meeting at 1:10PM.