Session Employee Pay Letter


Dear Members and Friends of First & Franklin,                                                                                               March 27, 2020


The coronavirus has affected the lives of each and every one of us, both as individuals and corporately. As you are aware, First & Franklin Presbyterian relies heavily on its endowment to keep the church operating. The recent fall of stock prices has reduced the value of that endowment by a substantial amount, but we are still in much better shape than some of our sister churches who do not enjoy the same level of resources.


As it has most of us, the virus has also affected our employees. Essential work is being done, mostly remotely.  We are preparing worship services, trying to keep in contact with members and friends, and paying bills. This includes paying our staff. Session spent several hours on Tuesday evening discussing how me might best care for our employees. A draft motion was prepared. Over the course of three days, Session members reviewed, refined, and finally approved the motion. The approved motion reads as follows:


During this time of uncertainty and rapidly changing conditions, the First & Franklin Presbyterian Church wishes to reaffirm our commitment to treat all of our employees fairly and with compassion and respect. Each and every one of our employees is a vital and loved member of our community, and we are striving to provide comfort and security to the best of our ability. Accordingly, we commit to the following actions:



     – The pastor’s Terms of Call are a three-way agreement between the minister, the congregation of the church, and the presbytery. No changes are anticipated at this time. In the course of our normal fiscal year, the Terms will be reviewed and presented to the congregation for its consideration at an Annual Meeting which is currently scheduled for June.


Full-Time, Salaried Staff (Minister of Music, Office Administrator, Sexton)

     – We will fund these salaries using church funds through at least May 2020. 

     – We will revisit our ability to continue this commitment within the next month and will keep employees apprised of our thinking and decisions.


Part-Time, Hourly Staff (Director of Arts and Christian Education, Nursery Staff, Office Assistant, Sound Engineer, Eight Paid Choristers, and Intergenerational Choir Director)

     – We will pay these employees for actual hours worked or the amount earned during February 2020, whichever is greater, through at least April 2020.

     – We will revisit our ability to continue this commitment within the next month and will keep employees apprised of our thinking and decisions. 


Two Choir Interns

     – Inasmuch as these positions are funded by designated giving for a semester at a time, we will pay these individuals the stipend for the entire Spring 2020 semester.


Moving Forward

     – It is our intent to continue to pay employees throughout this emergency, if the way be clear.  We will continue to pay all employees for any and all work which they perform.  We will also explore the availability of options for state and/or federal funding to help cover employment costs for normal hours not actually worked during the remainder of the current emergency.


We believe that this is an appropriate way to provide some security for our employees in a difficult time. We will continue to monitor our finances and look for options to support our mission.


Recognizing that the current situation has placed a strain on many of us, however, we ask that you continue to support the church financially to the best of your ability. Please give as you are able, either by mailing contributions to the church office or by using the PayPal link at


Trusting in God and working to support each other, we can weather this crisis and emerge strengthened in our commitment to our witness.


In the Unity of Christ,