This Week

Congregational Meeting This Sunday
Confirmation Sunday Rev. Scott Kail, Preaching
Board Message From Pat Leicher
Sunday Worship Media
Harbor House Volunteers Needed
Charitable Contributions Strategies
Holiday Gathering in Courtyard

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Congregational Meeting Sunday, 7pm
Mexico Mission Trip Finance Discussion

By Kathy Kelleher, Treasurer 

We are holding a congregational meeting on Zoom this Sunday, November 14 at 7pm to clear up misinformation surrounding finances of the Mexico house building trip. Some think the church makes a sizeable profit on the trip. Others think the church subsidizes the trip substantially. Neither view is correct. 

As we continue to embrace transparency in church affairs, we want to share actual finances of the Mexico trip with you.

To join the meeting, click on the link (or button) provided below at 7pm.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 943 4831 2065
Passcode: J0u456
Our Vaccination Policy

In order to protect the health and well-being of our community, we are requiring all participants, age 12 and over, attending Sunday worship services and church events, to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The requirement now accepts a negative COVID test within 48 hours of an event as acceptable. 

All participants over the age of 2 must wear masks indoors.

This policy will adopt the honor system. There will be no enforcement, such as checking vaccination cards at the door.  
Moving On From 'Business As Usual'
Church Vision To Drive Future Budget Decisions

By Pat Leicher, President

Hello again, Church Members and Friends,
I received feedback from several people on my article in last week's Messenger regarding the church budget. That means that almost certainly others had similar reactions. So, I want to respond to everyone and clarify any misconceptions. 
The biggest concern is that the church is going to do what it has done every year - ask people to increase their pledges, and then continue with business as usual. This is not the case

We are embarking on an entirely new way of developing programs and establishing projected revenues and expenses:
1. Rather than simply increase last year's costs for inflation in our budgeting for next year, we are expecting to move to a zero-base budgeting approach. That means that we start at zero for all expenses, except where we have no control, things like utilities. 
2. Each church unit (staff, boards, committees, teams, etc.) will develop and submit budgets for the funding necessary to accomplish their goals as determined by what we learn in the upcoming Mission Study Team report. In other words, we want vision to underpin the budget.
3. If the total proposed budget exceeds forecasted revenues through pledged and non-pledged contributions, then we will need to cut back. That process will be painful, but necessary. We will need to look at every aspect of church operations.
4. We aspire to have the funding to design and implement re-envisioned programs and align staff properly with those programs.
5. Church members will be part of this process. Once the Mission Study Team submits their report - probably in late December - we will establish task forces to work on the areas outlined in the report. The task forces have not been set yet but are likely to include such areas as Family Ministry, Membership, Mission, Staffing, Finance, Christian Education, Hospitality and Community Involvement. 
6. We need many members of our congregation to help the Board of Trustees do this work. If you would like to help the church, but feel you have never been asked, we are asking you now. And we will ask again. Please help us with this vital project.
7. As soon as we have a more detailed timeline, we will share it with you. And we will share the details of our work at least monthly as it progresses.

8. We have an incredible opportunity to work together to rebuild Piedmont Community Church into a more vibrant Christian community.
9. Please feel free to share your thoughts and questions with me or any Board of Trustee member. We are committed to transparency.

Board Members
Pat Leicher (President), Jan Wolfe, Rich Thompson, Kathy Kelleher, Sara Hirsch, Dani Montague, Steve Senter, Kara Baysinger, Bill Molmen, Bob Farman, Tom Parry, Christy Guidici, Vicki Kendrick - Bob Wright (Deacons) and Lyle Johnson (CE Board), Ex Officio
Archived Articles

An active archive of content created during our time of transition can be found on our website under ABOUT. You can also access it by clicking the link here: https://www.piedmontchurch.org/transition/
Life Groups To Resume January 13

Life Groups will resume for 4 weeks starting on January 13, with dinner provided and groups meeting indoors at church. If you’d like to participate in a Life Group, signs ups will start in December.

Dr. Steve Schibsted, preaching. Rev. Scott Kail leads our service and Dr. Stephen Main, Christa Pfeiffer and Tina Harrington provide special music.
Church Office Hours

The church office is now open weekdays from 9am to 4:30pm. Jean Leahy is available to receive your phone calls in person.

Otherwise, voicemail is available at all times and is checked throughout the day. Call (510) 547-5700
Welcome Jay Foreman

By Christy Guidici, Personnel

We are delighted to welcome Jay Foreman and his dog, Winston, to our church cottage as our new custodian and doorkeeper. Jay opens the plant at 8:30am and works at various times throughout the day until 5pm. His day off is Friday. 

Jay will assist with prescheduled, regular and special events and lock the plant at 10pm.

A friendly reminder to Staff and Board Chairs: Please lock doors behind you at the end of evening meetings.

In order to better communicate facilities needs for church meetings and gatherings, an online form has been created to assist Jay in room setup. This form is not intended as a reservation for the general public as the church is not capable of providing space in this way. Rather, church members and leaders may use the form to prepare space for church-related activities.

This form, located under ABOUT on the church website, will also facilitate better communication to the church's master calendar.

Non-emergency requests for Jay's service after 5pm, that are not prescheduled, can be held until the next day.
Charitable Contribution Strategies For '21
Year-End Tax Planning

By John Chiang, CPA, Finance Committee Member

As you may recall, with the Federal Tax Law that was signed into law on December 22, 2017, most taxpayers have or will claim the Standard Deduction and have lost the benefit of Itemized Deductions. Charitable contributions are still deductible, but in many cases, with the limitations of deductible taxes and mortgage interest, coupled with the elimination of miscellaneous deductions, many will fall below the Standard Deduction amount. Keep in mind that California did not conform to the Federal Tax Law changes.

Here are some strategies for you to consider:

For those who are subject to the RMD (required minimum distribution) rules for your retirement accounts, you are eligible to do a QCD (qualified charitable distribution). With a QCD you can distribute up to $100,000 of your annual RMD to the church or other qualified 501(c)(3) public charity, enabling you to avoid paying income taxes on that amount.
  • When you reach age 70-1/2 you are subject to the RMD rules.  However, changes were made with the SECURE Act, signed into law on December 10, 2019, whereby if your 70th birthday is on or after July 1, 2019, you do not have to take withdrawals until you reach age 72.  

  • If you are subject to the RMD rules and do not take the required distribution, you are subject to a 50% tax penalty on the undistributed amount.

  • With the CARES Act, the IRS suspended the required distributions only for the tax year 2020.   

  • For the tax year 2021 and beyond, the required distributions again apply.

Consider bunching up multi-year charitable contributions into one year, along with your other eligible deductions, to exceed the Standard Deduction amount. 

These are just some strategies to be discussed with your personal tax advisor.
Courtyard Gathering Invites Holiday Attire, Warm Socks

There will be a festive Adult Fellowship gathering in the Courtyard from 4:30 - 6pm on the evening of Friday, December 3. Put on your holiday attire (tasteful or tacky) and join us for hot mulled wine, hot spiced cider and gingerbread cookies.

Let's celebrate the season with friends!

In keeping with the holiday spirit, we will be collecting donations of warm socks that will later be filled with toiletries and donated to the homeless.
Wednesday Bible Study

Join Dr. Don Ashburn each Wednesday morning from 10-11am on Zoom, as we journey together through the Book of Acts. 

No preparation and no previous experience studying the Bible is needed. Just join us, as we learn how the early Christians lived their faith and spread the good news in very difficult times. 
The Zoom link is https://bit.ly/3CHdRD1 
Seniors Seeking Conversation & Coffee

We meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month, gathering 9:30 - 11am in the Guild Parlor. Contact Ann Chandler (510) 444-0280
Sunday School

Jesus Forgives a Paralyzed Man
(Luke 5:17-26)

We will be presenting the lesson in person at 10am Sunday.

Sunday school material is available online for those of you who wish to worship at home.

Contact Leslie Quantz at Leslie@PiedmontChurch.org
Support Harbor House Christmas Store

Harbor House, a Christian based organization in the San Antonio District of Oakland supported by our church as one of our mission partners, will be holding its annual Christmas Store for neighborhood families on December 10-11. 

If you would like to support this effort, you can provide gifts online through the Amazon wish list, up to December 6, at the following link  https://a.co/dYySWOz 

They are also looking for individuals to volunteer at the store. Contact: nicole@hhministries.org

Harbor House Seeks Volunteers
Piedmont Church Media Time
(Last 28 Days)

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Phone: (510) 547-5700