Thursday, November 5, 2020

Welcome to the Neals Family - Our New Manse Occupants

November 2, 2020

Dear Members of the Old South Haven Presbyterian Church Family,

Some of you may have noticed there is life again at the manse! It had been empty for the two years of our pastor search, except for the family of raccoons that wrecked havoc. But recently Jason, Deborah and Benjamin Neal have moved in and it's a home again.

Last January, Jason enrolled in a program through the University of Dubuque to become a Commissioned Pastor. It will take him about 2 years to finish. The Presbytery is guiding him in this effort and Pastor Glorya has agreed to mentor him. When he finishes he will be "commissioned" by a particular Presbytery. We, the session of his home church, wanted to support him in this endeavor. As usual, we did not have extra money to do so.

When we hired Pastor Glorya she did not want to live in the manse. Renting it was problematic since the role of landlord can be burdensome, and, because it would have to go back on the tax roles, it would not be particularly profitable. Selling it is an option but we believe it may be a significant long term asset, given the high cost of housing on Long Island.

Investigation showed that the manse can stay off the tax roles if a "religious worker" lives in it. Hence a plan evolved, with assistance from The Rev. Mark Tammin, Executive Presbyter. Jason and family will live in the manse. He will augment his studies by leading or assisting in worship and in study groups, visiting with ill or shut in congregants, and other pastoral duties as worked out with Pastor Glorya and the Session, and as indicated by his course work.

Jason and Deb have painted and spruced up the manse. Jason will not get cash salary but will have to pay taxes on the fair market value of the manse rent. The church will pay the employer's part of the social security and medicare tax on that fair market value. Jason and Deb will reimburse the session for utilities. Old South Haven will come out slightly ahead financially, we benefit from Jason's services, and Jason's course work will be enriched by some practical experience.

We wish Jason, Deborah and Benjamin much joy and peace in their new home. We thank The Rev Mark Tamman for his assistance and especially thank Richard Thomas for helping us to navigate the contractual details of the arrangement.

And we wish us all good health and fortitude as we try to navigate through the difficult time we are in.

Brian, Darcy, Deb, Eric, Katherine, Ken and Linda

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