Members are invited to an all-church Charge Conference immediately after the 10:30 a.m. worship service on Sunday, May 29 (Memorial Day weekend). A vote of all church members will be taken at this charge conference to authorize the sale of the church parsonage via this motion that:
“University United Methodist Church shall sell the UUMC parsonage (7928 Teasdale Ave., St. Louis, MO) and establish a housing allowance for the pastor. Proceeds from the sale of the parsonage would be invested in a designated United Methodist Foundation Fund that meets all guidelines in the United Methodist Book of Discipline and Missouri Annual Conference Journal.”
The Trustees, the Administrative Team and the Leadership Council have unanimously voted to bring this proposal to a vote by the congregation.
The proposal to sell the parsonage and switch to a housing allowance is the result of a nearly year-long study by the Trustees. Housing allowances are being encouraged by the United Methodist Church. The majority of churches in our District now provide a housing allowance instead of a parsonage. An allowance allows the pastor to either rent or build equity in their own home. The pastor can choose their own location and select a house or apartment suitable to their own family needs. The housing allowance would be set by the Staff Parish Relations, Administrative and Leadership Teams at a level sufficient for a home that meets designated standards set by our Conference. We expect the annual amount would fall between $18,000 and $20,000.
Proceeds from the sale of the parsonage would be placed in a designated United Methodist Foundation trust account. The housing allowance would be funded by a portion of the earnings from this account supplemented with a line item in our annual budget. The annual budget expense is projected to be less than we are currently spending to support the high parsonage utility bills and the ever-increasing repair costs. Part of the earnings on the parsonage trust would be returned to the trust to protect against inflation.
The volunteer hours by church members to maintain the parsonage have increased over the years, and time and effort spent on the parsonage will be redirected to our church building.
Two congregational meetings have already been held to answer questions pertaining to this proposal. Much effort and prayer have gone into the decision to proceed with this recommendation. If you have any questions pertaining to the proposal, please contact one of the trustees or church leaders listed below.
We hope to see you at the Charge Conference as we prayerfully consider this decision.
Brad Hershey, Executive Trustee, UUMC
Brad Hershey (314) 567-6958
Alice Mohr (314) 791-7965
Ann Wymore (314) 535-2151
Dan Barrett (314) 726-2509