Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a Presbytery?
A. A Presbytery is the local governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA), consisting of presbyters that is, ruling elders and ministers. National Capital Presbytery (NCP) is made up of 104 churches, over 300 ministers, and 28,000 (2019) church members. NCP serves Washington, DC, Northern Virginia, and part of Maryland.
Q. I want to keep up with things going on in and around NCP, how do I subscribe to the Thursday Mail (TM). Keep up with us via our social media accounts: Facebook page, National Capital Presbytery; Instagram, NationalCapitalPresbytery; Twitter, NCPFRIENDS; and YouTube, National Capital Presbytery
A. Send an email to LaJuan Quander to be added to the distribution list.
Q. How do I find information about past or future Presbytery Meetings?
A. You can find the Presbytery Packet, which is posted on www.thepresbytery.org ten days prior to the Stated Meeting, by clicking HERE. If you are looking for minutes from a previous Presbytery Meeting, they are available HERE, for NCP members only. Dates for Presbytery Meetings for this year and next can be found HERE.
Q. How do I find records, such as baptism or marriage certificates, from a church that has closed?
A. The Presbytery office is not large enough to house any such records. Contact the Presbyterian Historical Society at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q. Where can I get pages for our Session Minutes book, register of baptisms, deacons, deaths, etc
A. Try looking at Cokesbury, which has a large selection of supplies for certificates and minutes. (800-672-1789). For minutes, you may use loose-leaf, machine-numbered pages (available from Cokesbury) or you may print them on standard 8 ½” x 11” paper. [Note: You are no longer required to use pre-numbered pages or to number pages using a numbering machine, but the pages must be numbered in sequential order.] Minutes may be submitted in the traditional, leather-bound minute books, or stored/bound in a manner that is consistent with the needs of both protection and accessibility. For greater permanency if you elect to maintain the minutes in some manner other than the traditional minutes books, minutes should be printed on acid-free paper, and it is highly recommended that they be bound. See the Presbyterian Historical Society’s website for more information about records retention.
Q. Where can I find out what events are going on in the Presbytery?
A. The Presbytery Calendar is available for viewing HERE. If your group is having a Presbytery related event that you would like to be on the calendar, please contact Dina Bickel.
Q. How can I find out about the work of Committees?
A. Each Committee of Council and Committee of Presbytery is represented on www.thepresbytery.org, click HERE.
Q. How can I get more information about joining a Committee of Presbytery or Committee of Council?
A. Committee members are coordinated through the Nominating Committee. To contact Patrick Hunnicutt, Chair of the Nominating Committee, send an e-mail.
Q. Where can I find statistical information about my congregation?
A. Click here to connect to the PC(USA) website that provides statistical and trend information for your church
A. The Pilgrimage(Church of the Pilgrims) (202-387-6612) and The Washington Seminar Center (Capitol Hill Presbyterian Church) (202-547-8118) both offer overnight and daytime programs for groups looking for mission projects in Washington, DC.
Q. Where can I find information about Mission Trips?
A. The PC(USA) has launched a site dedicated to planning and coordinating Mission Trips. It can be found HERE.
Q. What is Per Capita? How much is it? Where do I send it?
A. Per Capita is an amount of money that each church pays to the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly for each active member of its church. The 2024 Per Capita Amount in NCP is $48.56 per member. Per Capita payments should be sent to the Presbytery Office, Attn: Heather Deacon.
Q. What is the budget of the Presbytery?
A. The NCP Budget is put together in the spring and brought to the November meeting of the Presbytery. The budget is broken down into Operating and Mission Budgets. The funds for the Operating Budget come from Per Capita. Funds for the Mission budget come to NCP either through Shared Mission Support (Unified Giving) or Directed Mission Support. You can find this year’s budget by clicking HERE. (You must have member access)
Q. Where do I send my funds for NCP or General Assembly?
A. Any monies for General Assembly, Special Offering, Designated, Unified Giving or Disaster Assistance can be mailed directly to the Presbytery Office. If you have any questions, contact Heather Deacon via email@example.com.
Q. What are the four PC(USA) Special Offerings?
A. Information about these offerings is available through the PC(USA) website: One Great Hour of Sharing; Peacemaking Offering; Pentecost Offering; Christmas Joy Offering.
Q. What does presbytery recommend as a Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for pastors in the upcoming year?
A. For 2023, a 6% increase would match the current inflation rate. COM is recommending a COLA increase of anywhere from 3% to 6% for pastors and church staff, as your church budget allows. More information is available in the Compensation Policies HERE.
Q. Does presbytery have a recommendation for how we compensate our pastor for mileage?
A. Presbytery urges adoption of an “accountable reimbursement plan” which reimburses the pastor for vouchered mileage at the IRS rate – currently $0.625 If you are simply giving your pastor a set amount for which he/she does not account to you, that is taxable income to be included on the pastor’s W-2.
Q. Our pastor lives a long way from the church; can we compensate for commuting to/from work?
A. NO – the IRS forbids reimbursement for commuting mileage.
Q. Does presbytery have a clergy compensation policy?
A. Yes, changes are posted every year based on the approved formulas in the policy, typically at the June Presbytery meeting. It can be found HERE.
Q. Our pastor has asked our Treasurer about a “voluntary withholding agreement”; what is this?
A. Clergy are not subject to withholding of federal or state taxes; instead, most make quarterly estimated tax payments. But the IRS allows for a “voluntary withholding agreement” by which the Treasurer withholds federal and/or state taxes as the pastor directs. NOTE: withholding for self-employment taxes (SECA) from pastors’ compensation is never allowed, although clergy can request via a W-4 that an additional amount of income tax be withheld to cover their estimated SECA tax.
Q. How do I reach a Staff member at NCP?
A. Click HERE to find a list of staff, with email addresses and phone numbers.
Q. What are the Presbytery Office Hours?
A. Staff members work different hours during the day, but as a rule the office is open between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday. See the Presbytery Calendar Here for specific dates that the office is closed. During the months of June, July and August the office closes at 2:00 pm on Fridays.
Q. Where is the Presbytery Office? Where are directions?
A. The Presbytery Office is located just outside the Beltway at 11300 Rockville Pike, Suite 408, MD 20852.