GET CONNECTED with our CHURCH FAMILY … responding to human need

Questions You May Have

About Making a Gift/Pledge

Q.  I have already submitted my pledge; how to I make a contribution on that pledge?  You may make your check payable to Lewinsville Presbyterian Church, annotated “Trail Blazer Campaign,” and drop in the Sunday collection plate or mail to the church office to the attention of Jeanne Melone.  You may also make a contribution online.  CLICK HERE to contribute online and select the Trail Blazer Capital Campaign line item.  If you wish to contribute by transferring stocks or bonds directly to the campaign, please call Jeanne (Shan) Melone (703-356-7200) in the church office for specific instructions.

Q.  How long will the capital campaign continue?  Three years.  You may make a one-time gift or spread it over thirty-six months.  That’s entirely up to you.

Q.  How will I determine how much to give?  Only you can make that decision.  We cannot all give an equal amount, of course, but we can give generously, or as some have said, until we are giving “sacrificially.”  And that will be enough.

Q.  What if my circumstances change?  Can I revise my commitment?  Yes.  The completed pledge card represents your best intentions.  That’s the most we can ask of each other.  However, circumstances sometimes change.  If you find it necessary to revise your commitment, please call Financial Manager Jeanne (Shan) Melone at the church office.  703-356-7200.

Q.  Who will know how much I have pledged?  Only the few people who actually receive and record gifts for the campaign.

Q. What are the simplest ways to make a gift? Can’t I just leave the campaign money in my estate?  While such a bequest would be welcomed and appreciated, the success of the current capital campaign is dependent upon gifts made today and pledges paid over the next three years in order to secure a bridge loan for construction of the project.  The simplest way to assure our success is to write a check (or checks) and send it to the church. The money will be deposited in the capital campaign account managed by the Lewinsville Presbyterian Church Foundation. You may also arrange a direct deposit on a monthly basis to the Foundation account. These two methods provide charitable deductions in calculating your federal and state taxes, if you still itemize deductions after the 2017 tax law changes.

Q. What about a gift of stocks and bonds?  You can obtain even greater tax benefits using one or both of the following two methods:

  • Contribute appreciated stock or bonds. You can deduct the full fair market value of the stock, and you avoid the capital gains tax on the appreciation.
  • Contribute directly from your IRA (you must be over 70 1/2). You satisfy the required minimum distribution rules without having to pay tax on the income.  This is particularly appropriate for those who claim the standard deduction.

There are some limits on deductibility. For example, you can only deduct up to 60 percent of your annual income in cash or 30 percent in stock in any one year. Any excess can be carried forward for up to five years. And contributions directly from your IRA are limited to $100,000 per year.  Please consult your tax advisors about any of the treatments of your contributions to the capital campaign.

Q. Since this is a 3-year pledge campaign, when is it appropriate for me to make my first pledge payment?  The campaign, now officially underway, will extend through the years 2019, 2020 and 2021. You are encouraged to begin the payment schedule you selected on your pledge card at a time convenient to you.

Q.  Will there be an opportunity to dedicate a room in the new Heritage Hall in memory or in honor of a loved one?  Yes.  Altogether, there will be eighteen venues available for such a distinction, including the Rotunda, East Lobby, Youth Center, Youth Center Alcove, Nursery, and a number of classrooms and meeting venues.  The capital campaign committee is drafting appropriate language for each room and will have suggestions to offer in consultation with you.  If you would like to discuss all memorial opportunities and perhaps reserve a specific location to commemorate your gift, please contact Roy Mitchell at 571-435-7191 or Roland McElroy at 703-237-0358.

About the Project

Q. Is there any multi-purpose sports room that will allow youth and children to play sports, especially during winter?  Current plans do not include a specific “multi-purpose sports room” but the Youth Center on the top floor of Heritage Hall will be enlarged and capable of handling many enhanced activities.

Q. Will there be facilities added to provide:  Live streaming of services (and adult education), Hymns displayed on screen, Good lighting at parking area, LED lights to save power, Internet facility, Cyber security for church, Cameras?  Every attempt will be made to equip the entire campus with state-of-the art audio visual equipment, including live streaming capability for the sanctuary and adult education classes. Internet access will be strengthened for every venue in Heritage Hall. New exterior lighting and cameras at all points of entry will be installed. Enhanced lighting is being planned for parking areas as well.  All installations will be made with the most energy efficient capability available.

Q. What happened to the desire of many to have a covered portico at the east entrance to assist handicapped with access to the building and keep elderly “in the dry” as they exit their vehicles?  The loss of parking spaces for such a portico would have to be recovered (required by the county) through identifying other locations on the property for the same number of spaces lost.  The east entrance already has forced the removal of one tree at the planned entrance and three parking spaces. With a great deal of effort, three new spaces have been identified by surveyor Walter Phillips, two of them in the small parking lot near the cemetery.

The covered portico would create the loss of four to eight additional spaces for a “drive aisle.” The only way to recover those spaces would be to raze the manse (est: $150,000), which may or may not provide the needed spaces. That would also force the closing of the Pastoral Counseling Center.

Our architect has studied the issue and believes county regulations for emergency vehicle clearance would make such a canopy cover so large and unattractive—and expensive ($250,000)—that it would subtract from the goal of creating a welcoming, and distinctively new entrance. Further, a fourteen foot canopy, as required by the county, would contribute to an “institutional” appearance. The committee concluded that the proposed entrance is a better alternative and offers a functional, curb-side drop off less than ten feet from curb to door.

About the Environment

Q.  What are we doing to practice environmental stewardship of the campus as the project moves forward?  In keeping with Lewinsville’s commitment as an Earth Care Congregation, this project will seek to minimize the project’s environmental impact on the entire campus.  A professional landscape designer will develop a plan to protect surrounding vegetation and replace any that, of necessity, must be removed.  In addition, construction will include installation of efficient window, lighting, and heating/cooling systems.

Q. Will Heritage Hall become a LEED certified building when its transformation is complete?  One of the major goals of the Building Task Force is to make the new Heritage Hall as energy efficient as possible within the constraints of a limited budget.  With that goal in mind, the committee has given consideration to nearly all forms of energy efficient materials and sources of energy, e.g., solar panels, geothermal, ground source heat pumps. The Task Force is well aware that many members of our congregation will be watching to make sure we remain true to our commitment as an Earth Care Congregation. Becoming LEED certified is an admirable goal but affording that status may jeopardize our ability to meet pressing programmatic needs, many of which have been waiting more than thirty years to be addressed.  Both ambitions require prudent stewardship of finite resources.

Q. Have there been any discussions or decisions regarding the use of Low or No VOC materials (paint, rugs, and other supplies) in the actual construction?  The Building Task Force has discussed this topic on multiple occasions among ourselves and with our architect.  While the topic has been discussed, it’s a bit early in the architectural and engineering design phase to be specific about building materials but we, the Building Task Force and the architect, are committed to ensure that the latest ECO friendly design, construction techniques and materials will be a high priority throughout the project.

About the Construction Period

Q. How will we get to worship service when the builders are working?  Will there be an alternate entrance while the new east entrance is under construction?  Just as we did in the 1987-1992 period of our last capital improvement project, the work will be scheduled (staged) to minimize disruption to all regularly scheduled activities.  If necessary, Fellowship Hall can be used for Sunday worship services, and an entrance to that area will always be open.

Q. Are arrangements being made for alternate meeting spaces for groups displaced during construction, e.g., education classes, youth meetings, community groups, some of which meet daily, etc?  Accommodating all requests for meeting space during construction will be a very real challenge. A full year of disruption is anticipated, but fortunately, we have professionals to help us each step of the way. Close coordination will be required among our architect, construction company, and building oversight committee (led by John Bowen). The end result will be worthy of the patience expended to arrive there.


Q. Have we considered remodeling our facilities and putting some money in the church’s endowment fund?  Fortunately, the endowment fund has been building slowly and steadily since it was created in 1985. Thus, the Foundation was able to make a grant of $1 million to match the first million dollars pledged by the congregation and another $500,000 grant later. The endowment fund continues to grow with gifts and bequests from members and friends of the church. While construction is underway, members will be encouraged to continue their support of the endowment fund with the confidence it will be available for a future capital project.

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