Policy Manual for Use of FPC Facilities

The facilities of First Presbyterian Church are intended for worship, Christian education, fellowship, ministry, evangelism and service.  These facilities have been provided through the stewardship of the members of First Presbyterian Church who are encouraged to make full use of them in church-related pursuits.

These facilities are also available to appropriate organizations of the community under the guidelines established by the Session.

 Having been provided for by members of the First Presbyterian Church, the maintenance, up-keep and use of these facilities are also the responsibility of the Session and congregation.

 1.        Description of Facilities

A.   Sanctuary and Chapel.

The sanctuary is the place where the congregation of the First Presbyterian Church gathers regularly for the worship of God.  It shall be used primarily for worship such as Sunday worship services, weddings, funerals, and special times of spiritual emphasis.  On occasion it may be used for the gathering of  the congregation to conduct the business of the church or for denominational meetings or for recitals and concerts.

The chapel is to be used for the same purposes as the sanctuary when those scheduling functions mentioned above prefer a smaller room.  Functions for which the chapel would be appropriate include small weddings, funerals, Bible study groups and organizational meetings.

B.     Social and Recreational Rooms:  Fourth Creek Meeting Hall and Fellowship Room.

Fourth Creek Meeting Hall enables church members to have meetings, fellowship, receptions, meals, and refreshments.  Fourth Creek Meeting Hall may be used by non-church groups with the understanding that events and programs of First Presbyterian Church will have precedence.

The Fellowship Room may be used for meetings, fellowship, receptions, and refreshments.  The Fellowship Room may be used by non-church members with the understanding that events and programs of First Presbyterian Church will have precedence.

C.     Meeting Rooms: Educational Rooms, Fourth Creek Meeting Hall, and Heritage Room.

Educational rooms throughout the church’s facilities are to be used for Sunday School classes as well as for music and mission organizations of the church.While Christian education requires an openness to new truths and insights, meetings in these educational rooms should ordinarily reflect the beliefs of the church, except when specific approval is granted for other uses.These rooms may also be used for meetings of various groups or organizations of the church.These rooms may also be used for meetings of various groups and organizations of the community with the understanding that events and programs of First Presbyterian Church will have precedence.

As indicated earlier, Fourth Creek Meeting Hall may be used as a meeting room for groups and organizations of the church when needs require a larger room than can be provided by one of the educational rooms in the church facility.  It may also be used by community groups and organizations with the understanding that events and programs of First Presbyterian Church will have precedence.

          D.   Pre-school Rooms.

These rooms are for the education and care of the pre-schoolers of our church.  They are also for the week-day pre-school ministry of our church.  Because of the frequent use of these rooms and to protect the health and safety of those children being cared for, use of these rooms by outside groups is discouraged and may be approved only by the Facilities Use Committee in consultation with the children’s education committee and director of Preschool.

  E.    Kitchen Facilities:  Fourth Creek Meeting Hall and Fellowship Room.

These kitchen facilities are primarily for the preparation of food for meetings of the First Presbyterian Church.  They are made available with the understanding that events and programs of First Presbyterian Church will have precedence and according to guidance of the Kitchen Committee of the church for the enrichment of the fellowship and programs of our congregation.

 II.        Users of The Facilities of First Presbyterian Church

Those who may use the facilities of the church are described in this section.  Groups or individuals not covered in this section may appeal to the Facilities Use Committee of the church for a determination as to whether or not they may use the facilities.

        A. Church Groups.

All church groups and organizations of the First Presbyterian Church are encouraged to use these facilities to accomplish the mission of our church.

        B.     Individual Church Members.

Individual members of the church may use these facilities for their personal enjoyment and spiritual growth.  These facilities have been provided and are maintained by the members of the church and are available to them under established guidelines

C.     Groups Associated With and Supported by First Presbyterian Church.

Organizations that are associated with and supported by the First Presbyterian Church through its budget or other wise may use these facilities.  Examples include Salem Presbytery and the Statesville Ministerial Association.

D.     Benevolent, Religious and Civic Organizations.

These organizations, such as United Way and civic clubs, may use these facilities under guidelines that may be found in Section III of this document.  These organizations should have established with the Internal Revenue Service that they are non-profit.

While the church is supportive of the commercial structure of our community and nation, our mission statement does not call for the church to provide for meetings of commercial groups.  Likewise, since charging a fee for commercial groups to use our facilities would put the church in the untenable position of competing with other commercial ventures such as restaurants and could jeopardize our tax status, the facilities of our church will not be available for commercial organizations.

         E.     Other Usage Policies

Recitals and concerts may be scheduled by the ministerial staff and/or the Facilities Use Committee.

Church groups, individuals, and other organizations must request of the church office and agree upon use of the space (tables, chairs, etc.,) at least one week in advance of their event.

The use of decorations must always be in good taste and shall in no way damage the facility.  Attachments to the walls, ceilings, and doors may not be permanent or damaging.

Should an event, by reason of extensive use of the building or multiple events taking place in the building, need a staff person to insure the security and integrity of the building, the group sponsoring an event may be required to pay for the services of said staff person.  The staff will determine when such a person is needed; the fees for this service are listed under Section IV of this document.

Only groups associated with and supported by First Presbyterian Church as described in paragraph one of Section II. C may use the facilities of the church without charge, except when the kitchen facilities are used or when an additional staff person is needed to maintain the security of the building as described in the previous paragraph.

The kitchens are not to be used to prepare food by an individual caterer or an organization outside of the First Presbyterian Church except by specific approval.

Groups supported by the budget of First Presbyterian Church or non-profit benevolent, religious and civic organizations may use the sanctuary, Fourth Creek Meeting Hall, and other meeting rooms once a quarter without charge, except when additional cleaning is needed to maintain the security of the building as described above or when the kitchen is used.  Appropriate charges as indicated in Section IV of this document will then apply.

 III.       Scheduling Use of the Facilities

All requests for the use of the facilities of the church must be made through the church office.  Such requests will then be acted on by the staff at its earliest meeting unless specific approval of the Facilities Use Committee or Session is required.

Regular functions and activities of the church organizations may be permanently scheduled for particular areas on a continuing basis.  Assignment of those areas is left to the discretion of the staff on the advice or recommendation of those seeking rooms.  Church organizations assigned areas and times on a permanent basis shall have first priority for the use of these facilities.

Individual church members may reserve rooms and schedule events such as birthday celebrations, receptions, reunions, etc., in accordance with scheduling policies as provided.  These reservations must not conflict with permanently reserved rooms for regularly scheduled church programs.  Since the church is not responsible for social events in the lives of its members, there will be a fee charged as provided in Section IV of this document.

After permanent room reservations have been established, all other scheduling will be done on a first-come, first-served basis.

Requests of church organizations and church members take precedence over requests of other groups outside the church.  Therefore, groups outside the church cannot schedule use of the church’s facilities longer than ninety days in advance of the event.  Exceptions to this “ninety day policy” must be approved by the staff and the Facilities Use Committee. When the request for the use of a church facility is approved and scheduled, it cannot be changed for another group, except in unusual circumstances (e.g. funeral).

Questions concerning the scheduling of the facilities or fees charged for the use of the facilities may be referred to the Facilities Use Committee for final determination except for situations that are governed by other sections of this policy.