After exploring several options for housing our new associate pastor Rev. William “Will” Green, the Charge Conference of the First United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights unanimously approved the purchase of a three bedroom townhouse located at 628 Thistle Lane in the Rob Roy Country Club Village in Prospect Heights on May 21, 2012.
Working in conjunction with the Staff Parish Relations Committee and Lead Pastor Bonnie Beckonchrist, the Board of Trustees established the, “Criteria for Housing.” The criteria includes among other things, a location near the church, cost that does not exceed our current monthly housing allowance, move-in condition, suitable for a family, and meets Conference requirements. Rental of an apartment, for example, does not meet Conference requirements.
Consideration was given to renting until a new parsonage, for which we have Conference approved plans, can be built on existing church property. Although building a new parsonage is still the plan, the timing is not right. This is a buyer’s market. It is less expensive to buy now than build. In addition, the cost of renting a house near the church is about double our current housing allowance. As the housing market improves, we can build, then sell the townhouse, and apply the money toward the new parsonage. Buying an existing house was also considered but an affordable house that does not require a lot of maintenance and upgrading was not affordable.
Although the responsibility for the purchase of a parsonage rests with the Board of Trustees, the process requires that the Staff Parish Relations Committee approves the suitability of the proposed housing, the Finance Committee approves and provides the funding, the Conference Committee on Location and Building visits and approves the proposed housing, and finally, the local Charge Conference made up of the Church Council and staff votes to approve the purchase.
There are currently seven church families living in the Rob Roy development, the finances of the association are in outstanding condition, there are no special assessments, the monthly fees include all exterior maintenance, lawn care, snow removal, water, garbage collection, and more. In addition, there are entertainment options available within the development that a pastor with youth and young adult responsibilities can take advantage.
We took possession of the parsonage on June 15th and Pastor Green will move in on or before June 27th.
Chair, Board of Trustees