Leaders and Ledgers
A Monthly Newsletter for Church Administrators in The Missouri District
August 2012
Volume 3, Number 7
 
      In This Issue
 
   A Personal Note

I believe it is important to occasionally assess the effectiveness of ones work. I encourage each church leader to assess the effectiveness of their work, always striving to become better stewards of the gifts to which we have been entrusted and by which we have been blessed and in turn are able to be or become a blessing to others.

 

Two and a half years ago, I started this newsletter hoping to help the leaders of the congregations and schools of the Missouri District. At this point, I would like to ask your help by giving me feedback regarding this newsletter. Please let me know if it is helpful, if it is lacking some vital information, if you would like to have information about specific topics or anything else you might wish to share. I have not prepared a formal survey because I prefer open ended feedback. I can be contacted at Peter.Krege@mo.lcms.org or 314-590-6220.

 

Upcoming Events:

September 28: Early Childhood Directors’ Conference

September 30-October 2: East Pastors’ Conference

October 7-9: West Pastors’ Conference

October 19-21: Fall Jr. High Retreat at Windermere

November 18-20: Educators’ Conference at Lodge of the Four Seasons, Lake Ozark

April 5-7, 2013: Spring Junior High Retreat at Windermere

 

July 20-25, 2013: Synod Convention (remember to budget for the January assessment – I do not know the amount yet – the last Synod convention assessment was $2.25 per communicant member)

 

Special Offer! Each year the Congregational Treasurers Manual is updated and published. The published version is only sold to district offices for distribution to congregations. Because it is made available online, the printed version has not been offered to Missouri District congregations in recent years. In most years only volume one gets updated and printed; however this year volume two will also be updated and printed. Because of this, I will be ordering 50 copies of the two volume set, which includes a CD, and also 50 copies of the CD only version. These will be available for a cost of $10 for the hard copy and $4 for the CD on a first come basis. The orders would be delivered in late October or early November. To place an order, please complete the order form (available here) and mail it along with your payment to the district office.

 

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    Tax and Accounting Issues

Congregations with schools as well as those that contract with another Lutheran school and pay a portion or all of the education costs of its members are subject IRS Revenue Ruling 83-104. This ruling provides guidance in determining when payments to the school must be regarded as tuition payments and when they can be treated as deductible charitable contributions. Section 9.200 of the Congregational Treasurers Manual contains an in depth discussion of this topic. If your congregation participates in the cost of students’ tuition, you need to be aware of this IRS ruling.


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    Property Issues

Does anyone in your congregation know who actually owns the property the church is on? Are there any deed restrictions? Recently, I have become aware of some cases where ownership issues arose. According to a study conducted by Richard Hammer, a leading authority on church legal and tax issues, property disputes is the second highest cause of litigation for congregations, and zoning issues is the fourth highest cause for litigation. Knowing who owns the church property, where the property lines are and what restrictions are on the property (deed restrictions as well as zoning restrictions) can help avoid problems with your neighbors and community.

 

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Personnel and Legal Issues

Health care insurance continues to be in the news. I received the following from Keith Duesenberg, our Missouri District Concordia Plans Consultant;

“August 1 marks the date of compliance for health plans to cover the cost of certain women’s preventive care items and services, including contraceptives, under the Affordable Care Act, or health care reform law. Although this mandate will impact many health plans, the Concordia Health Plan (CHP) is considered a “grandfathered plan”* and is not required to comply with this new health care reform mandate, which specifically requires covering the cost of contraceptives.

As it has for several years, the CHP will continue to cover many preventive care services at 100%** as long as they are provided or authorized by a network physician. These include routine physical exams, gynecological exams, and mammograms, provided there is not a diagnosed medical condition at the time the services are provided.

Click here to learn more about the CHP, what it means to be a “grandfathered plan,” and CHP coverage for women’s preventive health care and contraceptives.

*“Grandfathered Plan” status applies to the CHP. This is not necessarily the case for other health insurance plans through which LCMS workers may have coverage. If you are not a member of the CHP, please check with your health insurance provider. Note: grandfathered status applies to a health plan that made that decision when the legislation was passed in 2010 -- it does not apply to the denomination. LCMS employers that offer health coverage through a provider other than the CHP should check with their provider to determine coverage requirements.

**All HMO members may incur a copay if services are billed as an office visit. Care that includes diagnosis by a doctor is not included as preventive care, and will not be covered at 100%. (8/12)


For additional information, feel free to contact our call center at 888-927-7526.”

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  Did you know? 

 

 

Did you know that of the 5,988,927 people living in Missouri, only 2.3%, or 137,941, are baptized members of the Missouri District—LCMS?

 

 

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   Stewardship Thought

Ephesians 4:30-5:2

There is nothing like money to cause arguments in a congregation. A wealthy member dies and leaves a large estate to the church. The wrangling over how to spend or invest the money can tear a church apart. When an expansion of facilities is proposed, discussion over the cost and how to raise the funds can doom the project. If times are tight and the budget is not met, the discussion over how to cut expenses can range from energy conservation to dismissing personnel. God did not give blessings to the church through its people to cause division. When members begin to have expectations about how God will use their money—or talents or their time—they play god. Our gifts are to be free and joyful. They are to be regular and proportionate. They are to be a response to God for His greatest gift, Christ Jesus. In that attitude, how can they be divisive? Let us all give according to our ability and trust the church, through more listening than talking, to use our gifts according to God’s will.


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