Leaders and Ledgers
A Monthly Newsletter for Church Administrators in The Missouri District
September 2012
Volume 3, Number 8
 
      In This Issue
 
   A Personal Note

Have you ever wondered what your legal responsibilities are as a church council member? Do you feel like you spend too much time in church meetings without accomplishing much? Does it seem the leaders in your congregation do not understand their roles?

You are invited to attend one of the Regional Gatherings listed below. These gatherings are designed to help you find the answers to these and other questions. They are for all church council members and are intended to be informative and to facilitate discussions regarding the issues facing your congregation with others in your area and with the district staff.

Thursday, Sept. 27        7-9 p.m.    Trinity, Columbia

Wednesday, Oct. 3       7-9 p.m.    Holy Trinity, St. Clair

Thursday, Oct. 4            7-9 p.m.    Webster Gardens, Webster Groves

Wednesday, Oct. 10      7-9 p.m.    Zion, Moberly

Thursday, Oct. 11           7-9 p.m.    Biltz Hall, Saint Paul Lutheran High School, Concordia

Monday, Oct. 15            7-9 p.m.    St. Paul,Farmington

Monday, Oct. 22            7-9 p.m.    Immanuel,Hannibal

Tuesday, Oct. 23            7-9 p.m.    Concordia, Sikeston

Saturday, Oct. 27           2-4 p.m.    Faith, Springfield

Monday, Oct. 29            7-9 p.m.    Trinity, Cole Camp

Tuesday, Oct. 30            7-9 p.m.    St. Paul, St. Joseph



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

Feb. 15-17, 2013:                      Peer Ministry Training at Heit’s Point and Pallottine Center

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, but the last Synod convention assessment was $2.25 per communicant member)

 

Special Offer! Each year the 2012 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 is updated and printed; however this year Volume Two will also be updated and printed. Because of this, I will be ordering a limited supply of the two volume set, which includes a CD, and also a number of the CD-only version. These are 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 need to consider the tax issues around the rental of church facilities. While the IRS allows a congregation to rent out its facility, the IRS might consider the rental income as unrelated business income subject to taxation. Generally property which is debt financed is subject to UBIT (Unrelated Business Income Tax) and property which is not debt financed is not subject to UBIT. There are some exceptions. IRS publication 598, “Tax on Unrelated Business Income of Exempt Organizations.” http://www.irs.gov/publications/p598/ contains the relevant information about this topic. As a congregation, you need to be aware of this information before making decisions about whether or not to purchase “debt financed property,” with the intent to rent out a portion in order to help pay the debt.

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    Property Issues

Selecting a vendor to supply goods or services to your congregation often falls on the trustees or church council. Most businesses consider it prudent practice to obtain a minimum of three bids for capital items and for items costing more than a set dollar amount. It is often customary to send out an RFP (request for proposal) to prospective vendors or service suppliers for such items. The RFP alerts vendors to your desire to do business and also lets them know that you are using a competitive bidding process. An RFP will differ depending on what goods or services you are looking to acquire. Generally, it will include some background information, specific requirements, some assumptions, a timeline, and contact information.

 

This link shows a fairly complicated RFP for janitorial cleaning services.

 

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Personnel and Legal Issues

For the protection of children, many organizations advocate and follow a six-month rule. This policy requires that anyone working with or around children, even indirectly, may not do so until they have been a part of the organization for a minimum of six months. It is important to develop a comprehensive policy to protect the children participating in church sponsored activities such as nursery staff, Sunday school, youth group activities, etc. While the six-month rule should be a minimum standard, other policies such as background checks, sign-in and sign-out procedures, two adult rules, no closed door policies, etc. should also be put into place for the protection of children.

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  Did you know? 

Did you know that while the number of Protestants in Missouri has declined during the past five years, the number of people who believe in Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and others has increased?

 

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   Stewardship Thought

Mark 9:30-37

Welcome the children! What a stewardship motivation! In Acts, Peter recalled this teaching when he told the crowds that salvation “is for your children.” The church exists not only for those who partake of its message, services, and blessings now, but for your children and grandchildren. If someone had not been faithful generations ago and provided for the continuation of the preaching and the Gospel message, you may not have heard it. If families had not banded together and, as good stewards, supported the ministry of your congregation in the past, where would you be today? Future generations yet unborn are relying on you to be faithful with the gifts and resources God gives. Can you do otherwise?


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