Administration Matters

A bimonthly e-newsletter for ELCA congregational and synodical leaders. It addresses common, practical issues including finance, governance, risk management, tax, legal concerns and topics of interest about day to day operations and management in church settings.

Index of the November 2016 Issue

Issue 49 of Administration Matters

Mission support interpretation resources

The ministry of the ELCA is present around the corner and the globe. Financial resources shared from congregations, synods and churchwide, called Mission Support, are deployed across this church and work to transform God’s people and God’s world. Three new Mission Support interpretation resources are now available for use in ministries across the ELCA:

  • Stories of Faith in Action is a printed resource that shares stories about ELCA ministries and impact all around the globe.
  • Where does my offering go is a printed resource that shares how Mission Support financial resources are invested to support churchwide ministries around the globe.
  • Where does your offering go? is a video showing how congregational offerings support the ministries of the ELCA.

It’s annual enrollment season in the ELCA.

Congregations have already chosen a health benefit option, and the window for plan members to complete their benefit selections closes Nov. 16. If you sponsor people through Portico Benefit Services, it’s time to review their choices on EmployerLink. Then, in December, return to see how much to withhold from paychecks in January. >More.

HR Series – the job interview: asking the right questions

The hiring process can be daunting, but knowing how to conduct a successful interview can help you land the best employee. A job interview provides a valuable opportunity for you and the candidate to learn about each other and make an informed decision. >More.

Selecting management software for your congregation

Church Management Software (ChMS) can help with a range of administrative tasks in your congregation: member database, donation tracking, visitation logs, congregation finances, etc. If you are shopping for a new or replacement ChMS, the Congregational Resource Guide has an index of at least 11 articles, organizations or websites that can help in that selection process. >More.

About W-9 and 1099 IRS Forms

If you have independent contractors working in your congregation this year, it is important to ensure, before you make payment, that you have a completed IRS Form W-9 in your files for each of them. As the end of the fiscal year approaches, you want to confirm that all your documentation is in compliance with IRS rules which will also be helpful when completing and distributing IRS 1099 Forms for FY2016. >More.

Frozen pipes and sprinkler systems

Frozen pipes are a major wintertime problem. Contrary to what one might think, losses due to frozen pipes occur more frequently in climates that are not normally associated with cold weather, especially when unexpected cold fronts sweep through a region. >More.

Fair Labor Standards Webinar – October 18

 

Special post for Administration Matters readers …

Register today for this free webinar: https://community.elca.org/FLSAwebinar
Instructions for connecting to the webinar will be sent to all registrants prior to the event.

Webinar Title: New Overtime Rules
Date and Time: October 18, 2016, 12 noon, CDT
Hosts:  Steve Knowles, Senior Attorney, Davis & Kuelthau
Thomas Cunniff, Associate General Counsel, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Cost: Free
Registration deadline: October 14, 2016
Description: The U.S. Department of Labor has adopted new overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which go into effect on December 1, 2016. Among other changes, these regulations increase the minimum salary for exempt employees from $23,000 to $47,476. Many congregations, synods, and other ministries of the church have questions about how this impacts their employees and ministries. Does it apply to churches? What about pastors? Youth workers? Sextons? How about schools? Or camps? Join us for a free webinar on how the new regulations will affect religious institutions, and try to answer many of these questions.

Index of the September 2016 Issue

Issue 48 of Administration Matters

Time to update your congregation’s constitution

Now that the 2016 Churchwide Assembly is over, it is a good time to look at updating your congregation’s constitution. The 2016 Churchwide Assembly made several important changes to the Model Constitution for Congregations, including addressing the unification of the three lay rosters, revising the provisions for parishes, and updating the membership rules. In addition, many congregations have not updated their constitutions since the 2013 Churchwide Assembly, which made important changes to the procedures for disciplining members of congregations. The next churchwide assembly will be in 2019, so there will be no changes to the Model Constitution for Congregations in the next three years, making it an excellent time to update yours now.

Updating a congregation’s constitution to reflect changes in the Model Constitution for Congregations is relatively easy and straightforward. The changes to the Model in 2016 can be found (top of the page) here. while the changes from 2013 can be found (middle of the page) here. Mandatory provisions are marked with an asterisk (*). Under *C17.04 of the Model (now renumbered *C16.04), these changes can be adopted by a majority vote of the members present and voting at any legally-called congregational meeting. At least 30 days prior to the meeting, the congregation council needs to give notice to the congregation of the proposed amendments, along with their recommendations as to the amendments. Once the amendments are made, notice is given to the synod, but no synod action is required. >More

Webinar on new overtime rules

The U.S. Department of Labor has adopted new overtime regulations under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which will go into effect on December 1, 2016. Among other changes, these regulations increase the minimum salary for exempt employees from $23,000 to $47,476. Many congregations, synods, and other ministries of the church have questions about how this impacts their employees. Does it apply to churches? What about pastors? Youth workers? Sextons? How about schools? Or camps? The ELCA has provided guidance on these and other issues to bishops and synod attorneys.
On October 18, 2016, at Noon (Central Time), the ELCA will be hosting a free webinar on how the new regulations will affect religious institutions, and try to answer many of these questions.  Presenting at the webinar will be Steve Knowles, an employment lawyer with the law firm of Davis Kuelthau, and Tom Cunniff, ELCA Associate General Counsel.  Information on attending the webinar will be forthcoming.

HR Series – applications for employment

It’s important to have a completed application form for each lay candidate applying for a job. If carefully designed, the application will assist you in determining whether there is a good fit between the position and the potential employee. >More

Two common misunderstandings about workers’ compensation insurance

Workers’ compensation insurance can help protect your business and employees providing benefits for work related injuries or illnesses, including medical care and wages from lost work time. >More

Don’t let hazardous materials go down the drain

It is important to dispose of hazardous waste and electronic equipment in a safe and appropriate manner. The dangers of disposing of these materials incorrectly might not be immediately obvious, but improper disposal can pollute the environment and threaten human health. >More

Gutenberg to Google – effective use of technology for congregations

View this webinar offered by Augsburg Fortress Lewis at your convenience! It will explore how the use of media to proclaim the Gospel is the same and has changed from the time of Martin Luther to the beginning of the 21st century. You’ll learn something about history and how our reforming traditions are alive and well today. You will come away with fresh ideas for using your congregation’s website, social media and other new technologies to proclaim the Gospel! > More