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 January 2017 Issue

Issue 50 of Administration Matters

HR Series – checking references

Checking references is an important part of the hiring process. While it may feel like just one more step, checking applicants’ references can actually save time, money, effort and a lot of embarrassment. >More

Internal control weaknesses

Many ministries have questions about internal controls and how to effectively address or prevent vulnerabilities. Being willing to consider these issues is an important first step in addressing any weaknesses. >More

Emergency planning

Severe weather can happen anytime, in any part of the country and it may lead to hazardous conditions produced by thunderstorms, damaging winds, tornadoes, large hail or flooding, as well as those associated to winter storms such as freezing rain, sleet and snow. Congregations should develop an emergency plan based on their local weather hazards and practice their plan. >More

Writing minutes like a pro

Do your hands cramp up at the thought of recording meeting minutes? When you’re writing out your notes, use some of the following tips to take effective minutes with confidence at each and every meeting! >More

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:
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.