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 September 2017 Issue

Issue 54 of Administration Matters

500th Anniversary of the Reformation

The 500th anniversary of the Reformation is just over 60 days away! Hopefully, you’ve been able to host an anniversary activity. If not, it’s not too late. Consider hosting a “With New Voices” Small Catechism study, a showing of the latest Martin Luther documentary or host a livestream of the ELCA’s Oct. 31 anniversary commemoration. You can access all the resources needed at and stay up-to-date on what’s happening in congregations and synods around the country (and world!) on Facebook and Twitter. So, connect today to share photos of what your congregation and synod is up to for #ELCA500.

Lutheran Disaster Response is here to help

September is Disaster Preparedness month. And what a devastating month it’s been, with many disasters wreaking havoc and destruction, not only in the U.S., but around the world. Several years ago, Lutheran Disaster Response produced a Congregational Disaster Preparedness Guide to help congregations prepare for and respond to a disaster. The free guide can be downloaded as a whole or in three parts. The first section addresses congregational preparedness, the second congregational response and the third section has worksheets congregations can use as they address this work. To save on printing costs, it is only available by download at help with the response go to:

Congregational Audit Guide

An audit should be conducted periodically to review compliance with regulations, ensure the effective operation of the congregation, maintain or enhance its reputation in the community and instill a sense of confidence that all is functioning well.>More

Electricity: powerful tool – lethal hazard

Electricity is a powerful tool. It can also be a lethal hazard. Better safety standards have reduced electrical problems that cause deaths, injuries and property damage, but good safety habits are still the best prevention against electrical accidents. >More

ELCA group tax exemption

Most ELCA organizations are included in the ELCA group exemption filing with the IRS. A certification letter may be requested when you apply for a bulk mailing permit, state sales tax exemption, to receive grant or matching funds, estate settlement or simply for proof of tax exempt status. >More




Index of the July 2017 Issue

Issue 53 of Administration Matters

Congregational Ethics Policy

The highest degree of stewardship and fiduciary responsibility is expected of all employees, including the receiving, reporting, and use of funds, property, and time. Employees are responsible for complying with laws, regulations, and congregation’s policies and procedures. >More

Independent Contractor or Employee?

Correctly classifying employees and independent contractors is crucial for each congregation and church entity. Here is a checklist that could help you review employment classification. >More

Legal resources

A reminder that the ELCA has legal resources available on its website at The resources include information on some of the most common legal issues faced by congregations, such as employees and volunteers, tax, sexual misconduct, property, and financial issues. While not a substitute for legal advice, these resources can help point you in the right direction. >More

Church Mutual Insurance free sensors program

Don’t let your church services be disrupted. When it comes to peace of mind concerning church building safety and property damage due to cold weather-related incidents and power outages causing sump pump shut-off, there is an answer. Church Mutual has introduced a free temperature and water sensor program that alerts eligible Church Mutual insureds before damage can occur. >More

Financial best practices for congregations

Creating an environment with financial controls and best practices ensures that the resources entrusted to the church are handled in the best possible ways. It also ensures compliance with accountings rules and regulations. The Financial Best Practices for Congregations presentation highlights key aspects of separating financial duties, safeguarding offerings, handling expenditures, among other items, to ensure proper controls and compliance and assist in reducing the risk of misconduct and audit findings. >More

ELCA Federal Credit Union

As we celebrate our one-year anniversary today, we are excited about the positive financial impact the ELCA Federal Credit Union is having on our members’ lives. We invite you to watch our new video that explains how credit unions operate—and how we are helping our members do more with their money. Please feel free to share this video with members or employees of our congregations, synods and ministries; they are also eligible to enjoy the many great benefits of belonging to our credit union.


Index of the May 2017 Issue

Issue 52 Of Administration Matters

Gathering opportunities for the summer

Congregational treasurers financial and accounting guide

This guide for treasurers and bookkeepers reviews the responsibilities of the treasurer, creating the chart of accounts, financial reporting and other topics. >More

HR Series – Records retention

A sound document-retention policy isn’t just a necessity these days, it’s mandatory! If just one important document is misplaced, misfiled or unintentionally destroyed, it could mean trouble. Identify required and important documents and make sure they are properly stored. >More

Congregational model Audit Committee Charter

The primary purpose of an audit committee charter is to provide oversight of the financial reporting process, the audit process, the system of internal controls and compliance with laws and regulations. The charter governs the operations of the Audit Committee. >More

Controlling office supply costs

Many organizations spend more on office supplies than necessary. Here are several ideas that congregations may find helpful in reducing their office supply costs. >More

Armed intruder security

No congregation is immune from acts of violence. Find out what you can do. >More