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.

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

Index of the July 2016 Issue

Issue 47 of Administration Matters

Livestream the ELCA Churchwide Assembly, Aug. 8-13

The 14th ELCA Churchwide Assembly will convene on Aug. 8-13, in New Orleans to discuss and make decisions about how to go about God’s work as a church. This year the assembly will observe the 500th anniversary of the Reformation under the theme “Freed and Renewed in Christ” and the accompanying tagline “500 years of God’s Grace in Action.”

Over the course of the assembly, voting members:

  • hear reports and review the work of churchwide organization officers, leaders and units;
  • receive and consider proposals from synod assemblies;
  • elect a new ELCA vice president, board members and other leaders as specified by the constitution or bylaws;
  • establish ELCA policy;
  • worship together;
  • adopt a budget; and
  • conduct other business related to the ELCA churchwide organization.

The assembly will be streamed live on the churchwide assembly website. To learn about the assembly, preview the pre-assembly reports or to watch the livestream, click here.

 

 Join the new ELCA Federal Credit Union!

The ELCA Federal Credit Union is open for business and accepting applications for membership.

To apply, visit the credit union website, elcafcu.org. ELCA members, congregations and ministries—and their employees—are eligible to join. You can become a member by opening a savings account with as little as a $25 initial deposit. Credit union membership is your entrée to access a portfolio of deposit accounts, loans and other services. At the credit union’s website, you can view current rates, apply for a loan, and learn more from an interactive loan payment calculator. You can also search for the closest ATM on the credit union’s worldwide network of free ATMs. Also, watch for a mobile app coming soon.

As the credit union website states: “When you join fellow Lutherans as a member of the ELCA Federal Credit Union, you do more than gain access to a wide array of financial services. You become a part of a financial cooperative that shares your values.”

The ELCA Federal Credit Union looks forward to serving you. >More

 

12 tips to being safer online

Keep your members’ data safe by protecting your congregation’s. This guide includes things you, your staff and volunteers should keep in mind at the congregation, away from the congregation, when using social media, and when using cloud services. >More

 

How to care for stained glass

Many church buildings incorporate a variety of stained-glass windows that glorify God, memorialize benefactors, and beautify the worship space. The value of these windows—financially, historically and sentimentally—is significant. Thus, caring for and preserving them is an important aspect of church facilities management. >More

 

Insuring your ministry: Points to consider

Do you know what insurance to purchase to best protect your ministry?  >More

 

HR seriescreating a good place to work

A positive work environment is not only important for our physical, mental and emotional health, it is important for the results that we produce. The better we feel at work, the more likely we will take pride in our job activities. >More