Issue 87 of Administration Matters

(Delayed until June 5 from May 15 publication date)

ELCAdvantage Program

Through the ELCAdvantage Program, the ELCA churchwide organization develops agreements with participating providers that offer products and services at competitive prices. Using the program enables collective, volume purchasing of essential products and services. >More

Inflation’s effect on houses of worship

This is a difficult time for houses of worship, which have experienced the one-two punch of first COVID-19 closures and now inflation. Inflation affects both a church’s finances and its members’ finances as the price of groceries, gas, clothing and other necessities rapidly increases. While these prices are rising, cost-of-living increases aren’t matching them, which means a dollar is worth less today than it was a year ago. How can you weather this latest crisis and come out on the other side with a still strong ministry. Church Mutual is publishing a series of blog posts on how different types of organizations can best handle inflation. Here it offers five tips for houses of worship.

What’s love got to do with it?

We all know the commandment to “love thy neighbor as thyself,” but how does this apply to rostered ministers? As reported on NPR in September 2022, burnout among faith leaders is at an all-time high. The apostle Paul reminds us that if we have not love, we have nothing. Extending love to those who lead means we are generous with their compensation, forgiving of their human foibles, and reasonable and flexible with our demands, allowing them adequate rest.

Portico offers many programs for this: the Omada program for blood pressure and diabetes management, online health and fitness classes from Burnalong, employee assistance programs (including access to Talkspace for dealing with depression, anxiety and stress) and Learn to Live courses for cognitive behavioral therapy-based (CBT) support, among others. Best of all, these programs are virtual and can be accessed at home. Remind your employees who have ELCA-Primary health benefits that preventive exams are covered. Portico Care Coordinators by Quantum Health are just a phone call away to answer questions about exam and test coverage.

Operational ethics policy for congregations

Best practices for all organizations, including churches and nonprofits, recommend that business ethics and conflict-of-interest policies be in place. Such policies clarify fiduciary duties and address real or apparent conflicts of interest. >More

Three steps to stronger passwords

Strong passwords are of the utmost importance. They protect your electronic accounts and devices from unauthorized access, keeping your sensitive personal information safe. The more complex the password, the more protected your information will be from hackers and other cyber threats. >More

Five ways to demonstrate good church stewardship

Good stewardship is the careful and responsible management of all resources God provides for the betterment of creation. It is about using your gifts and talents to better the lives of others. Giving back to God’s mission in our world can go farther than you know! >More