WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
July 23, 2019
A weekly communication for WDC Churches and Pastors
WDC Executive Board, Commission, Committee and Task Force members
Any content may be used in bulletins and newsletters and
forwarded to congregational leaders and members.
WDC Sprouts is also available at: www.mennowdc.org (Publications)
IN THIS ISSUE:
by Beth Yoder, WDC Business Manager
There are multiple reasons why, not only for financial/accounting matters but also administrative and personnel matters, policies and procedures should be created and well documented. Take into consideration what it would look like if for some reason your congregation’s key financial person was suddenly unable to fulfill their duties for an extended period of time. Would you be prepared? Documentation is also imperative from a risk-management standpoint.
The following is a list of items to take into consideration for accounting matters. This list is from an article in Church Law & Tax titled “Why Financial Documentation Is a ‘Must’ for Your Ministry” by Vonna Laue.
Risk management – Ensure leadership has brainstormed the various risks related to the organization, identified those of greatest concern, considered options to mitigate the risks, and created a monitoring policy to verify those practices continue to operate as planned.
Cash receipts – Document how money comes in and how it is controlled. You certainly have contributions, but even those amounts could be received through offerings, online, or in other ways. You also have various forms of program revenue, and those amounts can sometimes be the most difficult to control because you may not be certain when and how the funds will be collected. Create written procedures for handling cash received and distribute the instructions to anyone involved in those processes.
Cash disbursements – This is one of the most common areas in which fraud is committed. Review your current practices to ensure suitable segregation of duties are in place and document those procedures so everyone understands their role. You don’t want to put the ministry—or your employees and volunteers—at risk.
Payroll – Payroll processing should not only be well-documented for the sake of internal controls, but also from a procedural standpoint. Many of your employees will not be able to wait long if the person who normally processes payroll is unable to complete the task. Make sure that passwords, while still secured, are available to more than one person, and that others are cross-trained to perform these functions should the need arise.
General ledger activity – The process for recording journal entries, preparing month-end reconciliations, and generating monthly financial reports should all be thoroughly documented to include specifics related to your software. This is an area where efficiency will be most evident. Someone will eventually figure out how to perform these tasks, but having adequate information in a procedures manual will make it much easier.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive; rather, it should encourage you to think about the operations in your own organization/congregation and what may be necessary. It also may be a starting point to consider the documentation of personnel policies, governing policies, conflict of interest policies, etc. Not only making sure they exist but also that they are updated on a regular basis.
- We hope to see you this coming weekend July 26-27 at “We Are Witnesses!”, the Western District Conference Annual Assembly at Bethel College in North Newton, KS. Activities include lots of stories, learning opportunities, worship and family fun for all ages. The Friday 7:00 pm worship (at Bethel College Mennonite Church) as well as the Saturday 8:30 am worship (at Bethel College Memorial Hall) are open to the public – no registration required. Both worship services will feature Glen Guyton, Mennonite Church Executive Director. The Saturday evening Family Festival is also open to anyone without registering. For more information, go to: https://mennowdc.org/annual-assembly/#2019annualAssembly.
- There’s still time to stop by the Conference Resource Library to check out some favorite resources from Dwight Regier and Friends! Or view the list at this link: Dwight Regier (Bi-Conference Youth Ministry Network Team Leader)
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- We need more! Your registration for the Young Adult Weekend on August 2-4 is needed immediatelyif you plan on attending. Numbers are low and the retreat is at risk of being cancelled. Young adults (18 and older) are invited to spend a weekend enjoying camp activities, worship, and fellowship. Attendees will share in preparing simple meals. Scholarships are available online in the registration process or contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 for information. Register at campmennoscah.org!
- Sing for Joy, Sing for Camp! We’re having our annual Camp Sing celebration of what has been an astoundingly fun and amazing summer of youth camps on August 11 at Hoffnungsau Mennonite Church in Inman, KS. We’ll start with a storytime from 5:45pm – 6:05pm, followed by joyous singing at 6:30pm. After joyfully worshiping in camp songs and hymns, we’ll share in popcorn, pop and conversation. All are invited, whatever your age or skill!
- The Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah will be September 1-2. The theme for the retreat is Living Peacefully! Come support each other and enjoy fellowship, music, and worship. This retreat is for individuals affected by mental illness, including family and friends. Register online at campmennoscah.org.
Mennonite church announcements
The 2019 issue of Mennonite Life, Bethel College’s annual online journal, is now live at ml.bethelks.edu, with articles and reviews by Brad Born, Sarah Balzer, Rachel Waltner Goossen, Mark Jantzen, Donald Kraybill, Alec Loganbill, Jacob Miller, Weldon Schloneger, Keith Sprunger and Melanie Zuercher.
WDC Sprouts announcement guidelines: Announcements pertain to Western District Conference (WDC) ministries and churches, institutions with which WDC has formal relationships, and Mennonite Church USA agencies and ministries.