WESTERN DISTRICT CONFERENCE
July 25, 2017
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:
*Top 10 Documents for Church Treasurers
Top 10 Documents for Church Treasurers from the Church Law & Tax website
submitted by Phyllis Regier, WDC Business Manager
Adapted from a Weekly Lesson titled, “Church Records—Part 1.” By Richard R Hammar
As a church treasurer, you should be familiar with and able to furnish these 10 documents for your church. You should also be sure to pass this information on to your successor in order to ensure that these documents continue to be accessible when needed.
- Articles of incorporation. The articles of incorporation is a short document that contains the church’s name, address, period of duration, initial board of directors, and statement of purposes. The articles of incorporation is called the church’s charter. The charter is the most authoritative legal document that a church has. In the event of a conflict between the charter and any other legal document, the charter will control. Be sure you are well versed on your church’s charter.
- Corporate annual reports. In many states, incorporated churches are required to file an annual report with the Secretary of State. This is a simple form that takes only a few minutes to complete. But failure to comply with the requirement can jeopardize a church’s corporate status; and this can expose church members and board members to personal liability. Churches should maintain a full set of all corporate annual reports filed with the Secretary of State’s office.
- Constitution or bylaws. This is the document that contains most of a church’s rules of internal administration. At a minimum, church bylaws should cover the following matters: the qualifications, selection, and expulsion of members; the time and place of annual business meetings; the calling of special business meetings; notice for annual and special meetings; quorums; voting rights; selection, tenure, and removal of officers and directors; filling of vacancies; responsibilities of directors and officers; the method of amending the bylaws; and, the purchase and conveyance of property. It is essential for church leaders to be familiar with this document, since it covers so many issues of church organization and administration.
- Financial records. It is your responsibility to insure that appropriate safeguards are implemented with regard to the handling of contributions, that cash and expenses are properly recorded and presented in the church’s financial statements, and that the church is properly receipting donors for their contributions. You should be reviewing the finances of the church at each board meeting, and asking questions about anything that you don’t understand or that seems irregular.
- List of members. Many churches have bylaw provisions that call for the periodic review of the membership list, to be sure that it is up to date. Do your church bylaws contain such a provision? How recently did you review and update your membership list? Are you familiar with the procedure and grounds for removing members from this list? As a church treasurer, you should be able to answer these questions.
- Minutes of membership meetings and board and committee meetings. Most churches conduct an annual business meeting, and occasionally hold special meetings. Your church should keep records of all of these meetings. Churches also should maintain a complete set of minutes of board and committee meetings.
- Insurance policies. Do you know where your church’s insurance policies are maintained? Are you familiar with the terms of your policies? It is essential for church treasurers to know how much coverage their church has.
- Tax records. These will include payroll tax forms, housing allowance designations for your pastors, contribution records, and any other forms you have filed with the federal government or with your state or local government.
- Employment records. These include applications for employment, reference checks, information concerning disciplinary actions, the I-9 immigration form that all employers, including churches, must maintain for each new employee, and any other document relating to your employees.
- Deeds. As a church treasurer, you should be able to locate the deed to your church property. Have you reviewed this document lately? It may contain information of vital importance to your church, especially if you are considering selling your property.
- The WDC Annual Assembly is coming up soon on August 4-6 in Arlington, TX. Nearly 140 persons have registered to attend. Remember, anyone may attend the worship services (Friday evening and Sunday morning), as well as the Mini-Festival on Saturday evening at Luz del Evangelio (Dallas), without registration or payment.
- The WDC Office and the Conference Resource Library will be closed on Friday through Monday, August 4-7, for Annual Assembly weekend in Arlington, TX.
- Attention church offices, Western District Women in Mission requests that this announcement be placed in your bulletins and/or newsletters:Registration is now open for the Womens/Girls Retreat (3rd grade and up) at Camp Mennoscah September 8-10. Our theme is “Together: Rooted and Reaching” with Barb Krehbiel Gehring as our featured speaker. Retreat schedules and registration forms are available in the church office or available to print at: https://mennowdc.org/calendar/. We will celebrate 100 years of Mennonite Women organizations through stories and a hymn sing Friday evening. There will be no separate girls programming this year, so girls should register for Saturday morning and afternoon activities and seminars. Hope to see you all at Camp Mennoscah! (Please take note that the flyer has been revised. Flyer and registration forms attached.)
Camp Mennoscah announcements
- Young Adult Friends and Folks! We say you should come to the Young Adult Weekend at Camp Mennoscah on August 4-6. It’s a blast. It’s a hoot. It’s a great time to be in God’s creation and bum around with your fellow folks. This weekend is for you to do (almost) anything you please. Register online at campmennoscah.org! Questions about what “almost anything” means? Email us at email@example.com call 620-297-3290. Scholarships are available as part of the online registration process.
- Detour to Camp Mennoscah–We know this sounds like a great summer theme, but it’s sadly the truth. Smoots Creek Bridge, located directly south of US-54, is being replaced. Alternate routes take you east or west of NE 100 Ave. The bridge will be closed until June 2018.
- Mental Health Spiritual Retreat at Camp Mennoscah on Sept. 3-4–Join us, all people affected by mental issues, including friends and families! We will have sessions on the theme of Branching Out. Also part of our time together are crafts, a hayrack ride, worship, swimming, and time to visit with old and new friends! Register online at campmennoscah.org Scholarships are available. Contact us at 620-297-3290with questions.
Mennonite church announcements
- The Mennonite, Inc. welcomes your original submissions and contributions for our October 2017 print magazine issue and corresponding online content focusing on Scripture: Texts that move and shape you. Submissions are due no later than August 1, 2017. We welcome written reflections—personal stories, biblical or theological reflections, poetry and more (800-1200 words), as well as original photography, multimedia products (including, but not limited to, original song or music recordings, music playlists, videos and vlogs) and artwork on the theme. For more info: https://themennonite.org/october-call-submissions-scripture/
- The AMBS Church Leadership Center is excited to offer the Advanced Spiritual Guidance Seminar during the 2017-18 school year. This yearlong supervised program in spiritual guidance is for people who offer spiritual direction and wish to enhance their skills. The seminar is taught by Dan Schrock, AMBS sessional faculty. Dan has 21 years of experience as a spiritual director and 27 years as a pastor. He earned a D.Min with an emphasis in Christian Spirituality from Columbia Theological Seminary and recently completed a year-long practicum in supervising spiritual directors. Dan has taught AMBS spiritual guidance classes and seminars for four years and consistently receives stellar reviews. Because the content of the Advanced seminar changes, some directors find it helpful to take the seminar more than once. Whether you’ve had it once, twice or not at all, we encourage you to consider signing up! This year for the first time we are offering the seminar in “hybrid” format, meaning that it requires just two visits to campuswith the rest of the work completed online. On-campus dates for the seminar are Monday-Tuesday, Sept. 11–12, 2017, and Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, April 23–25, 2018. Online work begins August 14. The price is $900 and applications are due August 1. You can get more information and apply here.
Western District Conference
2517 North Main, PO Box 306
North Newton KS 67117
316-283-6300; FAX: 316-283-0620