October 25, 2016

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)


*New Depart of Labor regulations


New Depart of Labor regulations

     by Phyllis Regier, WDC Business Manager

I would like to share an article written by Conrad Martin who is the treasurer of the Franconia Conference of Mennonite Church USA, concerning the new Fair Labor Standards Act overtime rules that will go into effect on December 1, 2016.

New Labor Law for Overtime

“I am not a lawyer, but have sought counsel on this from our conference’s legal adviser, as well as information gleaned from various publications, most prominently, Church Finance Today.” Conrad Martin

There is a new law regarding overtime pay which will take effect December 1, 2016.  Are you aware of how it affects your congregation?  Here is the latest information we have on that new ruling.

Non-credentialed employees: All employees (see exceptions below) who work over 40 hours a week are to be paid overtime.  Previously, this did not include executive, administrative or professional persons paid by a salary and those who were making over a certain threshold.  The new ruling now includes all of these categories and significantly raises the threshold to $47,476, including bonuses and commissions.  What this means is that every employee paid less than $47,476, regardless of whether they are hourly or salaried, are eligible for overtime.

Congregations have three options with regard to this law:

  1. Limit non-credentialed employees’ hours to 40 hours per week.
  2. Increase their employees’ pay to the $47,476/year threshold, to be exempt from paying overtime.
  3. Pay employees time and half for hours worked in excess of 40 hours per week. For those who are salaried, the employer needs to calculate what the hourly rate would be.

Special Notes: All employees (salaried or hourly) who are paid less than the threshold should be required by their employer to track their time, to be able to verify the number of hours worked over 40 per week.  Church employees cannot get around this ruling by volunteering some of their time, unless they are volunteering for duties that are not part of their regular job.  Some employers offer their employees time-off in a later pay period as compensation for the hours worked over 40 per week.  This is not allowed by the new law.  Any time worked over 40 hours per week, must be paid in that pay period as overtime.

Ministerial Exemption: If you have credentialed persons employed at your church, this new ruling does not affect them.  Credentialed persons include pastors, ministers, chaplains, Leadership ministers, etc.; anyone who has received their credentialing from a MCUSA Conference is included in this category.  They are covered under what is called the Ministerial Exemption and are therefore not subject to Federal Labor regulations.  This will continue to be the case until the government changes the ministerial exemption clause.  Employees who are not credentialed do not qualify for the ministerial exemption.

WDC Announcements

  1. Camp is seeking a new home for one of our upright pianos. This 1910 Bjur model has been well-used over the years, so the cabinet and keys have several signs of wear (scratches, chips, and scuffs), a few of the keys stick or do not play, and it has not been tuned in the last five years. Free to anyone willing to come load it up and haul it to its new home! If interested, please contact Camp Mennoscah at 620-297-3290 or office@campmennoscah.org.
  1. Summer Youth Camp Volunteer Christmas! We’re telling you now, folks, so you can get it on your calendar.  All volunteers (from summer staff to counselors to cooks to nurses and program staff) and their families are invited to come to Camp Mennoscah on December 17 at 2:30pm-ish for a time of fun and gathering.  We’ll have cookies and hot drinks for you with a white elephant gift exchange for those interested.  Just grab something from the back of your closet or garage and wrap it up!  Bring snacks to share and camp pictures to show off, if you would like.
  1. Volunteers needed! Camp Mennoscah is looking for volunteers for various projects, including the kitchen/dining hall renovations.  If interested in volunteering, please send your name, email address, and information about skills you have to office@campmennoscah.org.  You will be added to a volunteer database and contacted as needs arise.  Thank you for being a volunteer!

Mennonite Church Announcements

  1. Pastors and church leaders are invited to a workshop: Special Tax Considerations for Clergy will be held on December 1 at the Dyck Arboretum Visitor and Education Center in Hesston, KS. Coffee and dessert reception at 6:30 pm and workshop at 7 pm.  Hosted by Everence, the presenter will be Christopher Stauffer, CPA with Knudsen, Monroe & Company, LLC.  RSVP by November 25 to Mitch Stutzman:  620-327-4043 or mitch.stutzman@everence.com.
  1. From AMBS-Church Leadership Center: Please join us for a free webinar this Thursday:  Webinar: Exploring Your Call to Ministry

Thursday, Oct. 27, 2–3:30 pm – David B. Miller, D.Min., Associate Professor of Missional Leadership Development, with Andy Brubacher Kaethler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Christian Formation and Culture, and AMBS alumna Amanda Beachy, pastor of Washington Mennonite Church in Washington, Iowa.   David, Andy and Amanda will discuss discerning a call to ministry: who can help in the discernment process, various opportunities to test gifts, what kinds of preparation can make a difference, and what sustains a call over time.  This webinar is offered free for our potential students, and to all first-time webinar participants. Register by noon on Wednesday, October 26.

  1. The Mennonite Men Board of Directors is pleased to announce Steve Thomas of Goshen, Indiana as their new Coordinator. Steve brings extensive experience in ministering to men and has served at numerous Mennonite congregations as a pastor. Thomas is a graduate of Hesston College, Goshen College and the Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary. “We are excited about having Steve Thomas join us as Coordinator and look forward to serving the men of our denomination with him”, says Lonnie Bartel, Mennonite Men’s board president. “Steve  brings excellent qualifications and experience to our organization, especially in the area of men’s retreats.”  Thomas will begin his work with Mennonite Men November 1st. Mennonite Men is a constituency group dedicated to both men’s ministries and service through the JoinHands program which raises funds for Mennonite churches building their first meeting places.
  1. 2016 Prairie View Education Symposium: Threat Assessment: Understanding the psychology of targeted violence and implementing plans to prevent violent attacks.  October 28 8AM – 4PM | Prairie View – 1901 E. First Newton, KS.  Who should attend –  This is perfect for: mental health professionals, school resource officers, spiritual leaders, law enforcement, school safety officials, public safety personnel, event security staff, venue managers, emergency management personnel, risk managers, human resources, legal personnel, school administrators, teachers and anyone else interested in learning more about contemporary threat assessment.  For registration or more information visit: https://prairieview.org/education/ or contact Jack Brand at (316) 284 6357 or brandjh@pvi.orgCommunity Q&A with Dr. Russell Palarea – October 28 7:00 PM | Hesston High School Auditorium.  Dr. Palarea will discuss the role of every citizen in preventing targeted violence. He will discuss common perceptions and misperceptions related to mental illness as a risk factor for targeted violence. The lecture will be followed by a mediated Q&A with Dr. Palarea.  Who should attend – Following the Prairie View Education Symposium, this general admission session is designed for the public. Everyone is welcome.  Also, Anyone may submit a question for discussion at: https://prairieview.org/education/. The link to submit a question is at the bottom of the page.  For more information contact: Jack Brand at (316) 284 6357 or brandjh@pvi.org.
  1. The Parkinson’s Support Group at Kidron Bethel Village will meet November 1 at 2:00 p.m. in Menno Hall for “Movement Games for PD Therapy.” A large scope of scientific study on Parkinson’s Disease has proven exercise can slow the process of PD symptoms.  Finding new and diverse ways to exercise gives a wider range of types of movement benefits and increases motivation to exercise.  Danika Bielek (a founding member of Rhythm Connections for PD, dance professional, and past caregiver) will introduce a series of movement games designed to strengthen neural pathways and coordination while promoting memorization skills.  Persons with Parkinson’s, their caregivers and others wishing to increase their ability to support those with Parkinson’s are invited.

Western District Conference

2517 North Main, PO Box 306

North Newton KS  67117

316-283-6300; FAX:  316-283-0620

Email:  wdc@mennowdc.org

Website:  www.mennowdc.org