Finance Topics


IMPORTANT UPDATE: Fair Labor Standards Act

Ross Williams

November 28, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), I previously sent an e-mail on October 3rd (see attached) summarizing new Department of Labor regulations for the payment of overtime that were to be effective December 1st.  The new requirements would have raised the threshold for "exempt" employees (those who are not paid overtime) from $23,660 to $47,476.  Last Tuesday, a Federal Judge in Texas issued an injunction blocking the implementation of these new requirements. What this means is...


Volunteer Auditors Needed

Ross Williams

October 21, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (cc to Pastors), From time to time I receive requests to supply a resource that can perform audits or serve on a team of outside auditors.  Sometimes the request arises because there is no one within the church that is independent, like in the case of a very small congregation.  Other times, the request relates to concerns over irregularities that may have occurred in the administration of finances at a church. I know we have a tremendous number of talented ...


Explaining Apportionments

Ross Williams

October 10, 2016

Dear Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairs, Attached to this email is a document that may be helpful in understanding and/or explaining how Shared Ministry Apportionments are calculated and used by both the Conference and the General Church. Topics included are: Apportionment Basics Calculation (the formula) Apportionment Adjustments Where Does the Money Go? Funds apportioned by the General Church Reporting  One of the most important things to know is that when churches pay apportionments ...


New Payroll Rules - Fair Labor Standards Act

Ross Williams

October 03, 2016

Chances are your church has someone other than the pastor on payroll, so you need to be aware of new Department of Labor (DOL) rules and guidelines that will become effective on December 1, 2016.  The new regulations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) strengthen overtime and wage protection for workers by raising the salary level for "Exempt" employees from the prior amount of $455 per week ($23,660/year) to $913 per week ($47,476/year).  Churches will therefore want to look carefully at ...


2017 Budget Inputs

Ross Williams

September 27, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to pastors), You will most likely be working on your 2017 budgets soon.  To assist you, listed below are some inputs from the Conference: Clergy Healthcare: The uniform rate for HealthFlex will be $16,104.00. Of this amount, $14,808.00 will be billed to the church and $1,296 will be billed to the pastor. Clergy Pension: (see attached worksheet) The cost will remain 11.8% of total compensation, which is defined as base salary plus either a) 25% of salary ...


Did You Receive Your Free Money For Ministry?

Ross Williams

September 06, 2016

Dear Treasurers and Finance Chairs (copy to Pastors), You may or may not be aware that churches are entitled to government refunds if they have incurred costs related to Healthcare for their employees.  One church in our Conference recently received a refund of $15,356.  In total, refunds received for churches in our Conference now exceed $48,000, with another $73,000 in the pipeline.  Please see an e-mail excerpt below from one of our church Treasurers:   “Dear Monte & Ross, I want to thank you...


Free Financial Seminar at YOUR Church

Ross Williams

August 24, 2016

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs, Stewardship Chairs and Trustees (cc: to Pastors), This is just a quick reminder of the program below, which has achieved very significant results in terms of strengthening the financial condition of our churches.  Since it began, this program has resulted in new bequests to our churches totaling over $5.5 million.   I am very supportive of this program, which has many benefits  to our member churches or parishioners.  There is no selling of anything here, either ...


Conference Center on the Move

Ross Williams

May 02, 2016

Dear Clergy & Laity of the Annual Conference, Please post this reference sheet where your church secretary and church leaders can refer to it. Our Conference Center will soon be undergoing a renovation that has been years in the planning by our Board of Trustees.  During this time, roughly May 4th through September, we will be relocating to temporary space on the Greenwich / Port Chester border.  The renovation will primarily focus on addressing functional issues with our current ...


Reminder: Free Financial Seminar at YOUR Church

Ross Williams

February 29, 2016

Dear Finance and Stewardship Chairs (cc: to Pastors), This is just a quick reminder of the program below, which has achieved very significant results in terms of strengthening the financial condition of our churches.  Since it began, this program has resulted in new bequests to churches totaling over $5.4 million. I hope you will take Ed Ruppmann up on his offer to come to your church! Sincerely,  Ross   Please see the information below on an important program being led by Ed Ruppmann.  I am ...


Free / Discounted Turbo-Tax Software

Ross Williams

February 25, 2016

The General Council on Finance and Administration has negotiated discounts for Turbo-Tax software for our denomination. I did the taxes for my two college-age girls using the on-line free version and it worked very well.  It allows you to prepare, print and electronically file Federal and State returns (probably Local as well).  For returns that are more complicated than summer work for college students, you can purchase the full version of the software at discounted rates as low as $24.99. The ...


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