Explaining Apportionments

Ross Williams

October 23, 2018

Dear Pastors, Treasurers and Finance Chairs, Attached to this email is a document that may be helpful in understanding or explaining to church members 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  Please note:  when churches pay their apportionments they are ...

Is your church ready for a new copier?

Barbara Eastman

October 19, 2018

To pastors and churches:   We’d like to introduce you to our new copier vendor, LDI Color Toolbox. The NY Conference recently signed a lease agreement for three new Canon copiers which will save us almost $10,000 a year over our last lease. These Canon copiers are easy to use and have been providing great copies with very little intervention since they were installed.   Our sales rep, Michael Farrell, is really great to work with, helping us to find the technology appropriate for our needs and ...

Church Insurance

Ross Williams

October 18, 2018

Dear Trustees, Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors: It is very important that churches carry adequate Property & Casualty insurance on their buildings, vehicles and operations.  This is because one uninsured incident can result in significant financial costs and potentially, the closure of a church's doors.  Being adequately insured is probably the single-most important action a church can take to protect it's assets, it's people and it's ministry from unforeseen events. When it comes to ...

UMCOR - Hurricane Disaster Response

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

October 16, 2018

TO: All Clergy, Lay Leaders, & Administrative Council Leaders FROM: Thomas J. Bickerton, Resident Bishop RE: Hurricane Disaster Response Dear Friends, On Friday, October 12, I was involved in a meeting of the UMCOR Board of Directors in Atlanta, GA.  During that meeting, an UMCOR Unit Director began speaking about the urgent needs that have emerged around the recent round of hurricanes and typhoons that have taken place across the world.  In her report, she used the phrase, the “new normal.” The...

Laity Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

October 12, 2018

October 11, 2018 Dear Friends & Colleagues, I write today to share with you some words of encouragement for our upcoming celebration and recognition of Laity Sunday. Laity Sunday is a special Sunday which has been established and promoted over the years as an intentional way to focus on and celebrate the ministry of the laity throughout the church.   This year Laity Sunday has been set for October 21st, 2018.   The theme of this year’s Laity Sunday is, "Therefore Go! With Hope Through Offering ...

New York State Law: Combatting Workplace Sexual Harassment

Sally Truglia

October 05, 2018

The State of New York has issued additional guidance regarding mandated Sexual Harassment training for all employers in NY. As you learned in my previous email, the law requires all employers to create and publish a Sexual Harassment Policy and Complaint Form, as well as introduce annual employee training. Luckily, the NY Division of Human Rights has updated their initial guidelines and polices so that the templates are available for our use. The main website contains information for the ...

Utility Cost Reviews

Ross Williams

October 03, 2018

Dear Treasurers, Finance Chairs and Pastors, You may remember that we worked with a company called Cost Stewardship, a vetted partner of our denomination's finance agency, to help churches obtain federal refunds of healthcare costs.  Our Conference was the most successful of any in the U.S. with our churches receiving total healthcare refunds of $78,555.  These funds, available for vital ministries, went directly to the churches that engaged Cost Stewardship to perform the service.  That program...

Clergy Housing Allowances

Ross Williams

September 24, 2018

Dear Clergy and Church Finance Leaders: The topic of clergy “Housing Allowances” can be a complicated one, involving very specific rules and confusing terminology.  It is also an area that requires action prior to the processing of payroll each calendar year.  So what follows is a summary based upon the many questions that I receive on this topic. The Basics: 1. Section 107 of the Internal Revenue Code permits a “minister of the gospel” to exclude a “Housing Allowance” from income. This Housing ...

AIEM Housing Allowances

Ross Williams

September 24, 2018

Dear Clergy on Appointment in Extension Ministries, We want to ensure that you understand and take advantage of an important tax benefit available to ordained clergy.  Please read the information below on how to set up a housing exclusion so that a portion of your income can be treated as tax-free for federal, state and local purposes.  While you may not be currently serving a “church”, you can still qualify for this favorable tax treatment subject to the rules below.  The most important rule is...

New Mandatory NY State Laws

Sally Truglia

September 17, 2018

NEW YORK MANDATORY TRAINING LAW New York State and New York City have passed new legislation that mandates training and prevention of sexual harassment in all New York workplaces. All New York employers, including churches, are required to implement policies, procedures and training to enforce the new Combating Sexual Harassment Law.   There are several provisions which do not apply to our churches and affiliated organizations.  These include:  state contracts and bidding, mandatory arbitration,...

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