Israel: the planning process –10 tips for faith-based travelers

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Whether it’s your first trip to Israel or your tenth, one thing is certain: Planning well — in advance — is essential for a truly transformative experience in the Land of the Bible.

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How the hourly wage rules will affect churches

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All employers — even churches — must be aware that the Department of Labor (DOL) takes the default position that all employees are nonexempt. This means they are eligible for minimum wage and overtime pay unless the employer can demonstrate that an exemption outlined by the DOL and the Act applies.

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Beautiful sound, naturally

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The Grotto — a stunning outdoor sanctuary in Portland — is a truly challenging audio environment. First and foremost, church leaders needed awe-inspiring audio to match the sanctuary’s surroundings. But, the system also had to be flexible, reliable, durable … and discrete. Here’s how they got everything on their wish list. By Mike Lethby Known as […]

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Acts of violence: prevention and response

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By Eric Spacek, JD, ARM As church leaders, staff, volunteers or even members of the church, it is hard to imagine a religious facility being a prime target for criminals. Churches are seen as sacred and safe places; however, violent incidents of varying natures happen several times each year across the country. Because these places […]

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The dreaded “summer (giving) slump”

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By Jayson D. Bradley Most of us — including pastors — like to imagine that the summer exists as a time of relaxation … a time away from our harried schedules. Deep down, though, we know this isn’t true. We’re actually just cramming recreational hobbies and barbecues into already bursting calendars. Parents with school-aged children […]

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A (financial) foundation to grow on

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With six campuses, more than 36,000 active members, and 1,050 full-and part-time staff, Gateway Church in Dallas / Fort Worth simply can’t function at maximum efficiency without a streamlined, accessible and accurate accounting “engine” — something they didn’t have…until now. When Lead Director of Business Administration Monty Carpenter joined the Gateway staff in 2011, incredible […]

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Crisp, clean, modern sound in an Old World sanctuary

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Built in 1914, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church in San Jose, CA, is one of the most photographed, sketched and painted buildings in the area — not only for its Old World-style Catholic architecture, but also for its notable history. In 1915, the Panama-Pacific Exposition (the precursor to the World’s Fair) was held in San Francisco. The city was rebuilding after the 1906 earthquake, and it was hoped this massive event would bring commerce to the area. The Portuguese Pavilion was built for the Expo. After the fair was over, the pavilion was slated for demolition. A Portuguese priest of some repute in the burgeoning San Jose valley purchased it for a song. He shipped most of it — piece by piece — to its San Jose location, where it stands today. Much of the original wood and ornate decor remain. Thus, Five Wounds Portuguese National Church was founded. For a century, it has exuded Iberian charm and grace. Unfortunately, however, its sound quality was anything but awe-inspiring.

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4 steps to creating a safe ministry

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It’s no secret the world we live in today is much different than it was just a few years ago. In today’s society, it has become clear that churches are no longer the safe haven they once were thought to be. It’s not uncommon to hear stories of church violence or allegations of abuse on the nightly news. Unfortunately, churches have become more vulnerable to these types of incidents that threaten the strength and reputation of the organization. To help protect your religious organization from these threats, the leaders of your church are encouraged to set aside time each year to ensure the safety and security of the facility. During this time, it’s important to analyze, review and modify current church policies and procedures to ensure adequate plans are in place to help prevent potential risks.

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The Social Security outlook: what you and your family need to know

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For 80 years, Social Security has been a key part of how Americans ensure their financial security after they retire. As dependable as it has been, Social Security has gone through major changes over the years — and 2016 will be no exception.

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Why your report writer is no longer good enough

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Report-writing tools were supposed to help solve these challenges, but it’s evident that those are limited in their application. As a result, church leaders feel like they’re swimming in a sea of information, but still thirsty for insight. Where do these new report-writing tools fall short? More importantly, is there a better way to analyze the information you have to finally start gaining traction towards your ultimate vision? Those are the two questions we’re working together to help church leaders answer.

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