Year-end tax & portfolio planning for pastors

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November and December are a busy time of year for most pastors. Following the Thanksgiving holiday, the liturgical calendar begins anew with the season of Advent. As preparations are made to celebrate the coming of the Christ child, extra services need to be planned, multiple sermons need to be written, rehearsals are in full swing for the Christmas pageant, and pastors are also ministering to those for whom the holidays are not such a joyous time.

Amidst all these preparations, pastors need to set aside some time to focus on year-end financial details that have tax implications for 2015 and 2016. Don’t let the following items slip past you.

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Balancing religious freedom & employment rights

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The young woman had been a mathematics teacher at the church-related high school for more than seven years. She was beloved by her students; they praised her ability to convey difficult concepts in an accessible, clear and engaging style.

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Church accounting basics: EMPLOYEE — to be or not to be

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If your church is anything like mine, you are constantly trying to navigate the requirements of our nation’s employment laws. When researching the topic of “employee versus independent contractor,” what I find is consistently inconsistent. It’s easy to get lost in the lack of interpretation.

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The St. Andrew’s mission for new video displays

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When St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN decided to upgrade its audiovisual system, it included extensive research into new video screens.

Having rented projectors for special services in the past — and because the sanctuary has an abundance of natural ambient light — church leaders knew projectors weren’t the best fit.

“We didn’t really want to take this beautiful space and darken it order to see something,” explains Dale Bakken, Director of Buildings and Grounds.

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Climate change: a better way to deal with bullying

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Schools are understandably concerned about bullying. It can create a corrosive school environment, disrupt learning and have a long-term effect on everyone involved. Recent research shows that schools can help reduce the rate of bullying if they put students in a safe, connected environment that teaches them how to manage conflict and stand up for what’s right.

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Why stained glass is always at home in places of worship

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From the earliest of times, we know that Phoenicians were the first to make objects of glass. As a seafaring people, they spent time on beaches where lighting strikes turned sand and ashes from cooking fires into glass.

Human beings have long been fascinated by glass — its beauty and challenge of its manufacture.

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Think you don’t need disability insurance? Think again

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States require us to purchase auto insurance. Banks make certain we have mortgage insurance. Parents with children buy life insurance to protect their families in case of an unexpected death.

Yet, despite the fact that research shows we are much more likely to become disabled for more than three months than die in any given year, many of us do not have disability insurance.

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The CE Interview: Debi Nixon

Debi Nixon thanks donors to the 10,000 Reasons capital campaign. Members of Church of the Resurrection pledged $63 million to the building plan.

Debi Nixon wears many hats at Church of the Resurrection, a United Methodist congregation of nearly 20,000 members. Her title is broad in scope; but to put it succinctly, she’s a connective leader, helping the church implement its vision and move forward in the right direction.

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Award-winning multi-site staff management

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Grace Fellowship Church has launched three multi-site campuses in the past five years. This process has involved two capital campaigns, vision-casting, site identification, site development and leadership training. Here, Pastor of Business Administration Bill Minchin talks about these developments.

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Ambushed in the church parking lot

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Examining mandatory reporting of “reportable” sexual offenses involving minors

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