It is time for the Annual Reading of the Church Session Minutes. Clerks of Session are required to have their Minutes examined and Rolls/Registers reviewed during the month of May. I have scheduled four opportunities for you to attend. Please feel free to attend the one that is most convenient for you. Thank you to those who so graciously accepted my request to host.
- Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon – Shawnee Presbyterian Church, 1129 Shawnee Church Road, Shawnee on the Delaware, PA.
- Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. – First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman Street, Allentown, PA.
- Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 10 a.m. – 12 noon – Freeland Presbyterian Church, 625 Front Street, Freeland, PA.
- Saturday, May 20, 2017 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. – United Presbyterian Church, 6750 PA Route 873, Slatington, PA.
Please bring with you your current copy of the Book of Order.
Our method of review involves reading each other’s Minutes while following a Session Minute Review Form 2017. For good stewardship of your time, please fill these forms out in advance of our meeting and bring the copies to our meeting.
Given this method of review, it is very important that each congregation be represented by its Clerk of Session. If this is not possible, then we ask that you send your Minutes and Church Register with an Elder who would be prepared to join in the reading of Minutes. This way each representative need only read one set of Minutes.
There will also be an opportunity for questions to be asked and information shared. If you have a specific question in mind at this time, please send it to the Presbytery Office.
As we asked last year, please bring the following documents if you did not do so previously.
- Property deed(s)
- 2016 Annual Report
- Most recent directory
- Current bylaws and standing rules
- Current Sexual Misconduct Policy (G-3.0106)
We hope that all Clerks can be present. Moderators of Session are welcome to attend and participate, but their attendance is not mandatory. Many find this time helpful in their ministry as Moderator of Session.
We look forward to seeing you.
Sample policies that can be edited to fit your church:
|Moderate a Session or Congregational Meeting||$75.00 + travel expenses*|
|One Service||$150.00 + travel expenses*|
|Two Services (on the same day)||add $50.00 to the above for each additional service on the same day|
* Travel includes mileage at IRS rate ($.535) + tolls
Salary & Housing $45,237
Full Pension & Medical $16,512
(36.5% of salary & housing:
Medical 24.5% [minimum dues basis for medical is $44,000]
Pension 11%, Death & Disability 1% [dues based on actual effective salary]
Transportation @ IRS approved rate – $.535
Continuing Education – two weeks + $750 [may accumulate to six weeks
Vacation – one month
Per Capita – for more information
$28.76 per member
Breakdown: $18.96 Lehigh Presbytery; $7.50 PC(USA) General Assembly; $2.30 Synod of the Trinity
Standard IRS Mileage Rate – information on current IRS mileage rate
Statistical Reports – information and latest report on Lehigh Presbytery
Clerks of Session Newsletter
2017 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced
IR-2016-169, Dec.13, 2016
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2017 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
- 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents for 2016
- 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents for 2016
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
The business mileage rate decreased half a cent per mile and the medical and moving expense rates each dropped 2 cents per mile from 2016. The charitable rate is set by statute and remains unchanged.
The standard mileage rate for business is based on an annual study of the fixed and variable costs of operating an automobile. The rate for medical and moving purposes is based on the variable costs.
Taxpayers always have the option of calculating the actual costs of using their vehicle rather than using the standard mileage rates.
A taxpayer may not use the business standard mileage rate for a vehicle after using any depreciation method under the Modified Accelerated Cost Recovery System (MACRS) or after claiming a Section 179 deduction for that vehicle. In addition, the business standard mileage rate cannot be used for more than four vehicles used simultaneously.
These and other requirements are described in Rev. Proc. 2010-51. Notice 2016-79, posted today on IRS.gov, contains the standard mileage rates, the amount a taxpayer must use in calculating reductions to basis for depreciation taken under the business standard mileage rate, and the maximum standard automobile cost that a taxpayer may use in computing the allowance under a fixed and variable rate plan.
Important Federal Court Ruling on Failure to Report Child Abuse
Published in Church Law & Tax Report, January/February 2016, pg. 12, Senior Editor Richard R. Hammar, Christianity Today, publisher.
A federal court in Pennsylvania ruled that a local church and denominational agency could be sued on the basis of the legal principle of negligence per se by a victim of child abuse as a result of their failure to report. ….. This means that a mandatory child abuse reporter’s failure to comply with a state child abuse reporting law’s requirement to report a known or reasonably suspected incident of child abuse would render that person automatically liable for monetary damages without a need for the victim to prove actual negligence. [Doe v. Liberatore, 478 F.Supp.2d 742 (M.D. pa 2007)
Act 153 – There have been significant changes to the Pennsylvania State Child Abuse Law. Click the link to view the changes and how to comply.
- There has been a change in who is identified as a Mandated Reporter. According to the law, “An individual, paid or unpaid, who, on a regular basis linkof the individual’s role as an integral part of a regularly scheduled program, activity or service, accepts responsibility for a child…” This means any individual, who meets the above definition, which includes clergy, staff and volunteers is a Mandatory Reporter.As a result, a church must:
- Require all clergy and other employees, who accept responsibility for a child, to take three (3) hours of Department of Human Services approved training no later than June 30, 2015
- For new employees, who will bear responsibility for children, this training must be taken within 90 days of hire or the beginning of volunteer service
Volunteers are currently not required to undergo Mandated Reporter training, but it is recommended.
- All employees over the age of 14 and adult volunteers (who are responsible for children) must complete background checks. All must complete the PA STATE POLICE CRIMINAL HISTORY RECORD. All must complete the PA STATE POLICE CHILD ABUSE HISTORY CLEARANCE. All employees and any volunteer who has lived in PA for fewer than the last ten continuous years must complete the FEDERAL CRIMINAL HISTORY BACKGROUND CHECK (with submission of fingerprints)
Board of Pensions – 2017 Traditional Benefits Package
The Board of Pensions traditional benefits package is 36.5% of effective salary (Medical 24.5%; Pension 11%; Death and Disability 1%). If the effective salary is lower than the Medical participation minimum of $44,000., then the medical portion would be based on the Board of Pensions minimum effective salary.
The Pension (11%) and Death and Disability (1%) are based on the persons actual effective salary.