Annual Reading of Church Session Minutes
It is time for the Annual Reading of the Church Session Minutes. The reading will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019 at the First Presbyterian Church, 3231 W. Tilghman Street, Allentown, PA in Room #115 (directions below). The Reading will begin at 10:00 a.m.
Lehigh Presbytery is entrusted with the responsibility to annually review the Minutes of Session for each of our 30 congregations. Each congregation must have its Session Minutes reviewed, so it is imperative that your Minutes book and Church Register be brought for review. Please also bring your current copy of the Book of Order.
Our method of review involves reading each other’s Minutes while following a Session Minutes Examination Checklist (link below). For good stewardship of your time, please fill out the form in advance of our meeting and bring copies to the meeting.
It is very important that each congregation be represented by its Clerk of Session or an Elder who would be prepared to join in the reading of the minutes. This way each representative need only read one set of minutes.
There will 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.
Please also bring copies of the following documents for the Presbytery church files:
- Property deed (s)
- 2018 Annual Report
- Most Recent Directory
- Current By Laws and Standing Rules
- Current Sexual Misconduct Policy (G-3.0106)
- Current Child & Youth Protection Policy approved by your Session
We look forward to seeing you on May 4th and we thank you for your service to your church and the greater church.
Lehigh Presbytery Mission Grants for Churches
Mission Grants may be applied for by churches and members of Lehigh Presbytery. Eligible Mission projects should fall into the following categories:
- New Church Development – projects that reflect commitment to inclusiveness and diversity and/or include opportunities for partnerships with existing churches and/or the presbytery; outreach to unchurched communities will be considered.
- Education – opportunities for spiritual growth and theological understandings for groups, all ages, will be considered.
- Mission related travel – travel expenses for groups interested in peacemaking, evangelism, work camps, community revitalization, or addressing poverty will be considered.
- Seed money for new projects – projects that promote peacemaking, environmental stewardship and greening, poverty relief, community revitalization, and other local issues will be considered.
Please submit application 3 months before anticipated expenditure.
In general, the Presbytery will not grant requests for funding for personal expenses, capital projects, or equipment.
For more information, please see the grant application form.
- Board of Pensions
- Board of Pensions Forms
- 2019 Benefits Plan-Menu Options & Pastor’s Participation at a Glance
- 2019 Quick Facts & Dues Schedule
- Book of Order 2017-2019
- Book of Order 2017-2019 – Korean
- Book of Confessions 2016
- 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Samples you may edit to fit your church:
Honorariums for Moderating & Pulpit Supply
Standard IRS Mileage Rate – information on current IRS mileage rate
|Moderate a Session
or Congregational Meeting
|$75 + travel expenses*|
|One Service||$150 + travel expenses*|
|Two Services (Same Day)||add $50 to the above for each additional service on the same day|
|* Travel includes mileage at IRS rate $.58/mile (for 2019) + tolls|
Salary & Housing: $47,992
Full Pension & Medical:$17,757
(37% of Salary & Housing: Medical 25% [minimum dues basis for medical is $44,000], Pension 11%, Death & Disability 1% [dues based on actual effective salary])
Reimbursement: Transportation @ IRS approved rate – $.58/mile (2019), Continuing Education – two weeks + $750 [may accumulate to six weeks and $2,250], Vacation – one month
$36.00 per member
Breakdown: $24.75 Lehigh Presbytery; $8.95 PC(USA) General Assembly; $2.30 Synod of the Trinity
- 2019 Clerk of Session Form
- Church Per Capita & Mission Remittance Form
- 2019 Mission Support PLEDGE FORM
- Lehigh Presbytery Mission Grant Application
- Pulpit Supply List 12.26.2018
- Interim Pastor Contract Template
- Temporary Supply Contract Template
- Pulpit Supply Contract Template
- Pastoral Call Form – for new calls
- Session Minute Review Form
- Statistical Reports – information and latest report on Lehigh Presbytery
+ + +
Annual Report to the PA Department of State
Churches should submit an Annual Corporation Report to the PA Department of State to help reserve your corporate name and doing so will exempt you from the Decennial Filing in 2021.
You can verify that your church is correctly registered with the state by going to the PA Department of State site – and doing an entity search – https://www.corporations.pa.gov/Search/corpsearch
By doing this you will know the correct corporate name to use when filing the report. You may view the online fillable form by clicking the link below….
We encourage every church to do this annually. It’s FREE!
+ + +
2019 Standard Mileage Rates for Business, Medical and Moving Announced
IR-2018-251, Dec. 14, 2018
WASHINGTON — The Internal Revenue Service today issued the 2019 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, 2019, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
- 58 cents per mile for business miles driven, up 3.5 cents from the rate for 2018.
- 20 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, up 2 cent from the rate for 2018.
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
To read the entire notice visit their website at:
+ + +
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)
+ + +
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 of 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
- 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)
- Volunteers are currently not required to undergo Mandated Reporter training, but it is recommended.
Board of Pensions – 2019 Traditional Benefits Package
The Board of Pensions traditional benefits package is 37% of effective salary (Medical 25%; 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.