Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The value of supporting documentation for financial transactions can be measured by the degree of objectivity with which such documentation was compiled.  For example, auditors rely on bank statements to confirm the accuracy bank holdings.  The following document show some definitions and a list...

August 20, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The purpose of this policy is to give some guidelines for use of spending Petty Cash funds, to assist the church secretary to monitor its use, to provide consistency in the use of Petty Cash for personal expenditures, and to provide a process to assure accountability of Petty Cash use.

August 20, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Form or Template

This Payment Request Form is an excel spreadsheet that simplifies requests.  We are providing a form that includes description, account, amount, and additional information that describe the business nature of the request.

August 20, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The purpose of this Expenditure Policy is to provide guidelines of how church funds are obligated and spent, to define accountability for spending church funds, and to develop a procedure for expenditure authorization and processing payments.  Learn more about the procedures and statements...

August 20, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The purpose of this Policy is to provide access to efficient and alternative means of payment for approved expenses, and to improve efficiency and reduce costs of payables processing.  Learn more about the procedure of this the Credit Card Policy.

August 20, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The purpose of the Benevolence Fund Policy is to provide financial assistance to both church members and members of the community who are experiencing difficulties meeting essential life needs such as: food, shelter, clothing, health care or other financial needs.  Click the document to learn...

August 20, 2014 0 1 comments
Resource, Form or Template

The Children's Ministry Volunteer Packet equips the volunteer with a better understanding of what is required of the ministry and what God teaches through His Word regarding children.  Learn more about qualities, characteristics, and teachings that guide the volunteer through the Children's ...

August 20, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Lesson or Study

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it. - Psalm 24:1. Christian stewardship begins with a solid understanding that the property we call our own is not ours at all, but God’s.

August 20, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The following document is an overview of Consecration Sunday.  This includes information about its philosophy, goals, plans, time-frame, and more.  Learn what must be done during the time-frame and what each committee member must do.

August 20, 2014 1 0 comments
Resource, Form or Template

This Consecration Sunday Memo informs the Council of the plans for Consecration Sunday.  The plan presented to the council includes four goals for Consecration Sunday.  Learn more about what these four goals are and what is disclosed within the Memo.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

The Barnabas foundation approaches their work with Stewardship and God's love.  The Barnabas foundation provides you with information, support, and materials for participating churches.  Learn about Benefits and Services, Testimonials, Church Conferences and Events, and more!

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

This policy gives some guidelines as to how gifts of stock should be handled, and what processes to follow to protect the donor and your church.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

Have you ever thought about how you could give more to your church? There is a way to give more with the financial assets you already have.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Mandate

The goal of Planned Giving is to encourage and assist members and friends of your Church to make planned gifts. These gifts will advance the mission and purpose of your Church ministries.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The Offering Procedures give detailed instructions as to what, who, and where the offering should go.  Learn more about who takes the collection during each service, where the offering should be placed after each service, and where the offering should be placed and its final destination.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

If you would like to make a donation online, through phone, or by mail, please click the following link for more information. 

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Form or Template

The Count Team Agreement is an understanding of the church's giving and financial information.  This agreement states that all members within the team understand the conditions and agreement.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The Counting Procedures 2 is a continuation of Counting Procedures 1.  The Counting Team assists the Assistant Treasurer in accurately and confidentially counting the funds received from the congregation. The team records giving on a weekly basis. The team consists of five members approved by...

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The Counting Procedures discloses the responsibilities and general duties of the counting team and volunteers.  The Counting Team assists the Assistant Treasurer in accurately and confidentially counting the funds received from the congregation.  The team records giving on a weekly basis.  The...

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Form or Template

The following template is a sample of the your church programs with a desired budget amount.  These programs include Worship Ministries, High school, Outreach, Congregational life, and more!  

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Website

The Loan Fund has served the Christian Reformed Church since 1983 by providing loans to CRC churches at lower interest rates and offering its investors higher rates of return.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Form or Template

This Budget Template file is tailored to the user with a form for presenting your church's annual budget. This form also provides a comparative analysis for prior year's budget.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Form or Template

The Review Report is an acknowledgement for the council of your church which states: All information contained in the financial statements is the representation of the management of your church. This review was made in accordance with generally accepted standards for review engagements.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

This Review Guide evaluates key issues: Segregation of duties and functions, Oversight and control by council, Accurate and timely financial reporting, and Safeguarding of assets.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

The following information provide some helpful points for any church contending with the implementation of financial policies and procedures.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments

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How can you possibly think that it is OK to begin a discussion by vilifying someone else’ work? That would be like someone saying: “The blog topics on this CRC website are shallow, poorly conceived and impossible to navigate so let’s talk about how to create a good blog.” Where’s the grace in that?

Meredith, I assume you are speaking to the writer, Jerod, however you are incorrect. Many churches have a bulletin clerk who only types the announcements which are given to her/him. How often haven't you read an announcement something like this: "If you would like to included in the new small groups being set up, see Bill or Connie in the basement after the morning service." Only old time church members understand what to do and it is offensive to a first time visitor who automatically feels excluded. In too many church bulletins spelling and grammatical and punctuation mistakes are common...a poor reflection on the church. The point of this discussion is to encourage improvement.

As an employee of a Christian Reformed Church I certainly resent your comment that information in bulletins is presented "without too much thought into why it's there or how it's presented". I doubt there is a bulletin secretary in the CRC who does his/her work with that attitude. You owe all of them an apology!

The salary data for the FAS calculation is taken from the annual compensation survey of all ministers both in Canada and the US.  The survey requests salary information be split between the compensation providing for housing and other cash salary.  In this way, the value of the house, either a parsonage or pastor owned, is excluded from the FAS. 

John B my examples assumed the jobs I used would have been filled with ordained persons. I know non -ordained people do not qualify for the ministers pension plan.  From a pension risk management point of view, the source of the FAS calculation is important. I believe some 85% of Pastors in Canada have their own house so their cash salary includes the housing allowance. Is the housing allowance included in the FAS? Where churches supply a house the cash salary would normally be a lot lower.

The primary criteria we used for the church bulletin (or Worship Guide) as I prefer to call it, was, "can a visitor read it and completely understand it?" Today churches have several means of communicating information to it's members and all communications need to be carefully prepared because it reflects and impacts the church image. Any church that uses any of it's communication as "a dumping ground for information" is probably having other problems also.

There is a bigger question that has not been addressed.   Is the Director of Canadian Ministries an Ordained Minister of the Word.  Currently, our interim DCM is not.  Therefore, he is not eligible to participate in the Ministers Pension Plan, a defined benefit pension plan that comes with special life benefits as well as long-term disability coverage.  In addition, his benefit program does not provide a benefit for his life and potentially the life of his spouse no matter how long either lives.

 

 

Since the pension benefit calculation is based on the final average salary (FAS) of all ministers at the year of retirement, salary differences between one minister and another (f they retire at the same time, same number of years of service, and service in the same country) will not be a factor in the determination of pension.

Check out the Ministers' Pension website for additional information.  An example of the pension benefit calculation is included under the Canadian Plan Highlights and the U.S. Plan Highlights located in the right column on the front page.  Call the Ministers' Pension Office if you have additional questions!

 

My apologies for becoming inarticulate in my last two sentences in the previous post.

The second last sentence should have read "...putting them aside and adding the multipled savings to the CRCNA Pension, CPP/OAS, and/or Social Security payments on retirement."

On another matter, one needs to consider the scope of responsibility and span of control of the position when determining compensation. Making an assessment on pension payment allocation solely on job title is not helpful.

I see you have 2 threads going on this topic: <http://network.crcna.org/forums/synod/accountability-and-clarity-salary-...

The question of what party (church administers vs ministers) is compensated better, can come back potentially to bite the comparision group. At the end of the day the person in the pew can not come close to either party and ends up footing the bill. 

The following comes from <http://www.crcna.org/sites/default/files/CanadianPlanHighlights.pdf>.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++

 

The Final Average Salary (FAS) is the average of cash salaries of ("ALL") CRC ministers serving in the three years before the calendar year in which the minister’s benefit amount is determined. A projected FAS is used for future estimate calculations.

The amount due to the retiree in most cases is the sum of the following:

·     1.1% multiplied by the FAS, then multiplied by a minister’s pensionable years of service before January 1, 1985.

·     1.46% multiplied by the FAS, then multiplied by a minister’s pensionable years of service from January 1, 1985 through December 31, 2010.

·     1.3% multiplied by the FAS, then multiplied by a minister’s pensionable years of service after December 31, 2010.

Example of pension benefit calculation

If a minister has 36.5 years of pensionable service at the time of his retirement (at age 66) on July 1, 2013, the normal benefit would be calculated as follows:

1.10% x $48,763 (FAS) x 8 years = $4,291.14

1.46% x $48,763 (FAS) x 26 years = $18,510.43

1.3% x $48,763 (FAS) x 2.5 years = $1,584.80

These total $24,386.38 per year or $2,032 (rounded) per month in Canadian funds.

++++++++++++++++++++++

In order to compare oranges with oranges, and not apples with oranges, one also needs to take into consideration several tax planning advantages available to ministers that may or may not be available to your comparator groups, and especially not the person in the pew.

1. Pension Plan remittance: 100% paid by the local church. The practice in the public / private sector is 50% employer paid and 50% employee paid, a pension plan is provide which in many cases it is not.

2. Housing allowance: $18,000 +/- can be written off as tax deductible item which is only available to ministers, but not their parshioners.

3. Extended Health & Dental Plan: Local church usually pays 100%, whereas in the public / private sector the employer / employee split tends to be 70%/30% or 80%/20%, if an EH&D plan is provided which is not always the case.

A good "steward" would take these saving over 36.5 years and put them aside over and add them CRCNA Pension to their CPP/OAS  and/or Social Security pension payments on retirement.

They would still be better of than most of their parshioners.

These are very common questions right now.  The media has created quite a buzz, and I think we're all experiencing some level of uncertainty with the changing health insurance market.  Rest assured that we are working very hard to offer you a competitve insurance package, and we welcome your questions at any time!

The retiree insurance rates will be mailed to your home this week.  The structure of your plan (deductible, copay, coinsurance) will not be changing for 2014.  While we do our best to negotiate a fair premium, we do experience rate increases from time to time.  The majority of the increase this year is due to new taxes and fees that are required under Health Care Reform.  

Remember that you are never "locked into" the plan offered by the denomination.  You're welcome to review other insurance plans to find the best fit for your needs.  Medicare Open Enrollment is October 15- December 7.

Nikki Huttenga

Benefits Manager

 

 

 

I was in the denom bldg yesterday and asked the same question about those of us retired and on Medicare Plus Blue.

Jeremy and Nikki there said there will be a substantial increase in our monthly payments.  They will be sending out a update communication "sooner rather than later."  There was more but I'll leave it to them so as to not mix up any information.

 

How does the Afforadable Care Act affect people on Medicare with a PPO?

 

Thanks,

Larry

This insurance change would be for those who are under 65 and not participants in Medicare.

Sheri, as a retired pastor with BCBS PPO PLUS does this change affect us? If so, in what ways? Do we have choices or are we good as we are? Thank you in advance.

Its a great reminder and should be something that happens more than during one month of the year.  I would also like to suggest that having "Staff Appreciation" may be more apropriate in a church with multiple staff.  In our church context where we have Pastors, Directors, Managers, and Coordinators, focusing attention on only our Pastors may not be the most helpful.  All of our staff are called to their positions, work hard, and are worthy of more encouragment than they usually receive! 

I'm no expert on these social login systems, but I believe they work by matching email addresses (as you mentioned). So they'll only work if you the church has an email on file for you, and it's the same email as your social login provider (e.g. Facebook, Gmail). So those are requirements, but ones that most members already meet.

As for your #3 (creating a fake social account to gain access to a church) that would be impossible because of email validation. As part of the account creation process on Facebook, for example, I need to verify that I am the rightful owner of that email address by clicking the verification link that's emailed to me. So I can't create a Facebook account using an email address that I don't own.

Social login is becoming very common, especially with tools like JanRain, Gigya, OneAll, etc. making it easier to implement. And I think it's as secure as your Gmail/Facebook account.

 

Hi Tim,

I'm the creator of Church Social, and the biggest challenge I see with social logins is tying their social account to an existing account within the church's database. What unique identifier would you use to make this connection? An email address seems like a logicial choice, but there are some challenges here:

1. What happens if no email address has been set for this member in the church administration software?
2. What happens if they use a different email address for their social account than what is set in the church administration software?
3. What's stopping somone from creating a fake social account, just to gain access to another members church account?

Typically social logins are used when an account does not yet exist. However, with church administration software an account must exist already since the memebrship information must be recorded whether a user chooses to login online or not.

With Church Social, the process goes like this:

1. Congregation is setup with an account
2. Adminstration imports member data (typically from an existing Access database or some other software)
3. Welcome emails are sent to member accounts that have an email address set already, allowing them to login immediately
4. A notice is posted in the bulletin that Sunday inviting members (who did not recieve a weclome email) to provide an email address
5. Adminstration updates accounts with new email addresses and sends subsequent welcome emails

This process works pretty well, although I will admit it does take a little effort when a congregation is first "getting going".

Does anyone know of a Church Management System that meets these criteria:

1. Web-based.
2. Allows members to log in (e.g. update profile, giving, email preferences, volunteer signup, etc).
3. Allows members to log in with existing Facebook/Gmail/etc accounts.

I've found a few that meet criteria 1 and 2, but none that meet criteria 3.

Without login via Facebook/Gmail/etc it seems like it would be hard to get members to actually use the system. Nobody wants another login/password to remember.

Any solutions you know of? Or am I making too much of that 3rd criteria?

I must admit to being seriously put off by the legalistic tone of using the amount of giving as a measurement of spiritual health. First, the government has usurped much of the function of the tithe, so a 6% contribution is more likely 26%. Second, assistance to needy parents and children is every bit as much of a contribution as clinking coins at the bottom of the collection plate. Third, contributions to GoodWill, Foodbanks and a thousand other charities are not easily measured. Fourth, is this a measurement of weekly giving divided by weekly income, monthly giving by monthly income, yearly giving by yearly income, or a lumpsum contribution at the end of a life?  Fifth, does building equity or a pool of working capital needed to sustain a small business constitute income? Sixth does income include interest accumulation in a 401k? Should that interest income be dribbled out or allowed to accumulate until retirement? Seventh, does providing for one's own retirement meet the criteria of giving to the needy? And finally, how should we quantify the giving of time?

As these questions illustrate, a simplistic and legalistic approach to the tithe hardly fits today's systems of financial management. Giving is the attitude and the obligation of every Christian (give as it has been given to you). In most cases, it does not fit a formula. Everything at all times belongs to our Lord and must be readily available to him. Any attempt to measure qualitative and quantitative giving is best left to him.

 

 

Thank you for posting this! Very encouraging to know where the CRC is doing well!

I agree with Mr. Wald.  The more you give, the more you are blessed!  Often if I see someone in need, I send them some cash through the mail, or if someone asks for a small loan, rather than be repaid, I ask them to do the same for someone else when they are able.   We need to remember its not our money...it's Gods' and he is lending it to us!!

If you're a Canadian wage earner (meaning you'll be paying income tax), the 10% is a very good place to START!  If my wife & I collectively earn $100K and give $10K to "Kingdom work" (via our church, our denominational ministries or our classis ministries), we'll only be out $5,050 (a bit over 5% of that $100K).  In Canada, once you've donated at least $200 in the year, you receive a tax credit (reducing your annual income tax) of up to 50% of whatever was donated to church and charity. That tax credit rate varies but , for those who pay income tax, the actual, out-of-pocket, "after-tax" cost of a $10K donation in Canada ranges from $5,050 to $5,993 

So, in our province, for those that pay tax, a tithe is actually 20%.  The net cost of a $20,000 donation, for a tax-paying Albertan, would be $10,050.00

In the last 50 years we have given 10% of our gross pay to the Church and other amounts to other community activities. It has never cost us anything. We recieve more than we we give. Old timers I have talked to say the same thing.  Young people say, "What goes around, comes around.
 

= )  thank You Lord..  that is a good "sign"...  and still room to grow...

can you imagine what the Church might look like when we bring in the full/whole tithe per Malachi 3?    somewhere it seems the tithe concept has been lost and merged into one general category of "giving" even though in the NT (Matt 23 and Luke 11) Jesus says to continue to tithe along with not neglecting mercy justice and faith... and Paul expands the giving in Corinthians.

my understanding is that with giving, there are sub categories: tithes, gifts and offerings and the tithe is to go where you worship and where you are trained and equipped for ministry (these could be any Godly teaching ministries, but generally will be your home church)  then gifts and offerings are over and above that to help others as led by the Spirit - Daring to Live on the Edge by Loren Cunningham (YWAM) is a great book on giving examples of this! 

When we bring in the full tithe, the church will be able to support missionaries, help care for the poor, the widows and orphans, bring justice to the community, and all the purposes God called the Church to fulfill, but somehow over time we have abdicated a lot to the gov't. for a number of reasons, including lack of resources.

Here is a favorite testimony that is shared in Daring to Live on the Edge (YWAM publishing, 1991, pp137-140)...

A missionary (in the 70's) is on one of the Marshall islands somewhere in the S. Pacific.  The Spirit had called him to build a Bible school there, but he had no resources... so he was moping about, when a local pastor asked him what was wrong?

He explained what God was calling him to do, and that he couldn't even get started because all he had was about $200 dollars, and that didn't even get him to the island of Guam, 1700 miles away, the nearest place to buy the bulding resources needed.  So his friend, said let's do this together and see how far the $200 gets us... so (against common sense ;) they got a flight with the money they had and that got them to another island about 400 miles away (Kwajalein Atoll - only thing there is a US Naval base).  They are sitting there sharing a meal with the last $1 they had between them, and the missionary is thinking "what have I done? I can't even get back home, etc. etc....." and his friend reassures him  "Don't worry! We're going to make it"  =)

Just then =), a Filipino man comes to them, and says "Brothers, and I know you are my brothers in the LORD... I've been up in my room praying. I'm from Manila (and shared he was with a large church there).... you don't know me and I don't know you, but God sent me down here to give you this."  and he placed a paper sack on the table between the 2, said "I love you both. God bless you!"  and walked out.

Inside the paper bag was $10,000 US dollars neatly stacked (remember this is the 1970's and that's a lot of money now, let alone 40 years ago) that the Filipino brother had saved up as he was working far from his church/country and he gave it to "strangers".  That was enough to get them to Guam, get cement, much of the lumber and roofing materials to get the school started.

This testimony is so amazing in so many ways.  Divine orchestration/Providence/timing/prayer/Spirit prompting/obedience multiple times over/faith/trust -  God orchestrated getting these 2 to probably the only island in the world where someone had $10,000 saved up to give away, and that this person was praying as they arrived and open to and trusting the Spirit's leading and obeyed God without hesitation. 

The question I ask myself is 1) would i have even left the island in the first place against common sense and 2) would i have saved up that money, been in prayer and sensed and obeyed the prompting of the Spirit to give it to strangers without hesitating?

We can rationalize why this is an unusual once in a lifetime scenario, that these types of testimonies are rare, maybe even say that they it wasn't wise at all to even have left, but there are many testimonies of this nature and magnitude, and many, many more waiting for our obedience, our sensitivity to the Spirit's leading/prompting through time spent with Him, so that the Lord can orchestrate His Divine convergence for His glory and His Kingdom's good.

His ways/thoughts are as high as the heavens about our ways/thoughts...  for the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom...  can't wait to get to the "full" tithe =)  haha, makes no sense with man's rational sense at all and some might say irrational!!  Nope, it's Super rational

Sheri, it's good to know that people respond with their money as well as their time and other priorities.   I suspect the 6% does not tell the whole story, either.    It is most likely that those who give the most to their church, also often give the most to other causes, including directly to foreign missions, or to christian schools, or Red Cross, cancer funds, etc.   I wonder if this principle would apply also to a comparison of churches. 

In general, we have suggested giving about 10%, but some of that may not be given to the local church.   Other times when needs are greater, such as for a new building project, or for a special mission project, giving may be higher.   These should be seen just as guidelines, not as rules or demands;  God loves the cheerful giver, and the obligated or reluctant giver will not receive the same blessing. 

I have a Letter of Call in a Word format.  E-mail me at pastorsimon@heritagecrc.org and I will send it to you.

posted in: Letter of Call

I'm late to this conversation, but it's a good one, especially in light of many of today's events. I wanted to point out that, in the State of Michigan, a gun owner with a CPL (concealed pistol license) can open carry (holstered) a gun in a church. The gun owner only needs permission (perferrably written permission) from the church authorities to conceal carry. I'm not condoning this action, but I wanted to point this out, especially since some churches are also public voting sites.

posted in: Guns at Church

Please, please hear me out.  It is very likely if you attend church in the US, you do so with at least a couple people who are armed.  The fact you don’t know who they are armed is a good thing, but you can be assured they are very likely well trained and you need not worry about any kind of accidental discharge or someone going all “Dirty Harry” on someone.  In most states it takes some significant hurdles to get a Concealed Pistol License.  Those who do take it very seriously and evidence of it is you do not know who they are. 

 

If ever someone in your church mentions they’re armed, makes a gesture to indicate they’re armed, or actually shows the concealed weapon – THAT’S trouble and must not be tolerated.  The church has every right to expect that if someone carries a weapon into a church (whether it be a knife, firearm, tazer, pepper spray…) no one knows about it except in the extreme situation where it is needed. 

 

Now I plead with anyone still reading this to never declare your church a “Gun Free Zone.”  There are all sorts of people who legally and responsibly carry concealed and for very good reasons.  Perhaps they are off duty police or security personnel; perhaps they have been victims of violent crime in the past and have done the hard work of being safe and proficient in the use of a concealed handgun.  Not only is a “Gun Free Zone” an invitation to any deranged and violent person to have his way unopposed, it also creates a tremendous moral dilemma for someone who may want to worship with you but feels entirely vulnerable without carrying – an off duty cop or violent crime victim, for example.  Please do not make them have to choose between feeling safe and obeying the rules!

 

If you are opposed to guns in church, I have no problem with that.  You should not have to put up with people who are visibly armed in church if that makes you uncomfortable.  But please don’t force those people who have witnessed or experienced the unthinkable go without the tools they need when in reality you’ll never even know they are carrying.    

posted in: Guns at Church

Wendy unfortunatly this post and the comments they are getting is a big reason I steer clear of this board for the most part. It seems that we in the CRC (and maybe other churches have the same problem) have a difficult time accepting each others differences without having to attack them. We cannot have a civil conversation about social issues without it blowing up into us and them.

Sheri asked some really good questions that would be good for churches in the US to deal with (in Canada very few people have carry permits and even the police that were part of my congregation did not carry their firearms when not on duty) but right away the post was highjacked in my belief and had gone way off course. It seems to have come back around now but for me I'm packing it in on this one.

 

posted in: Guns at Church

I'm a Canadian serving a church in the mid west: In a congregation of about 100 members, in a town of about 10,000, I have the interesting and fortunate experience of having the Local Sheriff, a US Marshal, a Deputy Sheriff, a city Police Officery and at one time the Chief of Police, as members of this congregation.  I trust that God has all things in his Hand, and in spite of all of these trained carriers, nutty people might still attempt to threaten someone in this church.  The likelihood of that happening here in this small town is very small, but should it happen, I know that here, there will be no "wait time" for intervention, and these men will respond as they were trained.  I'll make visits in the prison where I must to speak to the nutcase about forgiveness and reconciliation: whatever it was that pushed him over the line to cause him to act as he did.  And should some one get hurt in the incident, I'll do what I can to comfort, and to lead them to reconcile with whoever may have caused the harm.  I'm guessing that having these trained personelle among us will minimize the "damage done".  So I wouldn't be pushing for a Gun Free zone.  I would allienate a good portion of my congregation. 

I have no problem with any of these officials carrying a conceiled weapon to church. My guess is that they do. 

posted in: Guns at Church

lol  :)

posted in: Guns at Church

The church does not need the government of the United States to protect it from guns or any other violence for that matter.  We continue to exist at the mercy of our Lord, not the mercy of the State.  Perhaps governments will allow guns in church.  That doesn't stop the church from continuing to declare that self-sacrificial love and reconciliation is the only way out of an arms race.  Perhaps allowing the guns in would also allow them to be put down at the foot of the cross.

posted in: Guns at Church

Yup. Just look for the link at the bottom of every email notification.

Or, when viewing a particular blog/discussion, just look for the "Subscribe to..." options along the right side. Those allow you to add/edit/delete a notification.

posted in: Guns at Church

Is there a way to unsubscribe from individual topics? It's interfering with my target practice.

posted in: Guns at Church

why is it the social kinds of posts get all the comments? Maybe I'll have to figure out a way to come up with something controversial for the global missions network so my readership can increase (joke . . . sort of. )

posted in: Guns at Church

True enough John, but then why didn't the Israelites simply forgive the Philistines when they attacted ?

posted in: Guns at Church

Yet, when Peter tried to respond with violence by cutting off the ear of the servant to the violence during the arrest of Jesus, Jesus ordered him to put up the sword for those who use the sword will die by the sword.  It seems to me that the Amish a number of years had the correct approach when someone gunned down many of them by simply forgiving the perpetrator.

 

I am not saying it is easy to do; in fact, forgiveness is the most difficult thing people engage in, but it is also the most biblical.  I am not sure that I can do that either, but I know that is what Scriptures state.

posted in: Guns at Church

True enough, but would you rather someone kills dozens of people in the congregation ? What about going to war ? What about King David ? He killed his "Tens of thousands", yet was a man after God's heart.

posted in: Guns at Church

It seems to me that carrying a gun in church is against everything Jesus teaches.  Did he not say, you have heard it said, an eye for an eye, but I say turn the other cheek?  If someone does great bodily harm to someone else, the Bible seems to indicate that our only option is to forgive.  If that person harms again, we must forgive again and again.  Guns do not fit into that picture at all!

 

When in doubt, look to the Good Book for potential answers.

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Actually Wes, it wasn't directed at you.

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I'm not going to comment on this subject further.  I just wanted to add my thoughts to the discussion, not create a rift or bad feelings.

Bert, I'm going to guess this comment is directed toward me. 

You may have misunderstood my comment "Ulitmately, I put my trust in the Lord, not guns."

This does not mean people who like guns are not Christian or that they don't have a correct faith.  This is a conclusion you came to, and it may be my own fault for not clarifying.

I don't think anyone in this forum would say "I put my trust in guns, not the Lord."  We can all agree that we put our trust in God more than anything.  As to how much trust we put in guns is what is up for debate, and it is ok that we disagree.

I'm not going to question the faith of someone posting on a Christian Reformed forum who says they are a believer.  We are all brothers in Christ!

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We also need to pray for people who judge others because they don't agree with their views on this (or any other) subject. I may not agree with people who don't want guns in church, but those are their beliefs. I would never question their faith or their belief in God.

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Thank you, thank you Mr. Luth!  I echo your sentiments entirely. 

Besides praying for the people who commit crimes ,

let us pray for those who lives are filled with fear,

and let us pray for our societies, in US, Canada and world-wide, torn apart by violence. 

May the church be a beacon of hope and safety, based in our shared worship of God our protector and defender.

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I was waiting to see where this discussion went and I think in my mind I predicted correctly. Unfortunately it is a highly charged issue and as soon as someone says “I put my trust in God not guns” the other side counters with “just because I have a gun doesn’t mean I don’t trust God”. And then someone will bring up insurance and how if you trust God so much why do you have insurance and before long the debaters are just fuming. Though I have never heard the David had a sword argument, that one is new to me (and I’m pretty sure that is proof texting)

I guess this post proves that the CRC is no different then the rest of American society. There are those for and against and the old arguments will always be there to dust off and use. Statistics don’t help because everyone has their own they can use to justify their side.  

Personally I would never attend a church where I knew the church council allowed certain members to carry weapons for the protection of the congregation. (at least not in Canada or the US) I am a Canadian living in Haiti, don’t own a gun, and feel relatively safe. Does that mean I don’t appreciate the gun toting security guard at the supermarket or bank. I have no problem with that but not in my church thank you.

Perhaps the better way to frame this debate is to answer the question “what is your church doing for these “nut jobs” as someone described them? When we see the unbalanced shooter as a “nut job” and not as a person created in the image of God we have made our choice about them already.

Is your church doing enough for the “nut jobs” in your communities?

Is your church known as the place where “nut jobs” are loved and cared for, accepted and blessed?

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"Interesting that Canada has a rate of 0.5 homicides per
100,000 population while the USA has a rate of 3.6 per 100,000."

Agree that Canada is generally more civilized than the US but that only has a small effect on one's chances of being shot by a bad guy. Every city and state and province has good and bad parts of town. Canada probably has fewer unsafe city neighborhoods per 100,000. One can greatly limit one's risk by avoiding the bad parts of town. There is more to "white flight" than simply the public school mess in large cities. 

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This is a really good conversation.  I am adding a link with some statistical data.  All the reference material is listed at the bottom of the page, some of it is a bit old but the numbers still speak loudly.  http://americangunfacts.com/

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The point is NOT introducing more guns. The point is that the bad guy doesn't know if anyone has a gun until he sees the "no guns" sign. 

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Maybe police officers should not carry guns? That condition is not working well in England. 

Humans are terrible at risk analysis. 

The US Constitution was designed for civilized people who wanted to be good neighbors. It worked well for the first 60 years because the people who didn't want to be good neighbors could go west and steal land from the Indian People. It has been down hill since the useful land  was all stolen and fenced. The Constitution can't govern a country or city where half the people don't want to be good neighbors. 

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Do NOT accuse me of not being a Christian if I like guns. Wikipedia is also one of the worst places on the web for gathering facts.

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