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 0 0 comments
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
Resource, Policy or Guidelines

Learn more about the difference between auditing and reviewing.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or eBook

The following link directs you to helpful books pertaining to Internal Controls. Internal controls are methods that ensure the integrity of accounting and financial information.

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

The purpose of this policy is to give guidelines as to when a separate fund should be established for monitoring church revenues and expenses, to describe a process of accountability for separate funds, and to develop a procedure for monitoring separate fund expenditures and revenue. 

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

The purpose of this policy is to set forth broad guidelines under which the funds of the denomination shall be managed. Investment objectives are: preserving the principal value of funds, earning a reasonable return, and more.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or eBook

The following link directs you to a list of books pertaining to Church and Nonprofit Taxes. These Financial guides will equip you with resources and professional advice to better understand tax laws.

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

The purpose of this policy is to give guidelines for establishing and using a Capital Replacement Fund at the church and to assure accountability of funds used for building and equipment upgrades.

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

Unrelated Business Income defines an activity is an unrelated business if three requirements are met: 1. It is a trade or business, 2. It is regularly carried on, 3...

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments
Resource, Book or eBook

The following publication explains the benefits and the responsibilities under the federal tax system for churches and religious organizations.

August 19, 2014 0 0 comments

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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.

 

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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.

posted in: Guns at Church

Actually Wes, it wasn't directed at you.

posted in: Guns at Church

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!

posted in: Guns at Church

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.

posted in: Guns at Church

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.

posted in: Guns at Church

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?

posted in: Guns at Church

"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. 

posted in: Guns at Church

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/

posted in: Guns at Church

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. 

posted in: Guns at Church

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. 

posted in: Guns at Church

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.

posted in: Guns at Church

Well put, Jolanda.

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I think it might be helpful to consider the question of guns in church in a similar way that we think about using alcohol (wine) in church for communion.

People have very different feelings towards guns largely based on their own life experiences. Someone who uses guns for sport may feel very differently about them than someone who has been wounded by a gun or who has lost a loved because of violence involving a gun. In the same way, some members of our church enjoy drinking wine with friends or having a beer at a local pub. Alcohol feels harmless to them and enjoyable. But someone who has struggled with alcoholism, or has had a friend or relative killed by a drunk driver, may have a very different perspective.

Because we know that the presence of alcohol could be either distracting or detrimental to some members of the body of Christ, many churches provide grape juice rather than wine for communion. Or they serve grape juice as an option along with wine. They don't do this to make a social commentary on alcohol consumption, but out of grace toward the feelings and experiences of others and as a way of caring for all members. People who prefer the taste of wine to grape juice don't feel offended because they recognize the feelings of others. And because they know there are plenty of other times in their life when they can enjoy wine! Likewise, if expressed with care, a call to leave guns at home could shelter members who have an aversion to them from feeling threatened or frightened in the sanctuary, while still respecting the rights of gun owners to use and carry their guns in other contexts.

 

posted in: Guns at Church

It wasn't meant to be condesending.  Just a point to think about.  We can make all the reasonable preparations in life but at some point we know it's in God's hands.  No amount of insurance, medicine, guns, etc changes that.

The point I'm trying to make, is that introducing more guns does not equal a safer places.  Just because someone at my church has a gun and I think they are a nice person does not mean a trust their judgement (and their aim!) when people's lives are at stake.  I feel less safe when I am in a room full of guns, even if they are carried by people I know.  You can make all the arguments you want, but that is how I feel.  I will take my chances that a crazy gunman is not going to walk into the sanctuary.

posted in: Guns at Church

I actually feel this comment is very condescending. It's as if, because if someone has a gun, they somehow don't trust in the Lord.

posted in: Guns at Church

[quote=wsgnst]

Are you ready to kill someone because they broke into a car in the church parking lot?  Are you going to kill them for taking a congregants purse? 

Guns introduce the possibility of saving lives, but they also introduce a greater chance of taking lives.

[/quote]

 

Seriously ?

posted in: Guns at Church

Bill, I think you operate under the belief that a gun is a magic solution that will solve problems, like an insurance policy that will prevent bad things from happening. 

I believe that a gun could stop a bad guy, but it also introduces the possibility of a minor altercation escalating into a major one, either because of an accident by the person carrying the gun, or because a bad guy feels threatened while committing a relatively minor crime.  Are you ready to kill someone because they broke into a car in the church parking lot?  Are you going to kill them for taking a congregants purse?  What if you pull out a gun, they get scared and shoot, but if you would have just let them run away with the purse, no one would be harmed?

Guns introduce the possibility of saving lives, but they also introduce a greater chance of taking lives.

posted in: Guns at Church

Wes - then the money you save by not having property and health insurance and retirement savings . . . you give to The Lord through the CRC? - bill

posted in: Guns at Church

Doctors, medicine, and seatbelts save lives.  Guns are designed to hurt people.

I think there is a higher likelyhood of an accident happening with a gun carried by a good guy, then the remote chance of a crazy gunman coming into church.  What if the hero in the church misses while trying to kill the bad guy and kills the pastor's wife?  This is the type of situation that you face when you introduce guns to church.

Who determines who is fit to carry a gun into church?  Only elders?  Only members?  Only people who have completed the churches gun safety program?  What do you tell the person who is visting who has a gun?

posted in: Guns at Church

Would you go to the Doctor if you were sick?  Take Chemo treatments for cancer?  Vaccinate your children?  Wear your seat belt?  Do you drive a car?

God gives us tools to help us survive, to keep us safe, but in each of these situations there is a chance to "tool" could cause harm too.  Of course we trust God with our lives but we also use the tools he has given us when appropriate.  I think sometimes that phrase gets thrown out there to deal with issues we don't want to have to grapple with.  

We live in a world filled with sin and sometimes the unthinkable happens even to Christians.  There is nothing wrong with being prepared, but on the other hand we should not have to live in fear all the time.  It is a fine line to walk.

 

posted in: Guns at Church

I'm surprised how many Reformed Christians in the USA treat the 2nd amendment as if it is a verse in the Bible.  I'm not sure where the strong ties of "God and guns" in this country came from.  I'm not necessariy anti-gun, but I think it is foolish to think that a person in the congregation with a gun on them is the answer to keeping our congregants safe.

Many think that if more good guys have guns it will stop the bad guys, but when I see a guy at the grocery store, gas station, or a visitor in my church, with a gun on their hip.  How do I know if they are a "good guy" or a "bad guy".  

Do we wait for them to start shooting?  

Ulitmately, I put my trust in the Lord, not guns.

posted in: Guns at Church

Well put.

posted in: Guns at Church

I understand some people's aversion to guns being in a church, it doesn't sound or feel right.  BUT I also have watched the news and seen what happens when you have an advertised "gun-free" zone.  Imagine a nut job walking into your church, what could you do?  In my church the First 2 things you see as you drive up is our large nursery full of innocents with 3 huge windows and no where to hide, and next is a sanctuary also surrounded on 3 sides by windows.  We would be fish in a barrel for someone with a weapon.  I would feel much safer knowing that we have a few responsbile and trained members of our congregation conceal carrying  who have at least a chance at stopping the madman then not.  The police are at least 20 minutes away from our facility and it only takes 2-5 minnutes to inflict serious casualties.  At some point we have to learn to get over our "bigotry" against guns because it is the only way to defend against criminals who do NOT follow the gun laws.  

posted in: Guns at Church

I believe a sword would have unlimited potential for harm but it also had the potential to save lives, just like any weapon depending on who is carrying it.

posted in: Guns at Church

Sorry Albert. I live in Canada, quite a distance from GR.

posted in: Guns at Church

Bert.  I live in Grand Rapids, MI.  I would like to meet with you to talk about the issue of guns in church.  I do not think we can profitably have a conversation about this by email.  If you live anywhere near me I am willing to drive out to meet you at a time and place of your convenience.  Albert

posted in: Guns at Church

Nope, but his sword at the time was the weapon of choice for that time period, just like the gun is now.

posted in: Guns at Church

And just how would not having a gun in church make you feel safe ? What if some nutjob came into your place of worship brandishing a firearm ? This isn't an altogether unknown situation to be in. Would your lack of weapons somehow save you? Whether your church is a gun free zone or not won't stop an unbalanced person from bringing a gun there and shooting the place up.

posted in: Guns at Church

Amen to that, Jola!  

posted in: Guns at Church

Yikes, I do not want guns in my church! Our sanctuaries must feel safe and secure for everyone. No weapons welcome, no weapons necessary.

posted in: Guns at Church

That's too bad that soldiers in Afghanistan aren't allowed to go to church then. I'm also pretty sure King David worshipped with his sword strapped to his side.

posted in: Guns at Church

No, it is assumed everyone recognizes that a church is not an appropriate place to bring a gun.  If someone brought a gun into church we'd have to deal with that somehow. 

posted in: Guns at Church

Allow? At your church everyone goes through a metal detector or signs a pledge?

posted in: Guns at Church

I would find being a member of a congregation which allowed people to bring guns into the church utterly inconceivable. 

posted in: Guns at Church

If the hunters in my congregation carried a pistol to church I would feel no less safe than I do now. For all I know, if they have concealed weapons permits they might be carrying now. That's what "concealed" means.

posted in: Guns at Church

Shootings are more likely in gun free zones, just saying.

posted in: Guns at Church

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