Many Voices One Mission: Exciting Stewardship

Charles Kuchenbrod


"The stewardship committee often is placed in the church trustee/finance budget constellation of people. It belongs in the deacon/faith formation constellation of people." — Charlie Kuchenbrod

How to Raise Money for your Community Projects

The Parish Paper


A congregation’s community project often starts with someone’s idea or dream, followed by a plan designed by a core team, and then, a group of volunteers willing to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Yet how can this worthy work be sustained over time? Whether the project involves food, clothing, or housing assistance or counseling and job training or organizing residents around an issue of local importance like the need for a community garden or more stop signs, at some point the program ...

How to Balance Hospitality and Church Security

The Parish Paper


When Jack picked up his car after repairs at the local dealership, he noticed instructions securely taped on the main desk where all customers could easily read it. "What to do if an alarm goes off:" Everyone MUST leave the building immediately. Provide assistance to people to find exits. Designate where people are to gather outside, so a volunteer leader can do a head count. EXIT away from rooms with hazardous materials Do NOT use the elevator if your building has one. Do not allow people to ...

Church Energy Use: Can We Harness Hope?

The Parish Paper


Carbon dioxide emissions have been implicated as a key factor in rising global temperatures. Because all church buildings use energy, much of it derived from carbon-based sources such as oil and coal, congregations play a role in energy consumption. Although congregations represent a small piece of the big picture, they can still offer hope for the community or the wider church.   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that if every house of worship nationwide (about 300,000) ...

Court Ruling on Clergy Housing Allowance Raises Questions

Jonathan New


Shock waves have reverberated across the land over the past two weeks as clergy and the religious organizations that employ them got word of a federal court ruling that may mean the end to the clergy housing allowance tax exclusion.  On October 6, Judge Barbara Crabb of the District Court of the Western District of Wisconsin struck down as unconstitutional the provision in the U.S. tax code that allows clergy to exclude from income tax the portion of their compensation designated for housing ...

In Memoriam: Rufus Cushman, Stewardship Master

Jonathan New


Those who think stewardship is about money have it wrong; stewardship is, primarily, about people. That’s just one of the many stewardship lessons I learned from a man who I consider a stewardship master – Rufus Cushman.  Rufus, who died this week at age 88, will be remembered by many of us in the Massachusetts Conference and beyond for keeping stewardship real and people at the heart of it.  A former insurance man and son of a banker, he was comfortable with money. More importantly, he knew ...

Property Taxes, the First Amendment, and Your Church

Jonathan New


A recent ruling in Massachusetts may spark interest in the subject of property taxes and church real estate.

Another Appeal?

Jonathan New


Some of you are going to be wondering “Didn’t I just get an appeal back in December?!”

Financing the Local Church

The Parish Paper


Even though they are not members, Bill and Dorothy go to a church in their neighborhood once or twice per month. They are fond of the pastor and proud of the congregation’s ministry. They also take pride in contributing a small amount when they attend services feeling satisfied that they have contributed their fair share toward the church’s expenditures. Is their assessment realistic?