Copyrights & Permissions
Augsburg Fortress Copyrights & Permissions provides a useful collection of information and assistance about copyright. You’ll find general background information about copyrights; answers to common questions about using materials copyrighted by Augsburg Fortress Publishers, its imprints (Fortress Press and Augsburg Books), and its predecessor publishing houses; and on-line order information about the various copyright licenses offered by Augsburg Fortress.
For additional information, click www.augsburgfortress.org/copyrights/
Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance PremiumsBy Rev. John Kreidler, Bishop’s Associate
Congregations may qualify for a tax credit regarding health insurance premiums paid for pastors and staff. This is a refundable tax credit so that you may be eligible to receive the refund even though your congregation did not pay taxes. This tax credit could be as much as 25% of the total amount the congregation paid for pastor and staff health insurance premiums in 2011. The tax credit was first available in 2010. At that time, the Board of Pensions provided detailed information including an instructional webinar. A recording of this webinar, originally offered on April 19, 2010, a download of the slides used during the seminar, a download of questions and answers, and other information is available on the Portico (ELCA Board of Pensions) website, https://www.elcabop.org/en/BenefitsAdmin/How_to_be_benefits_administrator/Clergy-taxes/Health-care-tax-credit.aspx. All of this information should still be useful to you in preparing to file this year. >more
Constitution and Bylaws, Central States Synod (Ammended 2012)
- CSS Constitution/Bylaws (Note: 2012 amendments are highlighted)
Constitution Review — Useful Web Sites
- Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — Office of the Secretary
- ELCA Constitutions
- 2007 Model Constitution for Congregations
- 2007 Model Guide
- Amendments to the Model Constitution for Congregations
Required Congregational Forms
Under federal law, all employers—including the smallest of congregations—must have a form on file that verifies the employment eligibility and identity of each employee. The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires all U.S. employers to complete the Employment Eligibility Verification form (Form I-9) for all employees, including U.S. citizens. READ MORE
Congregational Resource Guide
An on-line guide hosted by The Alban Institute and The Indianapolis Center for Congregations. It offers helpful information and a few key resources that collectively represent the scope of thinking and practice around a given topic. Organized into nine categories at www.congregationalresources.org.
IRS regulations regarding political campaign activity by charities
For more than half a century 501(c)(3) organizations, including churches have been prohibited from political campaign activities. A press release from the IRS dated April 17, 2008, states in part:
“By law, organizations exempt from tax under Internal Revenue Code section 501(c)(3) may not ‘participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distributing of statements), any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidates for public office. . . .
“. . .However, these organization can engage in advocating for or against issues and, to a limited extent, ballot initiatives or other legislative activities.”
It is important that we keep these prohibitions in mind during this election season even as we strive to be a voice of faith in the public arena. The full text of the press release is available at www.irs.gov for more detailed information regarding this and other tax issues. Download: IRS Political Activity (PDF)
Internet Safety and Usage
A recent issue of Seeds for the Parish (in its Q&A section) provided resources for families interested in Internet safety. Please check out the following links to see what best suits your situation. Also, click Internet and Web Use Policy for Congregations for a sample policy.
Recommended sites: www.mediafamily.org; www.sundaysoftware.com/youthemail.htm; www.spectorsoft.com; www.weblocker.fameleads.com; www.safekids.com; and Family Friendly Web Sites for Kids (Paulist Press, www.paulistpress.com).
Rostered Leader Info/Documents
Statement of Policy Regarding Sexual Misconduct, Central States Synod
- Calling a Rostered Leader Handbook [PDF] (Please note that individual forms from this document will be posted soon. Sorry for any inconvenience.)
- On Leave from Call Request Form [MS Word]
- On Leave from Call Request Form [PDF]
Central States Budget
- CSS Budget for FYE 2014 (as approved at SA12)
Central States Audited Financials Report
- CSS Audited Financials (013112)
- 2013 Compensation Guidelines (as approved at SA12)
- 2012 Compensation Guidelines (as approved at SA11)