Canon IV: Business Methods in Church Affairs

Canon IV: Business Methods in Church Affairs

Section 1. The fiscal year shall begin January 1.

Section 2. In every Parish, Worshiping Community, and institution connected with the Diocese through its Convention, the following standard business methods shall be observed:

A) Trust and permanent funds and all securities whatsoever kind shall be deposited in a Federal or State Bank or a Diocesan entity. Any parish desiring to deposit permanent funds and securities of any kind whatsoever with any other organization must receive the approval of the Bishops and Finance Committee by filing an application that meets the requirements of the Diocesan Investment Policy. If approved, substantive changes to the information in the approved application as defined in the Diocesan investment policy must also receive the approval of the Bishops and Finance Committee. Small funds and securities refused for deposit as being too small for acceptance shall not be subject to the foregoing deposit requirement. However, this does not in any way diminish the fiduciary responsibility of the Parish to manage these funds appropriately.

B) Records shall be made and kept of all trust and permanent funds showing at least the following:

  1. Source and date;
  2. Terms governing the use of principal and income;
  3. To whom and how often reports of conditions are to be made;
  4. How the funds are invested.

C) Books of account shall be so kept as to provide the basis for independent verification of satisfactory accounting.

D) All accounts shall be subject to independent verification by an independent Certified Public Accountant or independent Accountant, or by such an audit committee as shall be permitted by the Bishops under guidelines established by the Finance Committee. All audit reports, any supplemental memorandum, and summaries of actions taken or to be taken to correct any deficiencies or to implement other recommendations shall be filed with the Bishops not later than 30 days following the date of such report, and in no event later than September 1 of each year, covering the financial reports of the previous calendar year.

E) All Parishes, Worshiping Communities and institutions connected with the Diocese through its Convention shall participate in a Diocesan Property/Casualty Insurance Program approved by the Diocesan Mission Council, which provides that all property (real and personal) shall be adequately insured including adequate public liability insurance and other coverages deemed necessary by Diocesan Mission Council; and that the premiums for said insurance program shall be paid by the Parish, Worshiping Community, or other insured institution.

F) All full-time Clergy of Parishes and Worshiping Communities shall participate in a Diocesan Group Life, Medical, Dental Plan(s) approved by the Mission Council, which provides adequate coverage as deemed necessary by Mission Council; and that the minimum premiums, as set by Mission Council, for said insurance program shall be paid by the Parish or Worshiping Community; and that waiver of this participation may be approved by the Bishops with the advice of the Insurance Board.

G) Parish vestries should review, in the light of the rising cost of living, the salaries and allowances of clergy and lay workers annually prior to the Annual Parish Meeting, and in so doing should consider the fact that clergy are required to pay social security taxes in full while half is paid for lay employees.

Section 3. No Vestry, Trustee, or other body, authorized by Civil or Canon law to hold, manage or administer real property for any Parish, Worshiping Community, or institution, shall encumber or alienate the same or any part thereof (save for the refinancing of an existing loan), without the written consent of the Bishop Diocesan and Standing Committee of the Diocese, except under such regulations as may be prescribed by Canon of the Diocese, and except insofar as such requirement is inconsistent with provisions of the particular charter, trust, devise or deed of gift affecting ownership of such real property.