The purpose of this handbook is to put at your fingertips practical information useful to your congregation as a member of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches.

Handbook for Congregational Churches A N A C C C
Handbook for Congregational Churches A  N                      A                                      C                   ...
A HANDBOOK FOR CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES IN MEMBERSHIP WITH THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTIAN CHURCHES Bringing together Congregational Christian Churches for mutual care and outreach to our world in the name of Jesus Christ Produced by the Center for Congregational Leadership NACCC Rev Dr D Elizabeth Mauro Dean Serving the Churches that Serve Christ
                            A   HANDBOOK   FOR   CONGREGATIONAL   CHURCHES        IN   MEMBERSHIP   WITH   THE            ...
INTRODUCTION TO THE HANDBOOK Purpose The purpose of this handbook is to put at your fingertips practical information useful to your congregation as a member of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches Use This handbook is divided into sections as indexed below It is designed this way to make updating easy as information changes We recommend that you put these pages in a three ring binder and keep it accessible to your church leaders and staff Contents 1 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PARTNERSHIP Section 1 1 Churches in Partnership Section 1 2 Communicating with the NACCC NACCC Membership Requirements Section 1 3 Section 1 4 Clergy Standing Section 1 5 Clergy and Laity Opportunities 2 CONGREGATIONALISM IN ACTION Section 2 1 Congregational Heritage Section 2 2 The Congregationalist Magazine Section 2 3 Annual Meeting and Conference Section 2 4 Annual Youth Gathering 3 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PRACTICE Section 3 1 Basic Ethics for Churches and Clergy Section 3 2 Safe Churches Section 3 3 Personnel Policies Section 3 4 Churches in Conflict Section 3 5 Advisors Available 4 CONGREGATIONALISM IN SUPPORT Section 4 1 Resources Available Section 4 2 Financial Resources Available 5 CONGREGATIONALISM IN AFFILIATION Section 5 1 Regional Associations Section 5 2 Affiliated Organizations
INTRODUCTION   TO   THE   HANDBOOK        Purpose            The   purpose   of   this   handbook   is   to   put   at   y...
1 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PARTNERSHIP Section 1 1 CHURCHES IN PARTNERSHIP Association not Denomination The National Association of Congregational Christian Churches NACCC is as its title says a voluntary association of churches who claim a heritage and practice in the Congregational Way Unlike a denomination we do not create hierarchies that oversee local churches As an association from one another we gain mutual encouragement and support Ours is a tradition that has deep convictions based upon the Word of God as each person interprets that Word according to the dictates of conscience under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit Diversity of Congregations Since every Congregationalist possesses full liberty of conscience in interpreting the Gospel we are a diverse group of people united under Christ Our fellowship of churches embraces a diversity of theological viewpoints Primacy of the Local Church Every member church is fully self governing and spiritually complete There is no authority outside of the local church except for Christ There is no other ecclesiastical authority over the local church including the NACCC Because of this the Association does not Require member churches to adhere to a shared creed or statement of faith as a condition of membership Speak for all the member churches on issues of theology politics or social concerns Credential clergy to ministerial service Make policies binding on the local church except in relation to NACCC membership NACCC Websites Learn more about us at our websites www naccc org www centerforcongregationalleadership org www congregationalist org If you have questions about anything in this handbook please do not hesitate to contact your NACCC staff We are here to assist you in your ministries 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 1 Churches in Partnership Page 1 of 1
     1.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PARTNERSHIP    Section   1.1       CHURCHES   IN   PARTNERSHIP        Association   ...
1 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PARTNERSHIP SECTION 1 2 COMMUNICATING WITH THE NACCC Communication is Key The lifeblood of our voluntary association is communication between the local church and the NACCC Communication is a two way street We need to hear from you and you need to hear from us We believe that communication is not simply a process of transferring information but most fundamentally is a relationship between people one mind touching another mind There are three main groups of people who handle communication within our association throughout the year Year Round Delegates Ambassadors and NACCC Staff Members Year Round Delegate Each member church is entitled and strongly encouraged to designate a Year Round Delegate as the main communication link between your church and the NACCC While others pastor church administrator moderator etc also communicate with the NACCC in important ways it is the primary job of the Year Round Delegate to keep the lines of communication open and free flowing to support our partnership The Year Round Delegate should be willing to Be the primary conduit for sharing information from the NACCC to the congregation Be the person to convey the views and ideas of the congregation to the NACCC Be or become computer literate and participate effectively in online exchanges To designate or change your Year Round Delegate visit www naccc org Complete the Year Round Delegate Form and return it to the NACCC office Ambassadors NACCC Ambassadors are trained volunteers around the country who attend church ordinations installations and anniversary celebrations bringing greetings from the NACCC help churches with the sometimes arduous process of searching for their next pastor and respond to churches considering membership in the NACCC If you would like an ambassador to attend your church event or to help your church with a pastoral transition or with the process of joining our National Association contact the Executive Secretary at the NACCC office 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 2 Communicating with the NACCC Page 1 of 4
1.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PARTNERSHIP    SECTION   1.2       COMMUNICATING   WITH   THE   NACCC        Communicatio...
NACCC Staff Members Phone 1 800 262 1620 Rev Casey VanderBent Interim Executive Secretary cvanderbent naccc org Ext 1611 Rev Dr D Elizabeth Mauro Dean Center for Congregational Leadership bmauro naccc org Ext 1613 Special Church Occasions General Counsel Compliments and concerns Church Search Committee help Request advisors and help Seminary education scholarships Personnel guidance Continuing education Carrie Dahm Assistant to Casey VanderBent and Meeting Planner cdahm naccc org Marie Steele Assistant to Betsey Mauro msteele naccc org Ext 1614 Ext 1612 Information on the Annual Meeting and Conference Church membership Disclosure protocol Lay Ministry Training program Background checks Help in pastoral searches Dan Drea Chief Financial Officer ddrea naccc org Ext 1616 Rebecca Moore Accounting Assistant and Tech Coordinator rmoore naccc org Ext 1617 Congregational Investment Trust Receipts and Payments Computer and Web related issues Linda Miller Administrator for Missions and Outreach lmiller naccc org Ext 1618 Courtney Schultz Development and Marketing Assistant cshultz naccc org Ext 1615 Missions Regional Associations Marketing and Mailing concerns Congregationalist magazine subscriptions Larry Sommers Editor of The Congregationalist larryfsommers gmail com 608 238 7731 The Congregationalist Magazine Articles letters advertisements 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 2 Communicating with the NACCC Page 2 of 4
NACCC   Staff   Members    Phone   1-     800-     262-     1620          Rev.   Casey   VanderBent       Interim   Execut...
Information Exchange Communication involves an exchange of information the content of communication among NACCC churches as well as between local churches and the National Association Your Yearbook Information The NACCC maintains an online Yearbook at www naccc org with information about our member churches This Yearbook allows Association members leaders and staff to know key facts about your church You have control over your Yearbook information An individual you designate will be given a password to access and update your church s yearbook information This individual may be the church s administrative assistant the minister the Year Round Delegate or anyone else charged with this administrative task Keeping your information up to date is easy and done online Please update your Yearbook information when a change occurs If your designated individual does not have an NACCC log in User name Password or is unsure if he or she has one please call the NACCC office at 1 800 262 1620 for assistance If you have an NACCC account with a user name and password Go to www naccc org Click Login in the upper right hand corner Fill in your user name and password Click on Church Info tab on top Click on the green cross next to your church name Fill out your church information If you do not see Church Info or the correct church when you log in call the NACCC office for assistance Information from the NACCC There are a variety of ways the NACCC puts information in your hands YRD Links These are regular e newsletters from the NACCC to each church s Year Round Delegate containing important information to be shared with the local church or questions for the local church s consideration or necessary information about the Year Round Delegate communication process NA News Published only online six times a year Contains updates on current NACCC events Missions and Outreach needs ordination anniversaries and other vital information An e mail is sent to Year Round Delegates Ministers Moderators and current NACCC leadership to announce the posting of the newest issue 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 2 Communicating with the NACCC Page 3 of 4
Information   Exchange            Communication   involves   an   exchange   of   information   the   content   of   commu...
The Congregationalist Glossy full color magazine published in March June September and December also available online at www congregationalist org and on Facebook The Congregationalist contains articles on a variety of topics and events related to Congregationalism church life and the NACCC It is available for free to all member households of NACCC churches though donations are welcome and encouraged For more information see Section 2 2 NACCC Website www naccc org A treasure trove of information on NACCC programs opportunities publications membership church support and many other things Center for Congregational Leadership Website www centerforcongregationalleadership org An educational ministry of the NACCC the Center website contains links to useful information and posts sponsored events and opportunities You can also find the Center on Facebook All Church Mailings Sent to all member churches by e mail or postal mail five times per year These mailings contain information on events worship aids opportunities for giving among other things Celebrating and Praying with and for You The NACCC staff celebrates with you significant events in the life of your church We also pray for you especially in times of challenge and difficulty Please inform us if you have an ordination or installation of a pastor at your church or if you are celebrating a significant church anniversary or other event We will make every effort to have an NACCC representative present If that is not possible we would like to be able to send a letter of greeting and congratulations Also if you are facing a particular hardship challenge or concern please let us know so that we can pray for your strength guidance and comfort Did you know that one of our NACCC ministers regularly posts to Facebook three churches and a mission to pray for that day We join him in those prayer requests Also every year at the NACCC Annual Meeting and Conference we remember Congregational leaders from our member churches who have passed on These leaders might be ministers or lay people active at the state and national levels Please notify us when such luminaries in your church have died Submit that person s name to the Meeting Planner in the NACCC office with a brief description of his or her contribution to your church and the Congregational Way That person will be included in the necrology ceremony at the meeting 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 2 Communicating with the NACCC Page 4 of 4
                   The   Congregationalist    Glossy   full-     color   magazine,   published   in   March,   June,   Sep...
1 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PARTNERSHIP SECTION 1 3 NACCC MEMBERSHIP REQUIREMENTS Active and Inactive Churches A voluntary association is only as strong as its members are active and contributing To be considered an active member of the NACCC a church must make a yearly financial contribution to the Shared Ministries Fund of the Association This is the fund that supports the Administrative expenses of the NACCC Active churches are also strongly encouraged to submit an annual statistical report for the Yearbook and select a Year Round Delegate see section 1 2 A member church which does not make a yearly financial contribution to the Shared Ministries Fund of the Association is in breach of fellowship and is considered to be an inactive member Church A Church which breaches fellowship shall be notified by the Secretary of the Association that it has been placed on the list of inactive member Churches An inactive Church shall be automatically restored to active status by making a contribution to the Shared Ministries Fund of the Association If a member Church is in breach of fellowship for three successive years its name shall automatically be removed from the roll of member Churches and the name of its minister removed from the list of ministers in the Yearbook thereby terminating that minister s access to MMBB benefit services Upon notification by the Secretary of the Association a church removed from the membership rolls for this reason may reactivate its membership in the NACCC and reinstate it s pastor s name to the list of ministers and MMBB services by fulfilling all of the following 1 take a vote to reactivate membership and should that vote be in the affirmative 2 send to the NACCC a record of the vote information to update the church s yearbook entry name and contact information for the church s Year Round Delegate and a financial contribution to the Shared Ministries Fund Required Contribution to the Shared Ministries Fund As stated above a member church is considered active by its contribution to the Shared Ministries Fund This contribution is recorded in the NACCC fiscal year in which it was received The NACCC fiscal year runs April 1 March 31 While the amount of this contribution is decided by the member church a target contribution of Fair Share or more is desirable The Fair Share designation is a per member amount that represents the contribution it would take to meet the NACCC budget a budget approved by the member churches at the Annual Meeting if every member contributed their fair share 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 3 NACCC Membership Requirements Page 1 of 2
     1.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PARTNERSHIP    SECTION   1.3       NACCC   MEMBERSHIP   REQUIREMENTS        Active  ...
The current fair share designation is 13 00 per member A church is considered to be fair share plus when it donates 15 00 or more per member You do not need to contribute at the Fair Share or greater level to remain an active church but you must contribute something to the Shared Ministry Fund Striving to be a Fair Share church Many churches strive to be a Fair Share church in creative ways Some make the Fair Share contribution part of their annual budgets Some consider it to be part of their Mission giving Other churches ask each member to contribute their fair share directly in a special offering taken up by the church and forwarded to the NACCC Still others hold special fund raising events suppers car washes fairs etc to raise money for their fair share Some churches even contribute more than their fair share to make it possible for some of our struggling member churches to still receive the benefits of NACCC membership The Blessing of Giving Your contribution to the Shared Ministries Fund supports the administration of a wide variety of programs and services to member churches In this way your church tangibly expresses its support for and encouragement of every other member church We are stronger and more vibrant together than we are alone Contributions may be made on line by going to www naccc org and clicking on the Donate Now button They may also be made by check payable to NACCC Shared Ministries Fund and mailed to NACCC P O Box 288 Oak Creek WI 53154 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 3 NACCC Membership Requirements Page 2 of 2
     The   current      fair   share      designation   is    13.00   per   member.      A   church   is   considered   to...
1 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PARTNERSHIP SECTION 1 4 CLERGY STANDING The NACCC does not Confer Standing As an association of churches rather than a denomination see section 1 1 the NACCC does not confer standing on ministers serving NACCC member churches Such recognition is conferred by the local church upon its call to that person to be their minister A minister who is serving an active member church or who is retired from a member church is listed in the NACCC Yearbook Such listing only reflects your information given to us It does not signify NACCC standing There are several ecclesiastical designations conferred to individuals by the church as follows In Care Designation The in care designation is given to members of the church who are entering seminary preparing to enter Congregational ministry The student informs the minister and the Board of Deacons of his or her plans If the Deacons see in this person the gifts for ministry they recommend to the membership that the church vote to place the student in care supporting the student with prayers and leadership opportunities Some churches support the student financially as well but this is optional Licensure Licensure represents the next level of recognition for the seminarian It is conferred in the same way as in care status after the church has seen obvious growth and skill in the training for and practice of ministry It confirms that preparation is proceeding satisfactorily Moving from In Care to Licensure is also done by vote of the church and allows both the church and the seminarian to acknowledge and rejoice in the growing wisdom and skill of the seminarian With Licensure the church now grants the seminarian the privilege of conducting weddings funerals and sacraments on behalf of the church Licensure may also be extended to lay ministers in the congregation or to clergy who may be members of the church but not employed by the church Licensure grants permission to perform all ministerial functions on behalf of the church and is extended by vote of the congregation Steps usually include A recommendation from the Deacons to the congregation to license a person The recommendation is brought before the congregational at a congregational meeting including the reasons why the Deacons feel this is an appropriate step A vote is taken by the congregation 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 4 Clergy Standing Page 1 of 3
1.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PARTNERSHIP    SECTION   1.4       CLERGY   STANDING        The   NACCC   does   not   Co...
Licensure should be reviewed and renewed annually through the process noted above Ordination Local o A local ordination occurs when a single church recognizes the gifts for ministry in a person they wish to call as their settled minister or to some other ministerial position in the church It is called local because no other churches are asked for advice and guidance in the process The ordination is valid as long as that person remains the settled minister of that particular church When that person leaves the status of his or her ordination is void The process followed for local ordination is similar to that of licensure see above It is then followed by a service that includes ordination vows and and ordination prayer with the laying on of hands Vicinage o Often a church wishing to ordain an individual to the ministry seeks the counsel and advice of area churches as to the wisdom of their desire to ordain A gathering of area churches for such a purpose is called an Ecclesiastical Council of the Vicinage Ordination that occurs after an Ecclesiastical Council recommends that the local church proceed to ordination is a more widely accepted and recognized ecclesiastical status While the ordination often takes place in conjunction with a call to a church contemporary practice has also been for a person s home church to ordain if done by vicinage In seeking the guidance of a vicinage council a church is looking for confirmation that they have discerned well the gifts of ministry that make the candidate fit for ordination The local church is free to act upon the advice given by the vicinage council or not If a vicinage council recommends that the church not ordain this does not prevent the ordination if the church chooses to ignore the council s advice It does however mean that the ordination is a local one Ordinations that proceed upon positive recognition of a vicinage council are recognized by other churches even when the minister has left the church that ordained Lay Ministers Increasingly individuals are entering ministry without seminary education While a seminary education M Div is the gold standard for professional ministry many churches are simply no longer able to afford the professional salary of a seminary educated minister Additionally many people who feel called to ministry are second career and cannot enter into the traditional educational path which may require relinquishing a job creating family hardship Many of these people enter a course of study with a mentor to be lay ministers The NACCC 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 4 Clergy Standing Page 2 of 3
   Licensure   should   be   reviewed   and   renewed   annually,   through   the   process   noted   above.         Ordin...
has a lay ministry program available Upon completion of the course of study many churches recognize that person with a certificate of completion and invite them to serve as a minister in their midst The church may also license the lay minister to perform ministerial duties see above process In rare cases the church locally ordains that person Resources The Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies is a ministry of the NACCC that provides Congregational education and scholarship help to seminarians studying for ministry in Congregational churches If you have a person in your church who is considering enrolling in seminary or already is enrolled encourage that person to be in touch with the NACCC for support and aid More can be learned about ecclesiastical standing in these resources From Call To Settlement Lloyd Hall The Congregational Worship Book Henry David Gray How to Gather and Order A Congregational Church A Vaughn Abercrombie All may be found online at the Center s website www centerforcongregationalleaderhip org NACCC advisors can help you through the process of conferring ecclesiastical standing 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 4 Clergy Standing Page 3 of 3
has   a   lay   ministry   program   available.       Upon   completion   of   the   course   of   study,   many   churche...
1 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PARTNERSHIP SECTION 1 5 CLERGY AND LAITY OPPORTUNITIES Convocation Every year the NACCC hosts a gathering for clergy designed to provide continuing education spiritual reflection and rest This convocation is held in Mundelein Illinois at St Mary of the Lake seminary It begins on the second Monday after Easter a perfect time for clergy to renew themselves Many churches set aside money to send their pastor to this event knowing that the spiritual rest their pastor gains benefits the church Providing a way for your pastor to attend the convocation is not only a show of support but also reminds the clergy person that the church wants and needs a pastor who is mindful of his or her health and well being Ultimately it is the church that benefits from their clergy s experiences Regional Retreats Many State and Regional Associations also host local retreats for clergy These gatherings help area clergy stay connected to each other sustaining vital collegial relationships Supporting your minister to attend regional retreats will also bless the church with a happier healthier pastor Congregational History and Polity Seminars This is an especially important seminar if the minister serving your church has come to you from a tradition that is not Congregational Many times a pastor from another tradition unknowingly misunderstands the Congregational Way because they do not have adequate knowledge or experience When this happens the result is often significant conflict in the church Many churches require that their new pastor attend one of the History and Polity seminars in the first year he or she assumes the pastorate writing the requirement directly into the terms of call Other churches encourage their pastor to attend by granting paid time off to participate and providing a stipend to cover or offset expenses If your pastor is from a tradition other than Congregational the investment you make in sending her or him to this seminar could save you heartache down the road History and Polity seminars are not just for clergy who have come to your church from other traditions Many laity attend to further their knowledge of and appreciation for their Congregational Heritage Church leaders find the seminar helps them become more confident leaders Seminars are held almost annually in Boston and at other times at the Center for Congregational Leadership in Olivet Michigan or a hosting church anywhere in the country Information about upcoming seminars are posted on the Center s website and advertised in other places and ways Soon there will be opportunities for people to enhance their education on line 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 5 Clergy and Laity Opportunities Page 1 of 4
1.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PARTNERSHIP    SECTION   1.5       CLERGY   AND   LAITY   OPPORTUNITIES        Convocatio...
Annual Meeting and Conference The most prominent NACCC event for laity and clergy is the Annual Meeting and Conference The Annual Meeting is an important expression of Congregationalism where churches send a delegate to help conduct the business of the assembled churches The member churches are the National Association and it is at the Annual Meeting that churches come together to make decisions important to their common interests While the delegates conduct the business there is plenty for others to do Many people who are not official delegates attend to partake in the fellowship and educational opportunities at the conference See more about the Annual Meeting and Conference in Section 2 3 Silent Retreats Twice a year the Society of Classical Retreat Guides hosts a silent retreat and invites clergy and laity to attend this time of spiritual reflection and renewal One retreat is held just ahead of the Annual Meeting and Conference The other which usually meets for a longer duration of at least 2 3 days typically takes place in the autumn and may occur regionally Members of the Society are available to lead or to train or assist others to lead Classical Silent Retreats for local churches or regional associations There are offerings of varying lengths Standard to all Classical Silent Retreats are prayer devotional reading and work in the quiet Continuing Education through the Center for Congregational Leadership The Center for Congregational Leadership hosts seminars on a variety of other topics of interest to the church and its leadership Often these seminars are held at the Center and are webcast around the country Past topics have included Stewardship Technology in Worship Web Savvy Ministry The Congregational Symposium Every other year for the past 16 years various churches around the country have hosted the Congregational Symposium The Symposium brings together gifted speakers who have new insights in the basis and practice of Congregationalism The Symposium gives clergy and laity an opportunity to be stimulated and challenged in a variety of ways It also allows new friendships and connections to form The Symposium is not a function of the NACCC and occurs only when a church is moved to host the next one The Center for Congregational Leadership provides advice and support to any church wanting to host the Symposium 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 5 Clergy and Laity Opportunities Page 2 of 4
Annual   Meeting   and   Conference         The   most   prominent   NACCC   event   for   laity   and   clergy   is   the...
The Youth Leader Training From time to time youth leaders from around the country are invited and encouraged to gather to hone their skills and discover new ideas together These opportunities may occur in conjunction with other youth events or they may be promoted as opportunities for leaders to attend national youth ministry training events The networking and fellowship that come from these gatherings encourages and strengthens those who are dedicated to this challenging ministry to youth Service on Boards and Committees of the NACCC Because the NACCC is an association of churches it depends on representatives from member churches to join boards councils and committees to guide the work and ministry of the NACCC Opportunities abound Some of those roles are filled through the nomination process and election by the delegates at the NACCC Annual Meeting and Conference They include Moderator Serves as moderator of the Leadership Council and the Annual Meeting and Conference Moderator elect Serves on the Board of Directors and typically assumes the role of moderator when the moderator s term of service ends Secretary Keeps a record of the proceedings and decisions of the Leadership Council the Board of Directors and the Annual Meeting and Conference Serves as official signatory of the corporation Treasurer Keeps a record of the financial expenditures of the corporation and reports the same to the Association Historian Keeps an accounting of significant proceedings of the Association and tends to the Association s archives Board of Directors Responsible for the fiduciary and policy oversight of the corporation Mission Outreach Ministry Council Responsible for the advancement of domestic and foreign missions as well as cultivating relationships with Olivet and Piedmont colleges the International Congregational Fellowship the American Congregational Association and ecumenical groups as appropriate Growth Ministry Council Responsible for supporting the establishment of new Congregational churches encouraging and supporting local church in youth programming providing youth programs at the national level encouraging churches in their use of technology and developing worship and spiritual growth resources for churches Vitality Ministry Council Responsible for supporting seminarians overseeing advisory services for member churches promoting knowledge and understanding of the Congregational Way providing leadership development events for clergy and laity and advancing lay ministry Credentials Committee Tracks and reports the credentials and statistics of Annual Meeting and Conference representation Nominating Committee Receives and puts forth nominations for elected positions This committee s members are nominated and elected from the floor of the Annual Meeting and Conference 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 5 Clergy and Laity Opportunities Page 3 of 4
The   Youth   Leader   Training            From   time   to   time,   youth   leaders   from   around   the   country   ar...
The Leadership Council is made up of members who serve by virtue of holding other elected or appointed positions in the NACCC Leadership Council Comprised of two members of each Ministry Council as well as the moderator moderator elect and youth representative this Council is responsible for casting vision and prioritizing programs and services of the NACCC overseeing the Annual Meeting and Conference sustaining the relationship with the Year Round Delegates tending to inquiring churches and advancing their membership and providing ceremonial and ambassadorial functions to the churches The Treasurer and Secretary serve with voice but no vote Some positions are on task teams and are appointed directly by the Councils These include all task teams of the Ministry Councils Leadership Council and Board of Directors including to name just a few Missions Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies Youth Annual Meeting and Conference Team While the Councils are charged with oversight of program areas the Task Teams are responsible for the hands on work required to fulfill program objectives Ad hoc committee opportunities are created from time to time depending on needs and circumstances Additionally the NACCC maintains a team of volunteer ambassadors who represent the NACCC at ordinations installations church anniversaries and other special occasions They also help guide member churches through the search process for a minister and respond to inquiries from churches who are considering membership in the NACCC Nominations are handled through the Nominating Committee of the NACCC It is their job to solicit the names of interested people and put selected people in nomination before the delegate body of the Annual Meeting They encourage the submission of nominations all year long On the next page you will find a nomination form you may copy and use All year long but especially when you receive information from them please consider who in your church might have an interest in and aptitude for any of the numerous opportunities available The NACCC is made strong and effective by the work of many people Find the NACCC s Nomination Form at www naccc org Send completed from to the NACCC office 9 18 2013 1 Congregationalism in Partnership Section 1 5 Clergy and Laity Opportunities Page 4 of 4
The   Leadership   Council   is   made   up   of   members   who   serve   by   virtue   of   holding   other   elected   ...
2 CONGREGATIONALISM IN ACTION SECTION 2 1 HERITAGE Hallmarks of Congregationalism Congregational Churches are sometimes known as the Church of the Pilgrims after the small congregations of the early 1600 s The people of these congregations moved from England some by way of Holland and then to the new world in pursuit of religious freedom From them we inherited a wonderful spiritual heritage one that is uniquely suited to our contemporary world This is a tradition that has deep convictions based upon the Word of God as each person interprets that Word according to the dictates of conscience under the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit This naturally attracts men and women of genuine conviction of adventurous faith and of gracious regard for each other s sincerity to the Congregational Christian fellowship Since every Congregationalist possesses full liberty of conscience in interpreting the Gospel we are a diverse group of people united under Christ We believe there is strength in diversity and by it there are unending opportunities to learn from each other and to grow in faith Christ alone is the head of the church All church members are spiritually equal and called to the work of ministry Every local church is autonomous and complete Each local church is called into wider associations of fellowship Believers are bound one to another in voluntary covenant Every Christian possesses full liberty of conscience in interpreting the Gospel The Bible is fully sufficient as our guide in matters of faith and practice and will inspire individuals and direct the church with fresh light and truth for every generation History Polity Classes online Through the NACCC s Center for Congregational Leadership your church members may learn more about the Congregational Way through the online Congregational History and Polity course Designed in two levels level one is appropriate for general membership membership classes and confirmation classes After completing level one those who wish to know more can proceed to the in depth level two especially appropriate for pastors who are serving member churches but who have come to the Congregational Way from other traditions 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 1 Heritage Page 1 of 2
     2.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   ACTION    SECTION   2.1       HERITAGE        Hallmarks   of   Congregationalism    ...
Heritage Sunday Every year in November churches have the opportunity to celebrate our Congregational Heritage by designating one Sunday as Heritage Sunday By lifting up our heritage in the month that also celebrates Thanksgiving we remind people that we are deeply rooted in the faithfulness of our Pilgrim and Puritan forebears and that our celebration of Thanksgiving is also rooted in their deep and abiding faith and practice Heritage Materials To help you in your celebration a variety of Heritage materials for worship can be found on line at the NACCC and Center for Congregational Leadership websites 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 1 Heritage Page 2 of 2
         Heritage   Sunday         Every   year   in   November,   churches   have   the   opportunity   to   celebrate   ...
2 CONGREGATIONALISM IN ACTION SECTION 2 2 THE CONGREGATIONALIST MAGAZINE Online and Hard Copy The Congregationalist Magazine of the Congregational Way is published 4 times per year in March June September and December This glossy full color magazine is mailed to subscribers homes and may also be seen online at www Congregationalist org This award winning magazine engages a variety of lively and interesting topics and issues of interest to Congregationalists Its pages are open to all relevant and articulate contributions Editorial Policy Articles and editorials in The Congregationalist are by the authority of the editor and do not necessarily reflect policies and opinions of the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches or its members The NACCC reserves freedom of expression to its editors as well as freedom of opinion to its readers An advisory editorial board helps steer policy and ensure editorial independence Free Subscriptions Subscriptions to the magazine are free of charge and make an especially appropriate welcome gift to your new Church members One subscription is provided free of charge to each individual requestor who is a member of a church in fellowship with the NACCC One complimentary Newcomer Copy will be sent to any person one time only upon request by a church in fellowship with the NACCC One subscription to The Congregationalist is provided free of charge to each church in fellowship with the NACCC One subscription is sent to each accredited theological seminary on the magazine s mailing list Simply contact Courtney Schultz cschultz naccc org to begin receiving the magazine Encourage your members to sign up for their own copies as well 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 2 The Congregationalist Magazine Page 1 of 2
2.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   ACTION    SECTION   2.2       THE   CONGREGATIONALIST   MAGAZINE        Online   and   Ha...
Gift Subscriptions Additional Copies Do you know someone who is not a member of a Congregational Church but who might enjoy the magazine You can purchase a gift subscription for only 15 per year Churches that want more than the single free copy mailed to the church may purchase a bundle of six copies for 75 sent to one address Single copies may be purchased from the NACCC office for 3 75 plus 3 20 to cover shipping and handling Advertising Searching for a pastor Churches seeking pastors receive a free notice of their pulpit vacancy in The Congregationalist automatically upon submitting their Church Information Form to the NACCC Many raise their visibility by purchasing a small display ad We will help you design a professional looking ad at no extra design charge or you can submit your own camera ready professional ad Other advertising opportunities are available For more information contact Carrie Dahm cdahm naccc org or 1 800 262 1620 x1612 Supporting The Congregationalist You can support the mission of The Congregationalist and help keep the magazine in print with a gift of any size Editor s Round Table Donors become members of the Editor s Round Table with a gift of 100 or more Supporting Members 100 or more Elias Smith Connexion 250 or more the Edward Beecher Society 500 or more or the Henry Martyn Dexter Society 1000 or more Editor s Round Table members receive the editor s personal thanks an annual written report and an in person oral report with questions and answers during the Annual Meeting and Conference Joseph B Polhemus Fund While gifts through the Editor s Round Table support the current operations of the magazine sustaining gifts may be made to the Joseph B Polhemus Fund named for a beloved former editor of the magazine The building of this endowment will ensure the continued financial strength of The Congregationalist in the years to come 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 2 The Congregationalist Magazine Page 2 of 2
Gift   Subscriptions       Additional   Copies         Do   you   know   someone   who   is   not   a   member   of   a   ...
2 CONGREGATIONALISM IN ACTION SECTION 2 3 ANNUAL MEETING AND CONFERENCE What It Is As indicated in Section 1 5 the Annual Meeting and Conference is an important expression of Congregationalism where churches send a delegate to help conduct the business of the assembled churches The member churches are the National Association and it is at the Annual Meeting that churches come together to make decisions important to their common interests While the delegates conduct the business there is plenty for others to do Many people attend who are not official delegates to partake in the fellowship and educational opportunities at the conference The Annual Meeting and Conference begins on a Saturday in late June and continues through the evening of the following Tuesday Various churches and associations around the country host the event Why Attend There are many reasons to attend the Annual Meeting and Conference Enduring friendships are made there as well as useful connections with Congregational churches around the country Seminars and workshops provide continuing education of interest to churches and church leadership Multiple receptions and excursions provide fellowship opportunities and a chance to see different parts of the United States as the meeting is held in various locations Additionally the vital business of the NACCC is transacted in support of our common aims goals and ministries The Annual Meeting is essential to our collective fellowship and identity as an association of autonomous churches Who May Attend Delegates o Anyone may attend the Annual Meeting and Conference but it is especially important for churches to be represented by a delegate The delegate is the person designated to represent the church in the business proceedings of the meeting An official delegate registration card is filed with the NACCC ahead of the meeting in order to qualify the delegate to conduct business on the floor of the meeting o A church that cannot send a member from its church may ask another church s delegate to represent their vote at the meeting One delegate may represent 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 3 Annual Meeting and Conference Page 1 of 2
2.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   ACTION    SECTION   2.3       ANNUAL   MEETING   AND   CONFERENCE        What   It   Is  ...
up to three churches Inquire within your local association as to who may be attending and willing to represent you Alternates o Many churches also designate and register an alternate delegate This person is qualified to conduct business from the floor of the meeting in the absence of the delegate They also serve as a collaboration partner to the delegate when making decisions about how to cast a vote Others o Of course other attendees are always welcome There is always plenty to see and do 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 3 Annual Meeting and Conference Page 2 of 2
up   to   three   churches.      Inquire   within   your   local   association   as   to   who   may   be    attending   a...
2 CONGREGATIONALISM IN ACTION SECTION 2 4 ANNUAL YOUTH GATHERING NAPF National Association of Pilgrim Fellowship and HOPE Heritage of Pilgrim Endeavor Held annually and sometimes in conjunction with the Annual Meeting and Conference high school NAPF and college age HOPE youth meet for fellowship spiritual growth and inspiration and for mission work The bonds of friendship that form endure for many years over many miles Many participating youth go on to ministry in a variety of ways You do not need to have a youth group in your church to send someone to NAPF or HOPE You need only encourage youth you know would benefit from such an experience to attend See Section 4 2 for more information on the Youth Fund for scholarships NAPF National Association of Pilgrim Fellowship NAPF is for youth who are entering 9th through 12th grade NAPF allows teens to meet and bond with other Christians from throughout the country and to share their faith in a fun filled atmosphere Small groups are led by dedicated adult counselors many of whom volunteer and use vacation time to attend In conjunction with tremendous worship music worship times may be led by members of the Commission on Youth Ministries or other adult leaders as well as by local church youth groups who have been asked to prepare and lead morning and evening devotionals Opportunities to express faith through acts of service are always a highlight of the conference Any time a group of young people is gathered there is always plenty of fun HOPE Heritage of Pilgrim Endeavor HOPE offers young adults post high school through age 26 a great opportunity to further grow in faith with peers in an environment similar to NAPF While still including worship speakers small group time and mission work HOPE promotes closer connection with peers and deeper discussion about faith through peer led small groups The experiences and perspectives that each person brings to their small group are valued and can enrich discussions about faith in remarkable ways In addition HOPE provides more opportunities for leadership involvement through prayer team small group leader or CYM Commission on Youth Ministries representative positions HOPE creates a genuine meaningful and fun atmosphere to grow in faith while creating new friendships 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 4 Annual Youth Gathering Page 1 of 2
2.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   ACTION    SECTION   2.4       ANNUAL   YOUTH   GATHERING        NAPF    National   Associ...
Both programs have one thing in common a place time and friends with which to share their faith The leadership team counselors and participants come back year after year If a yearly conference were all the youth programs consisted of it would be wonderful enough However it is only part of the youth program The camaraderie and closeness are established by individuals for a lifetime They cannot wait for only once a year to contact each other They stay connected through three Facebook pages NAPF National Association of Pilgrim Fellowship H O P E and NAPF HOPE Alumni emails Skype and individual communication You Can Help Many youth around the country spend time raising funds to attend NAPF and H O P E but not all youth can afford to attend You can make a contribution to the youth assistance fund through the NACCC You will have the satisfaction of helping to bring our youth closer to Christ through this exciting gathering of Congregational Christian youth See Section 4 2 for more information on the Youth Fund for scholarships 9 18 2013 2 Congregationalism in Action Section 2 4 Annual Youth Gathering Page 2 of 2
Both   programs   have   one   thing   in   common         a   place,   time   and   friends,   with   which   to   share ...
3 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PRACTICE SECTION 3 1 BASIC ETHICS Boundaries are Important The relationship between the pastor and his or her congregation is a special one Pastors have the privilege of walking with the people of God through all of life s joys challenges and transitions Good pastorates and good churches build trustworthy relationships together Trust happens when all are clear about what to expect from the relationships This doesn t mean that hurts and conflict won t happen in the life of the church but trustworthy relationships weather the differences and difficulties and create stronger bonds in the process An understanding of basic ethics will help create trustworthy relationships Bylaws are Important Your Articles and Bylaws are the primary articulation of who you are together Compliance with your bylaws and procedures is foundational in practicing trustworthiness If your bylaws no longer fit your congregation you may consider amending them so that all will know what to expect in your corporate identity and process Confidentiality is Important You may expect your pastor to act with professional confidentiality Professional confidentiality means that your pastor will not gossip about parishioners disclose their difficulties to others without permission or divulge what is learned in pastoral care counseling sessions or health care settings However there are limits to confidentiality Often pastors will receive people in pastoral care counseling only when there is another person in the building This is a good practice and should be followed whenever possible Additionally the pastor s office may have a window advisable or if not the session may be carried on with the door open The fact that a person came in for a session with the pastor is not confidential What is said within the session is Sometimes by virtue of the need to coordinate schedules events and pastoral care other church staff may become privy to pastoral concerns and needs Church staff members are also under the ethical mandate not to gossip about parishioners disclose their difficulties to others without permission or divulge when someone has come for pastoral care counseling sessions or accessed health care services 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 1 Basic Ethics Page 1 of 5
3.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PRACTICE          SECTION   3.1       BASIC   ETHICS        Boundaries   are   Important ...
Clergy are often mandated reporters This means the state requires a minister contact state agencies when there is a disclosure or reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect Proof of such a claim is not required This is often true for disclosure or reasonable suspicion of elder abuse as well State laws vary so it is imperative that the church leaders and clergy know your state s laws see Section 3 2 When in doubt a clergy person should assume he or she is a mandated reporter A Pastor s Relationships in the Church The pastor s role in a church is outwardly a highly social one Relationships are important From interactions at board meetings to hospital bedsides to counseling and pastoral care to home visits to coffee hour chit chat a pastor s presence is part of the spiritual richness of the church community However the burdens of the pastorate can put an internal strain on the pastor Burdens such as conflicting personalities carrying confidential knowledge and unduly high expectations of the pastoral role by parishioners can create a sense of isolation and loneliness for many pastors Because of these typical dynamics there are some general guidelines that help maintain healthy relationships in the church for parishioners and clergy alike Concerning Friendships Because the church is its people the church is a social place Friendships of all kinds and of all levels are formed there The pastor is no exception Pastoral friendships will develop over time and with personal experience Like all people a pastor will find personal compatibilities with some but not with others Still the pastor must accord all parishioners respect acceptance of differences and opportunity to spiritually grow Deeply personal and exclusive relationships between a pastor and a parishioner can be problematic Such relationships can cause other parishioners to feel resentment or accuse the pastor of cronyism They can tempt the pastor to speak too frankly about church difficulties and frustrations potentially placing the parishioner friend in an awkward position as a parish member They can compromise the pastorate in many unintended ways especially when one or the other becomes disappointed in the friendship and the special status accorded by it This is not to say friendships don t form but that they can only go so far Friendships whose depth and transparency compromise the pastor parishioner relationship are too far For these and many other good reasons a pastor must form deep friendships outside of the congregation These friendships are necessary for a pastor to remain healthy and balanced in his or her pastoral role A congregation can encourage their clergy person to form outside relationships by allowing time to serve on community boards and attend community functions and giving the pastor adequate time off away from the church duties Dating in the Church In the old days when the single male pastor came to town many people wanted to introduce him to somebody they thought would be a good spouse With today s interpersonal complexities this quaint notion is just that a quaint notion For many 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 1 Basic Ethics Page 2 of 5
Clergy   are   often   mandated   reporters.   This   means   the   state   requires   a   minister   contact   state    a...
reasons it is unadvisable for a single pastor to date parishioners In some states it is even illegal for a clergy person to become romantically or sexually involved with a member of the church One reason has already been covered in the previous section on friendships but other reasons exist For instance in the course of dating if misunderstandings arise or the relationship turns out to be an incompatible one the break up can cause emotional and spiritual wounds to the individuals and with its ripple effects to the congregation Another important reason is the perceived power in the role of the pastor Many times people project onto the pastor qualities of morality reason and virtue that aren t always earned and may not be present in the individual This can cause someone to feel love for the pastor out of proportion to their knowledge or experience of the pastor this can be true if the pastor is single or married If the pastor begins dating a person who has these feelings and the relationship doesn t work out it is easy for that person to feel led on or deeply rejected by the pastor He or she may believe their feelings have been exploited by the pastor Again the effects of the disillusionment can adversely affect the entire congregation This is not to say that dating in the church doesn t happen and that it can t lead to happy endings but that the complications of relationships that don t work out make it risky business and best to be avoided If such feelings develop between single consenting adults it is important that one of the couple leave the church for a time so that the relationship can develop outside of the complexities of church relationships Relationships that Transgress Boundaries Under no circumstances should a pastor initiate or respond to an overture that is flirtatious sexually suggestive or sexually involved with anyone in the parish male female single married young old Such relationships violate the trust of the congregation and may result in dismissal If sexual engagement or erotic behavior occurs with someone who is not yet an adult it is illegal and needs to be reported to authorities Check your state s statutes regarding mandated reporting If in doubt consult an attorney Please See section 3 2 on Safe Churches There you are urged to adopt policies and procedures that promote good healthy and trustworthy relationships in the congregation We direct you to the website of Church Mutual Insurance Company where you may find free helpful safety resources www churchmutual com If allegations are substantiated be sure to inform the NACCC When a Minister Leaves All pastorates come to an end The reasons why they end vary but each ending changes the relationship of the pastor to the congregation The general rule is that when a pastor leaves he or she relinquishes all pastoral duties and interests and leaves the congregation at least for a designated period of time The primary reason for this is to help the congregation receive and bond with their new minister whether that person is an interim or a newly called and settled minister If your former pastor doesn t return your phone calls or when contacted gently but 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 1 Basic Ethics Page 3 of 5
reasons,   it   is   unadvisable   for   a   single   pastor   to   date   parishioners.      In   some   states,   it   i...
firmly redirects you to your current pastor it is not that she or he doesn t care for you Your former pastor cares so much for you that he or she wants you to have the best possible relationship with the new pastor that you can have and not stand in the way of that The goal of any former pastor should be the unqualified success of the new pastor The goal of any church should be the same Keeping the Interim in Interim Minister The time between settled pastors is called the interim period This time of change often provokes congregational anxiety The pastor called to help the congregation through this time is called an Interim Minister or an Intentional Transitional Minister see the NACCC website for more information Often a church is comforted by the presence of the interim and enjoys the good skills and gifts the interim minister brings to this time of congregational change The natural inclination in such circumstances is to want the interim to stay on as the settled minister However the tradition and wisdom is that it is unethical for an interim minister to place his or her name in candidacy as the settled pastor This rule ensures that an interim minister does not interfere with the search process or the church in their discernment of new leadership This ethical rule helps the church stay true to its task rather than be tempted by a potential quick fix to their need and relief of their anxiety This is a time of vulnerability for churches A good interim knows this respects this and does not position himself or herself to take advantage of that vulnerability by candidating for the settled position Upon conclusion of an interim ministry the same rules for when a pastor leaves above apply Basics for Pastoral Discretionary Funds Many churches have discretionary funds for pastors to distribute to those in need Often use of these funds is confidential protecting the dignity of those who come asking for help However certain safe guards should be put in place to reduce the temptation to misuse or misappropriate these funds Some simple policies will help First a pastor should keep a balance sheet of the fund and record the type of help given e g gas 20 00 The pastor should generate a monthly report to the trustees or deacons or other appropriate groups showing the beginning balance of the fund monthly expenditures and the remaining balance If you collect discretionary funds through a special offering the treasurer should be responsible for counting and depositing the offering and then informing the pastor of the deposit and fund balance Also the treasurer should balance the account as appropriate Sometimes a person wants to help an individual by passing money through the discretionary fund thereby ensuring a tax deduction for their help This is never a good practice unless there 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 1 Basic Ethics Page 4 of 5
firmly   redirects   you   to   your   current   pastor,   it   is   not   that   she   or   he   doesn   t   care   for  ...
is a church wide appeal for a specific cause and clear communication that all funds received for that purpose will be used for that purpose Sometimes an appeal will generate more income than needed Be sure to state in your appeal how overages will be used 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 1 Basic Ethics Page 5 of 5
is   a   church   wide   appeal   for   a   specific   cause   and   clear   communication   that   all   funds   received...
3 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PRACTICE SECTION 3 2 SAFE CHURCHES Disclosure Process The NACCC requires that all ministers seeking a church call through the NACCC search process create a disclosure file for church inspection This is a service the NACCC provides to our member churches to support you in making informed choices for pastoral leadership without breaching your autonomy to discern who the Spirit is calling to ministry in your church Use of NACCC services for the purposes of seeking a pastoral position is considered a privilege and not a right We believe that healthy relationships between a pastor and parish are built not just with attention to ethical confidentiality but also with appropriate transparency The NACCC disclosure policy creates a reasonable standard for the privilege of using the NACCC network when a minister is seeking a pulpit It is a tool for member churches that when used helps a church make healthy decisions when looking for new pastoral leadership This process provides an avenue for self disclosure with dignity and for documentation of reconciliation It allows appropriate communication of group findings so that an abusive personality exposed in an NACCC church in one region can t easily go to another region and repeat the harmful behaviors This policy is established as a service to member churches This is not a credentialing policy The NACCC does not guarantee the accuracy or veracity of the file contents Child Protection Policies The NACCC strongly encourages its churches to adopt child protection policies To that end we direct you to our website for sample policies other churches have used or are using We also direct you to the website of Church Mutual Insurance Company where you may find free helpful safety resources www churchmutual com All churches should have glass in all classroom and youth room doors Special attention to chaperone policies is also essential including but certainly not limited to No youth leader will be alone with a minor especially in a car unless there is an emergency All youth group gatherings will have at least two chaperones in attendance one of each gender if it is a mixed gender group Overnight youth functions of any kind will also have at least two chaperones in attendance one of each gender if it is a mixed gender group Background checks on all volunteers Again we cannot emphasize enough your responsibility to create safe space and engender trust through child protection policies 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 2 Safe Churches Page 1 of 3
3.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PRACTICE    SECTION   3.2       SAFE   CHURCHES        Disclosure   Process         The  ...
Background Checks The NACCC is proud to announce its partnership with Intellicorp a company that does background checks of clergy staff and volunteers for the NACCC and its churches Intellicorp delivers trustworthy inexpensive and timely assistance for such things as pastoral searches newly hired church staff and volunteers in any number of church ministries and programs such as youth workers Christian education workers church day care workers etc More Information More information on the disclosure process child protection policies and background checks can be found on our website at www naccc org Dealing with Scandal and the Media Churches occasionally find themselves embroiled in situations where their minister or other high profile individual associated with the church is accused of improprieties or criminal behaviors Sometimes the nature of the accusation s attracts unwanted media attention that must be managed by the church In such cases it is important that the church appoint one and only one spokesperson to receive media requests for information and statements There should be no comment made by any other staff person officer or member of the church Additionally if deemed appropriate that person should have access to legal counsel and confer with one other designated person for guidance before issuing any statement s If the allegations are criminal in nature please inform the Executive Secretary of the NACCC We are available to support you through these difficult times Healing from Trauma Congregations that suffer trauma of any kind need skills and time to heal Sometimes that skill and help can come from the church s pastor Other times especially when the pastor is the source of the trauma outside help is needed There is no handbook that can provide a step by step response to experiences of betrayal and bullying But there are several resources a church can call upon for help The experience of the NACCC staff is a good place to begin Because betrayals of trust have deep repercussions in a congregation it is often a good idea to bring in an outside advisor to help people sort through their feelings and begin the conversations and actions that can bring healing At times it is appropriate to turn to community experts such as counselors social workers psychologists doctors attorneys and other clergy who may have 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 2 Safe Churches Page 2 of 3
         Background   Checks         The   NACCC   is   proud   to   announce   its   partnership   with   Intellicorp,   ...
experience in leading a congregation through difficult times Services and liturgies of grieving can be of great help in acknowledging the reality of the circumstances while also opening the door to hope and sometimes reconciliation Prayer is always needed It is important to know that you do not have to go through difficult times alone or without the reminder that God s grace is present even in the midst of hurt 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 2 Safe Churches Page 3 of 3
experience   in   leading   a   congregation   through   difficult   times.      Services   and   liturgies   of   grievin...
3 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PRACTICE SECTION 3 3 PERSONNEL CONSIDERATIONS AND POLICIES Importance A healthy church has policies and procedures by which the church and the minister can dialogue effectively about job expectations and performance Because the relationship between pastor and people is a partnership it is vital that each tends to the health of the relationship A supportive pastoral review process is a way to do this Unfortunately too many churches try to implement the process as a reaction to growing dissatisfaction or conflict A healthy process is one that when in place can avoid conflict to begin with The review is not and never should be a punitive process Review Process There are many fine resources for adopting good review processes The NACCC has some resources on its website The Center for Congregational Leadership has many helpful books referenced on its web site If you choose an advisor can help you establish and implement personnel reviews for church staff paid and unpaid A healthy and fruitful process will allow for mutual dialogue between church representatives and employees A good and fair review will be based on a person s job description rather than vague feelings It will help set mutual expectations for the upcoming year and allow the employee to express how the church leadership might help promote successful goals It may also protect the pastor from a future disgruntled member Ultimately the review process is an opportunity to work together in ministry for the glory of Christ Pastor Parish Relations Committee Many churches follow a model of pastoral support through a pastor parish relations committee This committee often acts as a supportive sounding board for the pastor and occasionally is called upon to mediate disputes with the pastor that may arise from the congregation While this committee can be of help to a pastor it is not the same as a personnel committee that is responsible for staffing policies and performance reviews and should not be used as such Call and Employment Because of the unique nature of ministry that presumes a person does not choose to be a pastor but is called by God to be one there is often hesitancy to treat the pastor as a church employee who is subject to accountability Indeed many lay people feel uncomfortable 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 3 Personnel Considerations and Policies Page 1 of 5
3.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PRACTICE    SECTION   3.3       PERSONNEL   CONSIDERATIONS   AND   POLICIES        Import...
reviewing their pastor given their reverence and respect for the office There are even some pastors who will claim that their unique profession places them outside the accountability of personnel reviews However in spite of the unique aspect of call in ministry the pastor is still collecting a pay check from an employer who happens to be the church Personnel reviews are perfectly appropriate and highly desirable promoting transparency and healthy ministries A church can acknowledge and even celebrate a person s call to ministry the anniversary date of being called to that church an ordination date and other pastoral milestones October is Pastor Appreciation month However a pastor who is also an employee should never be exempt from personnel reviews Compensation It is important for churches to provide the pastor with compensation and benefits appropriate for the duties the church expects of their pastor A person with a Master of Divinity degree should be compensated at a level equivalent to other similarly degreed professionals for instance teachers in your community A person with a doctorate D Min or Ph D should be similarly compensated school superintendent is a good parallel here Full time lay ministers can expect a lower compensation than someone with a seminary education Part time ministers can expect compensation based on the number of hours the church asks for Regional urban and rural areas church size and economics all play a part in determining a compensation package A good resource is the Compensation Handbook for Church Staff available at www yourchurchresources com and also on the website of the Minister s and Missionary s Benefit Board MMBB at http mmbb org search results q compensation levels Part Time Ministry and Tentmakers Tentmakers so called because the apostle Paul made tents while also engaging in itinerant ministry are people who work full or part time at a job while also serving a church Necessarily the church work is part time and is secondary to the person s other job In part time ministry it is essential that the expectations of the church and their minister be clearly set forth in a job description The contract of engagement should be reviewed at least annually Churches with part time ministers often must have strong lay leadership to fill in the gaps of ministry 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 3 Personnel Considerations and Policies Page 2 of 5
reviewing   their   pastor   given   their   reverence   and   respect   for   the   office.      There   are   even   som...
Compensation is More than Money Vacation Time o Because a full time pastor puts in 50 to 60 hours of work per week is on call 24 7 spends many evenings away from home in church meetings and rarely has two days off in a row vacation time is essential The industry standard for full time ministers is four weeks off Many churches add another week for so much time served up to a certain amount for example an extra week off for every 3 years served up to six weeks off Some churches grant additional light duty weeks after Christmas and Easter Compensatory Time o Because the nature of ministry creates unpredictable schedules many churches encourage pastors to take comp time when a week has been extraordinarily demanding of a pastor s time or emotional and spiritual resources Because this flexibility is based on trust that the opportunity will not be misused it is important that the pastor be able to explain exercising the privilege if asked Continuing Education Time o The demands and rapid changes of ministry make continuing education a necessity for pastors and churches A pastor who engages in no continuing education often becomes a less effective pastor for the church than those who do Many churches recognize this and grant two weeks off for continuing education beyond vacation time Continuing education time may be used for attendance at the Convocation see Section 1 5 at a retreat or at a seminar Continuing education keeps a pastor s skills sharp and their attitudes fresh and positive Sabbatical Time o Along with vacation time and continuing education time many churches grant their pastor three months off with pay after every 7 years of service This is a time for the pastor to engage in a time of intensive study or to take on a professional project that requires more focus and attention than can be otherwise had Sabbatical planning is usually undertaken in an intentional way by both the church and the pastor While the idea of the pastor being away for such a length of time is often intimidating to a church by its conclusion both the church and the pastor have found new strength resiliency and discernment When done with intentionality it is a positive experience for everyone If you would like to speak with churches who have taken this step the NACCC can put you in touch with them 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 3 Personnel Considerations and Policies Page 3 of 5
Compensation   is   More   than   Money             Vacation   Time    o Because   a   full   time   pastor   puts   in   ...
Benefits o Just like the families in your church clergy families need and deserve access to and help with health insurance retirement savings and disability insurance The NACCC has an agreement with MMBB to provide opportunities for these things When coupled with other compensation the benefits provided by MMBB provide protection and peace of mind for your pastor and his or her family You may contact MMBB directly for the name of a representative in your area You may find more information at their website www mmbb org Compensation Packages Many churches set a total for monetary compensation and then allow the minister to designate the dollars as he or she sees fit There are many clergy tax advantages to doing so Clergy may divide their monetary compensation into categories of Salary given directly to the pastor as taxable income Housing Allowance given directly to the pastor but the IRS considers this to be nontaxable income FICA is usually fully paid by the minister unless the church and minister agree that the church pays Health Insurance paid directly to the health insurance provider by the church Disability Insurance paid directly to the disability insurance provider by the church Retirement Savings paid directly into an established retirement account in the pastor s name by the church Books reimbursed by the church to the pastor upon submission of receipts Auto Mileage Reimbursement reimbursed by the church to the pastor upon submission of mileage log Continuing education reimbursed by the church to the pastor upon submission of receipts or paid directly by the church Clergy and churches can be guided through this process with the Church Law and Tax Report and Guide for Church related Employers available on the MMBB website www mmbb org On Members being Employees A final word is in order on the difficult issue of church members as employees of the church In Congregational practice the settled minister becomes a member of the church In common practice many church employees are also members of the church Perhaps it is the organist or the Sunday School Superintendent or the Parish Nurse No matter what the position the supervision of employees who are church members is often difficult yet especially necessary in these circumstances Needing to terminate an employee who is also a member often creates conflict in the church For this very good reason many churches have policies in place that 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 3 Personnel Considerations and Policies Page 4 of 5
    Benefits    o Just   like   the   families   in   your   church,   clergy   families   need   and   deserve   access  ...
prohibit members from becoming employees with the exception of the pastor Since such a policy isn t always practical here are a few guidelines that can help navigate these choppy waters That person Is always an employee first and a member second This means there is no separating what one does as a member from how one behaves or what one says as an employee The employee designation trumps the member designation Such is true for the pastor as well Is subject to the same review process and personnel policies as all other employees Must respect his or her supervisor and act accordingly This includes being subject to termination if the supervisor is charged with that authority If the supervisor does hold that authority then the church leadership must support the decision of the supervisor even if they don t agree with it The time to question the decision is in the supervisor s review process not in the court of the congregation 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 3 Personnel Considerations and Policies Page 5 of 5
prohibit   members   from   becoming   employees,   with   the   exception   of   the   pastor.      Since   such   a    p...
3 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PRACTICE SECTION 3 4 CHURCHES IN CONFLICT Conflict Happens Conflict in a church while never welcome is to be expected We come together as people at different stages in our faith journey and with different ideas to contribute to the community Naturally opinions can differ one from another Conflict can be both healthy and destructive to the church depending on the circumstances the leadership the personalities involved and any number of other diverse factors It can be brought out by major decisions to be made by an acute and precipitating incident in the church by disagreement over purpose and or over how to resource the church s ministries or other events Destructive conflict left unaddressed will cause great harm to the body of Christ and calls for the engagement of an outside advisor to help you navigate the turbulent waters In cases of destructive conflict an advisor as an outside voice is a must and is a most worthwhile investment in the health of the church A church might also employ an advisor to help avoid conflict for instance to help manage a difficult discussion coming up or to help a congregation recover from a significant trauma How the NACCC Can Help The NACCC has advisors to help you navigate the waters of conflict Knowledgeable in the dynamics of conflict and skilled at listening advisors help you examine your challenges identify your opportunities and discern your options for personal healing and institutional health The NACCC will introduce you to an advisor based on your initial contact with us After that the advisor and the church contract together the terms scope and compensation of the engagement Each advisor is independent of the NACCC The NACCC simply acts as a referring agent To Engage a Conflict Advisor The beginning of the advising engagement is initiated by a telephone call to the NACCC A call for information may be initiated by anyone in the church However if a church wants a referral a call must be initiated by the pastor moderator or chair of a committee or board Each advising engagement will be tailored to the specific circumstances of the church In general the advisor in an initial phone call will gather basic facts from the pastor or lay leader who is designated as the contact person for the church in this process 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 4 Churches in Conflict Page 1 of 2
3.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PRACTICE    SECTION   3.4       CHURCHES   IN   CONFLICT        Conflict   Happens       ...
In some cases but not all a formal agreement will be drafted to promote clarity trust and understanding among all parties Signed by a representative of the Church governing board moderator clerk president etc and with the knowledge and sometimes the signature of the pastor it will include among other things the scope of the engagement articulation of goals for the engagement the time frame for agreed upon activities and goals how the arrangement will be publicized to the church agreed upon fees for both on site and off site labors In engaging an advisor the church agrees to commit itself to the process and do the work required to create successful and positive outcomes be open with the congregation about the arrangement the process and reason a consultant has been engaged facilitate and schedule the gatherings with publicity notifications and other appropriate means publically disseminate the consultant s final report to the congregation or engaging board or committee depending on the duration and scope of the engagement reimburse the advisor for all expenses related to it i e transportation costs accommodations and any materials needed A fee may be negotiated for longer term consultations Note if your church s financial circumstances make it unable to pay for an advisor please enquire of the Dean of the Center for Congregational Leadership about the availability of grants 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 4 Churches in Conflict Page 2 of 2
    In   some   cases,   but   not   all,   a   formal   agreement   will   be   drafted   to   promote   clarity,   trust...
3 CONGREGATIONALISM IN PRACTICE SECTION 3 5 ADVISORS AVAILABLE TO CHURCHES What Are Advisors The NACCC networks with a number of skilled individuals who are willing and able to help churches in a variety of ways These advisors are people who have significant experience in Congregationalism and church life They are also willing to make themselves available to churches who wish to engage in conversations that enhance church vitality Why Choose an Advisor A church for a variety of reasons might choose to engage an outside facilitator to meet with its leadership groups and concerned individuals Generally churches engage an advisor when they want to Ensure good practices of Congregationalism Determine vision and purpose Chart out steps for the future Understand challenges Manage conflict Promote healing Advising topics include Finding your next minister Celebrating ordinations and installations in the Congregational Way Creating a healthy culture for church vitality Creating a culture of generosity for year round stewardship Charting your course with strategic planning Updating your church s structure and governance Reviewing your pastor and other church staff and volunteers Managing conflict Church revitalization Closing Churches 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 5 Advisors Available to Churches Page 1 of 4
3.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   PRACTICE    SECTION   3.5       ADVISORS   AVAILABLE   TO   CHURCHES        What   Are   ...
Resources are Available on Line Before deciding to engage an individual you will want to check out our resources and suggestions on line at www naccc org and www centerforcongregationalleadership org Under the Advising topics you will find useful information and a variety of resources to guide you After reviewing these materials you may decide to engage an advisor to help you take the next steps An advisor can help a church make healthy decisions when responding to current challenges Delivery of consulting services varies based on the type of services needed and the circumstances of the request Services may be delivered by telephone by computer or in person or a combination of all three The costs for services also varies based on delivery method and length of involvement in the consulting process Our advisors come from around the country with a variety of backgrounds clergy laity NACCC staff The type of advising the depth of involvement and the follow up will vary depending upon your circumstances In every case the NACCC works with you to ensure you are receiving high quality appropriate help to address your needs Each advisor is independent of the NACCC The NACCC simply acts as a referring agent To find an advisor best suited to your circumstances and needs call the NACCC office and speak with Betsey Mauro Dean of the Center for Congregational Leadership 1 800 262 1620 x1613 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 5 Advisors Available to Churches Page 2 of 4
    Resources   are   Available   on   Line         Before   deciding   to   engage   an   individual   you   will   want ...
Advising at a Glance Formal agreement needed Vote of Congregation or governing board needed Web Link Length of Engagement Methods of Engagement Costs and reimburse ments Finding your Next Minister Short term Web resources Telephone Webinar In person No fee No fee No fee Travel expenses No No http www naccc org Churches Find ingAMinister aspx Ordinations Installations and Anniversaries Short term Web resources Telephone No fee No fee No No Church Vitality Moderate term Web resources In person No fee Travel expenses Yes Yes Generous Stewardship Short term Web Resources In person No Fee Travel expenses No No Strategic Planning Moderate term In person Travel expenses and stipend Yes Yes Moderate term Web resources In person No fee Travel expenses Only if travel involved Yes http www centerforcongregationall eadership org governance html Moderate term Web resources Webinar In person No fee Travel expenses Only if travel involved Yes In person Travel expenses and stipend Yes Yes Church Structure and Governance Reviewing Pastor Staff and Volunteers Managing Conflict Long term based on a sliding scale and ability to pay 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 5 Advisors Available to Churches Page 3 of 4
    Advising   at   a   Glance        Formal      agreement      needed        Vote     of      Congregation      or     g...
Making the Hardest Decisions of All Advisors can help churches engage in a number of discussions and decisions that can help create and maintain church vitality However not all churches can sustain themselves Today less people are practicing their spirituality in an organized church and an increasing number of people in American society consider themselves to have no religious identity or affiliation The result of these contemporary trends is that many of our churches are experiencing declining membership numbers increasing average age of members and loss of youth in the church Sometimes churches find they have become too small and aged to continue as a self sufficient community There are many options for a church facing these circumstances Some options include Federating with another church Merging with another church Starting over in a different way Dissolving liquidating and distributing assets to o Missions o the NACCC s Remembered Churches Fund for Church Vitality o the NACCC Shared Ministries Fund Endowment o the Center for Congregational Leadership Endowment o any number of other worthy Christian endeavors Before making any decision an NACCC advisor can help you look at options for revitalization and lead you in the difficult and sometimes contentious discussions that come about in times of extreme challenge and when facing momentous decisions Call the NACCC to discuss options for advising and other considerations at times such as these A cautionary note sometimes a maverick minister with a small but significant following will come to a struggling church offering to grow the church by bringing his or her flock into the fold and becoming the minister of the entire group At first glance it seems to be an opportunity to keep the church open and going In our experience these opportunities usually have very unhappy endings for the original Congregationalist members and the beloved Congregational church with its assets becomes the property of another group Again before making any decisions call the NACCC for support and information 9 18 2013 3 Congregationalism in Practice Section 3 5 Advisors Available to Churches Page 4 of 4
        Making   the   Hardest   Decisions   of   All         Advisors   can   help   churches   engage   in   a   number ...
4 CONGREGATIONALISM IN SUPPORT SECTION 4 1 RESOURCES AVAILABLE Where to Find Some Good Resources There are many resources at your fingertips at www naccc org and www centerforcongregationalleadership org Taking some time to explore these sites can lead you to books pamphlets brochures and other information that can be of use to your church and your members In addition to finding information on Congregationalism you can access the NACCC Yearbook which contains information concerning member churches clergy NACCC structure and personnel both paid and volunteer You will also find information about NACCC supported Missions the CFTS program for seminarians help in starting new churches and many other things Enjoy exploring Pastoral Search Process One of the most important transitions in the life of any church is when one pastor leaves and the church embarks on a search for their next pastor The process can seem daunting The NACCC provides many good resources to help you The first place to start is on the website at www naccc org under Churches Finding a Minister The Pastoral Search Handbook and The Guide to Best Practices offer invaluable guidance Additional help is just a phone call away at the NACCC office Additionally NACCC advisors in your area are available to meet with you Missions Church involvement in Mission Outreach is vitally important to church health and ministry However it is often difficult to determine which missions are in genuine need of help and if your contributions are being used for their intended purposes The NACCC maintains critical partnerships with a number of international and national missions ensuring the integrity of these missions When you give to missions through the NACCC you may be assured that your contributions are being appropriately used to forward these exciting ministries Every dollar given to missions goes to missions Devotionals The devotional life is one that deepens faith when practiced regularly There are many fine devotional materials to be found The NACCC produces devotionals for both the season of Advent and the season of Lent The devotions found in these annually issued booklets are written by Congregationalists around the country and are rich in diversity 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Support Section 4 1 Resources Available Page 1 of 3
4.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   SUPPORT    SECTION   4.1       RESOURCES   AVAILABLE        Where   to   Find   Some   Go...
Presenting the NACCC to your members Many times individual church members ask of their leadership Why are we a member of the NACCC What is it they do for us To help you answer that question the NACCC has available a helpful brochure simply explaining this partnership and the benefits of membership You may order these brochures by calling the NACCC at 1 800 262 1620 and asking for the brochure Serving the Churches that Serve Christ What it Means to be a Member of a Congregational Christian Church The classic booklet by Rev Henry David Gray and updated by his son Rev David Gray and grandson Rev Doug Gray is a handy summary of exactly what its title says Measuring 6 inches by 3 inches it is a perfect size to include in a letter or place in the hymnal rack in the pew Booklets may be ordered from the NACCC office for a nominal cost Principles and Practices The Congregational Way of the Churches of the National Association This 12 page booklet by Lloyd Hall Jr and Karl D Schimpf articulates the foundational principles of Congregationalism and the values embraced by the NACCC The Congregational Way Series This series of six colorful trifold brochures by various authors present some fundamental understandings of Congregationalism They include The Biblical Basis of Congregationalism by Harry R Butman The Congregational Way by Steven H Ware Bailey New Testament Tests for Congregationalism by Henry David Gray The Congregational Christian Way of Life by Phil R Jackson The Meaning of the Meeting House by Arthur A Rouner Jr With One Sound of the Heart by Howard J Conn A perfect complement to this series is the trifold brochure What Do Congregational Christians Believe by Steven A Peay All of these brochures may be found in digital format on the website of the Center for Congregational Leadership www centerforcongregationalleadership org or may be ordered from the NACCC office 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Support Section 4 1 Resources Available Page 2 of 3
Presenting   the   NACCC   to   your   members         Many   times,   individual   church   members   ask   of   their   ...
Other Resources There are many other fine resources available too numerous to include here Be sure to visit our websites and explore the treasure trove of information available 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Support Section 4 1 Resources Available Page 3 of 3
Other   Resources         There   are   many   other   fine   resources   available,   too   numerous   to   include   her...
4 CONGREGATIONALISM IN SUPPORT SECTION 4 2 FINANCIAL RESOURCES AVAILABLE The Congregational Investment Trust CIT The CIT was created in 1991 as an endowment trust for donor gifts and contributions to the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches It is also offered as an investment tool that member churches can use for their own endowment gifts When member churches deposit their endowments in the CIT their assets are pooled with the deposits of other investors allowing greater cumulative purchasing power of all CIT participants than a church alone might realize The trust should not be used as a short term or money market vehicle as principal values will fluctuate Building and Loan Fund The Building and Load Fund s purpose is to promote encourage assist and in any manner aid the establishment building remodeling maintenance repair location and or relocation of Congregational Christian Churches which are members of the NACCC Churches may apply for low interest loans The NACCC seeks and encourages contributions to the fund so that it may extend assistance to an increasing number of Churches John Richard Fund John Richard was an avid and gifted musician whose appreciation for the musical arts was a source of inspiration for many The John Calvin Richard Fund was established by his family as a loving and living memorial to him His love for music and theater performance was a large part of his talented but short life The Fund awards annual grants of up to 500 00 to National Association member Churches of 200 members or less which are planning a Fine or Performing Arts event in their Church Application deadline is April 1 and funds must be used by the following April 1 Providence Fund The Providence Fund was established and funded by the host committee of the 2004 Annual Meeting and Conference and continues to grow through gifts from benevolent individuals who wish to help Churches who might not otherwise be able to send delegates to the NACCC s Annual Meeting and Conference 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Support Section 4 2 Financial Resources Available Page 1 of 3
4.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   SUPPORT    SECTION   4.2       FINANCIAL   RESOURCES   AVAILABLE        The   Congregatio...
The Providence Fund provides needs based grants to churches to enable their representation at the Annual Meeting and Conference by offsetting associated expenses Grants of up to 500 00 may be applied to registration and housing costs of the Annual Meeting and Conference Deadline to apply is April 1st Details for eligibility may be found at www naccc org under the donations tab Congregational Foundation Funds Youth Fund GENERAL NAPF AND HOPE SCHOLARSHIP The NACCC Commission on Youth Ministries has scholarships available to provide assistance to reduce the cost of the registration to the NACCC annual youth conference NAPF or HOPE These include one 1 full scholarship and as many part scholarships as deemed appropriate from available funds in a given year Be sure also to check with your state or regional association for scholarships that might be available for NAPF and HOPE scholarships as well as for Mission trips MEMORIAL DAY FRIENDS SCHOLARSHIP A special scholarship in conjunction with the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches Commission on Youth Ministries and the Memorial Day Friends group is being set up to provide full payment of one 1 registration to the NACCC annual youth conference NAPF or HOPE The Memorial Day Friends group is comprised of several past members of NAPF and HOPE Both scholarships provide assistance to anyone wishing to attend NAPF or HOPE who has financial need and has shown outstanding development in any or all of the following areas Christian character Participation in local church youth programs Community service Scholarship applications shall be available to all who are affiliated with a church that maintains membership in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches More information can be found at www naccc org under Churches Services for Churches Seminary Scholarships Through the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies CFTS program several scholarships are available to seminarians who are also enrolled in CFTS These scholarships offset the high cost of a seminary education Many individuals and many churches set up ongoing scholarships in their own names or in honor of others 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Support Section 4 2 Financial Resources Available Page 2 of 3
The   Providence   Fund   provides   needs-     based   grants   to   churches   to   enable   their   representation   at...
Ministerial Assistance and Enrichment Fund This fund provides two kinds of assistance 1 From time to time clergy are faced with personal emergencies and need modest help to meet their challenges The Ministerial Assistance portion provides emergency financial assistance to ministers both active and retired Through this fund dedicated care givers can also receive support in times of need 2 The Enrichment portion of the fund is used as financial supplemental support for a variety of continuing education opportunities including the Minister s Convocation continuing education and sabbatical leaves This fund is not endowed and relies on contributions from individuals and churches for continuing support All help is strictly confidential Inquiries may be made to the Executive Secretary of the NACCC The Retired Ministers Fund This fund was established by the Rev Dr Max Strang a long time Congregational minister and Mr Fred Hoerner a Congregational layman to recognize the value of the service rendered by retired Congregational ministers and their spouses This endowed fund has been supported generously by the churches and individuals of the NACCC and provides a modest annual gift to all retired ministers who have served NACCC churches Contributions Accepted We welcome and encourage churches and individuals to make donations to these funds and scholarships so that these ministries may continue If you would like to know more about any of these funds please contact the NACCC office Contributions may be made on line by going to www naccc org and clicking on the Donate Now button They may also be made by check payable to NACCC and mailed to NACCC P O Box 288 Oak Creek WI 53154 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Support Section 4 2 Financial Resources Available Page 3 of 3
        Ministerial   Assistance   and   Enrichment   Fund                  This   fund   provides   two   kinds   of   as...
5 CONGREGATIONALISM IN AFFILIATION SECTION 5 1 REGIONAL ASSOCIATIONS Congregational Fellowship A vital part of Congregationalism is for churches to be in fellowship with one another Around the country churches gather themselves into state and regional associations for the purposes of mutual support and encouragement to strengthen relationships and help in understanding and responding to regional needs and issues Often these are opportunities for education and program development helping churches gain new ideas and skills The NACCC encourages all of its member churches to participate fully in State Regional Associations whenever possible Moderators Quarterly Conference Calls The NACCC encourages communication among the state and regional associations and with the NACCC To that end the NACCC hosts quarterly conference calls with State and Regional Association moderators for purposes of sharing ideas and information There is no charge to you for these quarterly calls NACCC Support The NACCC makes available to State and Regional Associations access to our conference call provider so that you can teleconference within your region for your particular work together The NACCC issues you a participant code and once the bill for your call is received by the NACCC it is forwarded to you for payment Remember charges do not apply to the quarterly calls the NACCC hosts for regional and state moderators only to your own conference calls if you wish to use our system Also you may have access to the list of Year Round Delegates for your region as a conduit for communication for your activities Helpful Information for the NACCC from State and Regional Associations To facilitate good communication it would be very helpful if State and Regional Associations would inform us of Regional meetings o Send us your meeting announcements and agendas o If you schedule your spring meeting in the fall let us know so we can put your spring meeting on our calendar well in advance 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Affiliation Section 5 1 Regional Associations Page 1 of 2
     5.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   AFFILIATION    SECTION   5.1       REGIONAL   ASSOCIATIONS        Congregational   F...
o Let us know if we can provide any information or personnel for your meeting Vicinage councils ordinations and installations o Let us know if you have vicinage councils coming up so we might pray for your discernment and wisdom in the process and send letters of greeting and encouragement Moderators and Officers o Tell us when a new moderator is elected so we can include that person on our conference calls o Tell us who your officers are so we may publish that information on our NACCC website For all of the above contact Linda Miller lmiller naccc org or 1 800 262 1620 x1618 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Affiliation Section 5 1 Regional Associations Page 2 of 2
               o Let   us   know   if   we   can   provide   any   information   or   personnel   for   your   meeting    ...
5 CONGREGATIONALISM IN AFFILIATION SECTION 5 2 AFFILIATED ORGANIZATIONS Colleges Because they respected learning and felt the need to have educated ministers the early New England Congregationalists founded the first colleges and universities in our country including Harvard Yale Dartmouth Williams Bowdoin Middlebury and Amherst The Congregationalists who founded these and many other institutions took care to make them self perpetuating colleges with their own boards of trustees not church sponsored institutions like their English counterparts Today there are no strictly Congregational Christian colleges or seminaries Those called to ministry in the Congregational Way study at many institutions including those sponsored by other denominations They can also benefit from special study programs under the aegis of the Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies a division of the NACCC Olivet College Olivet Michigan Founded by Congregationalists Olivet College is a private liberal arts college located in south central Michigan The college was the first in the country by charter to accept women and persons of color Its more than 900 students participate in a unique educational experience known as the Olivet Plan As part of this effort students are engaged in both classroom and practical programs incorporating real world experiences with lectures and service learning The College s commitment to providing access to a comprehensive and diverse learning environment is reflected in all aspects of the Olivet Plan The aspirations of Olivet College are advanced in the College s vision Education for Individual and Social Responsibility Piedmont College Demorest Georgia Piedmont is a private liberal arts college founded by Congregationalists and based upon the Judeo Christian tradition The Judeo Christian tradition comprises the humane values upon which Western Civilization is based It promotes concern for others and the acceptance for individual responsibility that are essential for ethical conduct and citizenship Through fostering understanding and acceptance of this tradition Piedmont College strives to further develop the individual s personal growth through self understanding and the ability to lead and work effectively with others 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Affiliation Section 5 2 Affiliated Organizations Page 1 of 3
5.      CONGREGATIONALISM   IN   AFFILIATION    SECTION   5.2       AFFILIATED   ORGANIZATIONS        Colleges         Bec...
Research and History American Congregational Association Congregational Library and Archives Boston Massachusetts The Congregational Library and Archives are administered by the American Congregational Association a non profit organization founded May 25 1853 The 1853 ACA charter stated that the organization was incorporated for the purpose of establishing and perpetuating a library of religious history and literature of New England and for the erection of a suitable building for the accommodation of the same and for the use of charitable societies It was felt that the latter should be done or the original Puritan literature would be lost The Congregational Library now holds 225 000 items documenting the history of one of the nation s oldest and most influential religious traditions from their website www 14beacon org International Associations International Congregational Fellowship The International Congregational Fellowship is a vibrant global expression of a multiplicity of local Congregational churches and associational bodies across the world For Congregationalists how our churches are organized and run have to reflect the principles and values that Jesus taught and the pattern we find for church life and Christian leadership in the Bible Congregational churches do not exist in isolation but have traditionally formed free associations or networks ICF provides a global identity and a valuable opportunity for Congregationalists from all over the world to enjoy fellowship with one another from their website www intercong org ICF holds a conference every four years American Committee of the International Congregational Fellowship AMCO This organization is comprised of Congregationalists representing the North America region of the International Congregational Fellowship Members who attend the Annual Meeting and Conference often meet together and invite all to join them in this vibrant fellowship 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Affiliation Section 5 2 Affiliated Organizations Page 2 of 3
Research   and   History         American   Congregational   Association    Congregational   Library   and   Archives ,   ...
Societies Washington Gladden Society The purpose of the Washington Gladden Society is to honor Washington Gladden s memory by applying the insights of the Social Gospel Movement to the important controversial ethical and theological issues of our own times and serving as a forum for discussion among Christians and local Churches in the Congregational tradition This Society was born out of the needs expressed by laity and clergy who felt it worthwhile to expand the witness of the NACCC while keeping their decisions actions and resolutions independent of the Association s business Meetings are held at the time of the Annual Meeting and Conference For more information please go to the website www washingtongladdensociety org The Congregational Society for Classical Retreat Guides This Society s mission is to offer silent retreats days of prayer and other useful means of lifting up the power of individual and corporate prayer life See Section 1 5 for more information on retreat opportunities for clergy and laity 9 18 2013 4 Congregationalism in Affiliation Section 5 2 Affiliated Organizations Page 3 of 3
Societies         Washington   Gladden   Society         The   purpose   of   the   Washington   Gladden   Society   is   ...