Just Launched: What Vestries Need to Know About Money

We just launched What Vestries Need to Know About Money For Individuals and For Groups.

The vestry of a church has many responsibilities, including making decisions on all financial and property matters. Every vestry member needs to know about the vestry’s responsibilities for the financial health and well-being of the church for which they are stewards.

Details about payroll, taxes, benefits, clergy and lay compensation, and budgeting all fall under the vestry’s duties. If you have ever served on a vestry, you may have been aware of some of these, but perhaps you weren’t aware of others. In this course, you will learn the important details about managing a church’s finances that fall to the vestry. You will also learn about how duties are divided between the vestry and the church financial staff or officers. For example, the vestry is responsible for setting payroll and benefits, but a financial staff person will actually process payroll. The vestry is responsible for making sure that payroll is paid properly and that income and expenses are compared to the budget, but a bookkeeper will be responsible for creating balance sheets.

Most importantly, you will learn that a church’s budget is a theological statement of a congregation’s ministry and mission priorities. It requires as much attention to detail and care as other aspects of a church community.

This course is ideal for any new vestry member, vestry members who want a refresher on finances, or anyone curious about how church finances work.

Just Launched: Raising Resilient Children with Amelia Dress

We have just launched Raising Resilient Children with Amelia Dress For Individuals and For Groups.

People are looking for hope.

No matter where you fall on the political spectrum, recent years have been difficult. Between the Covid-19 pandemic (and the massive economic pressures associated with it), political disfunction, public unrest, and our alienated culture, many people are unhappy and anxious.

During times of trouble or turbulence, parents have an extra challenge: that of raising children with a sense of stability — providing hope and meaning when the messages that kids receive from the world are far from reassuring.

In this class, Amelia Dress offers guidance in how to raise children who can manage difficult times and retain their hope for the future; a sense that their lives have meaning, purpose, and value. Amelia is a pastor in the United Church of Christ and has written many articles on parenting, as well as the book The Hopeful Family: Raising Resilient Children in Uncertain Times. In her book and in this class, Amelia examines ways by we can teach children that, though our external situations may change, we will always have opportunities to live lives filled with meaning and purpose.

In this course Amelia talks about skills related to open-heartedness: silence and hospitality, by which we learn to welcome the unexpected. She examines skills related to healing: mindful eating and rest, by which we restore ourselves to do meaningful work in the world. She teaches skills related to letting go: forgiveness and blessing, by which we learn to move into the future without staying mired in mistakes and with the power to help others along the way. Finally, she summarizes her main message of hope and the power of sacred stories to help teach children the values and skills we wish them to learn.

This course is ideal for anyone taking care of or working with children and youth — and for anyone looking for hope during a difficult season in their lives.