NACBA Weekly Update
June. 11, 2010

Many clergy may be ill-prepared for retirement
The Associated Press
Clergy seem an unlikely group to be facing a retirement security crisis. They generally are looked up to by their parishioners as wise and frugal. Their pay, although modest, is enough to get by on. And they typically are provided with housing during their careers. Yet many find themselves in a financial quandary as they approach or reach retirement, squeezed by challenges that sometimes exceed those of other professionals.More

Protestant pastor on the job hunt? Good luck in this market
The Tennessean via USA Today
Too many preachers, too many small churches and a bad economy make this one of the worst job markets for Protestant ministers in decades. According to the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches, there are more than 600,000 ministers in the United States but only 338,000 churches. Many of those are small churches that can't afford a full-time preacher. Among Presbyterians, there are four pastors looking for work for every one job opening.More

Hot ideas for summer church fun
Baptist Press
Did you realize that God's work doesn't take a sabbatical during summer months? How can your church seize the unique evangelism and fellowship opportunities of the season? Try some of these fresh summertime ideas.More

Student ministers face challenges as age separates them from youth
Associated Baptist Press
Age can influence the career direction a youth minister or campus minister takes. Family transitions may lead to a ministry change, or the minister may feel age has separated him or her from students. "There may be a time when you feel like you can't relate...You may think their world is so different than mine," said Don Mattingly, assistant to the president for strategic initiatives at Mercer University. Mattingly believes two major factors influence the direction a youth minister's career may take -- the individual’s age when entering youth work and whether the minister earns a seminary degree.More

Update: Connecticut School Board resumes church graduation battle
The Christian Post
The Enfield Board of Education in Connecticut decided Tuesday night to re-enter a court battle over holding graduations at a church. Just days after voting not to appeal a federal judge's ruling barring two high schools from holding graduations at First Cathedral, the board reconvened for a re-vote and chose to rescind its previous action."If we don’t appeal it, we’re somewhat saying we acknowledge or validate that opinion," said Greg Stokes, chairman of the board, according to NBC Connecticut.More

Simple tips for hiring a vendor for your church
Church Safety
When you need a plumber to fix the restrooms, a repairman for the copier, or a supplier to satisfy your congregation's coffee craving, where do you turn? You could pull out the Yellow Pages and pick one, but how do you know that you're getting the best service at the best price? These simple tips can help you hire the best vendor for your next project.More

Louisiana Senate committee opts to shelve guns in church bill
The Associated Press via USA Today
A Senate committee shot down a bill that would have allowed concealed weapons to be carried inside churches. The bill, which had passed the House in a 74-18 vote, found no support in a Senate judiciary committee. The Senate Judiciary B Committee voted 3-0 against the proposal.More

Singles in the church: Faith with work
Crosswalk
Among all of the mischaracterizations Christian singles face in church, one of the most rampant involves the idea we have oodles of time to volunteer. How often has the nursery coordinator at your church visited your singles class asking for help with the kiddos, and then you find out yours was the only class solicited? Does your church leadership take your time for granted when somebody needs help moving, or an event needs organizing?More

Community service is the religion
Los Angeles Times
Estreanda Fulford, a social worker for San Diego County, is in daily contact with the homeless, the formerly homeless and the soon-to-be homeless. But this encounter was not part of her job — not her paying job, anyway. Fulford spends 30 to 40 hours a week volunteering as the leader of a ministry for homeless people for the Rock Church, a fundamentalist megachurch in Point Loma that is making its mark as a powerhouse of community service as well as evangelism.The Rock says it contributed 615,000 hours of service to the community last year, including 166,000 hours for the benefit of local government in San Diego.More

Enlisting great Sunday School leaders
LifeWay
Many churches experience the most intense season of leader enlistment at the beginning of summer. Here are a few considerations for enlisting quality Sunday School leaders. These principles probably applying to enlisting workers for other ministries, as well.More

Oil spill touches Louisiana churches
UMC
The Rev. Kirby Verret is working all sides of the Gulf Coast oil spill disaster that threatens both his small Louisiana church and his community. He is trying to tend to his 178-member Native American United Methodist congregation at Clanton Chapel in Dulac, La., offering support to families and people who fish for a living. And he is negotiating with British Petroleum, which wants access to the large, centralized sewer system -- built after Hurricane Juan in 1985 -- on the church's property and space to house cleanup teams on church grounds.More

Church's garden provides fresh veggies to area food banks
Citizen-Times
Volunteer gardeners have learned to get creative with recipes now that the harvesting is under way in the community garden at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in North Asheville, N.C. But these gardeners aren't filling their baskets just for themselves. The broccoli they picked was delivered to the Asheville-Buncombe Community Christian Ministry's Veterans Restoration Quarters in Oteen, N.C., and volunteers took collard greens to the Steadfast House women's shelter. Twenty-five families with various skill levels spend between two and four hours a week, working side by side, planting and weeding and harvesting because they were drawn together by the idea of enjoying and sharing the fruits of their labor.More

More black churches take on AIDS battle
Chicago Tribune
On a recent Sunday morning, the Rev. Stephen Thurston stood on the pulpit before a packed New Covenant Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago while a health care worker swabbed his upper and lower gums. After his sermon, she announced the results: Thurston had tested negative for HIV. It was an unusual scene in an African-American church, where for decades many black ministers and parishioners have stood silent as HIV and AIDS festered in the community. But in recent years, with more access to information about the disease, increasing numbers of black churches are slowly becoming outspoken advocates for testing, increased government funding and education.More

Are there dangers in being 'spiritual but not religious'?
CNN
It's a trendy phrase people often use to describe their belief that they don't need organized religion to live a life of faith. But for Jesuit priest James Martin, the phrase also hints at something else: egotism. "Being spiritual but not religious can lead to complacency and self-centeredness," says Martin, an editor at America, a national Catholic magazine based in New York City. "If it's just you and God in your room, and a religious community makes no demands on you, why help the poor?" More

NACBA TeleWeb: Tax and Legal Update: Focus Governance
NACBA
Churches function under many different models of governance but regardless of the model your congregation has adopted they must function under the federal and state laws. This seminar, presented by Frank Sommerville, will review models of governance and help participants to ask the right questions to be sure they have developed adequate models. Join us for this 1-hour TeleWeb seminar on Thursday July 1 at 1:30 p.m. CDT. Member price: $59; non-members: $69. Register today!More

NACBA extends early bird discount!
NACBA
Even though registrations for our quickly-approaching national conference in Orlando are running almost 10 percent ahead of this time last year, we want to make it possible for even more people to attend. That's why we're rolling back the registration fees to the early-bird rates and making them available through Monday, June 28. The early-bird rate is $650 for members and $808 for non-members, but there has also been a discount on your hotel room bill at the time of checkout of $30 per night for up to five nights if you stay in the Gaylord Palms. The $150 room credit back at checkout brings your price down to $500.

We've also decided to eliminate that five night maximum for the hotel room rebate. Now you can come early or stay after the conference and receive $30 off your room bill for all of your nights in the Palms. Pack up the family and enjoy all of the greater Orlando area attractions while staying in this fantastic hotel at an incredible room rate! More