Local Church Resources

Local Church Treasurers and Finance Staff -  This is our online version of a Local Church Treasurer Manual.  A compilation of resources from the conference that we hope will be useful to you.  If there are other items you would like to see in this section, please let us know.

As always, we are available to help with questions and issues as they arise.

Rev. Dan Wilson-Fey, Conference Treasurer and Benefits Officer, dan@umoi.org.


General Information

Discipline -  An excerpt from the 2016 Book of Discipline regarding the responsibilities of local church treasurers, financial secretaries and finance committees.

Internal Control Guidelines - A list of things to consider when making policies or developing financial procedures.

Records Retention - A 2017 guide from GCAH showing the amount of time common documents must be kept on file.

Charitable Donations - Information regarding commonly asked questions dealing with charitable donations.

Benevolence Fund Policy - A guide from GCFA discussing the legal regulations regarding Benevolence Funds.

Moving Policy - Conference rule 5.300, from the 2019 Journal, regarding reimbursement of moving expenses.

Moving Expense Worksheet - To be completed and submitted with receipts for pastoral moving expenses.

Resource List - commonly used helpful websites.

501C3 Group Ruling Request - You can obtain a copy of the IRS Group Ruling Letter verifying the 501(C)3 status of your church.

Tips on Working Remotely - When employees need to work remotely, from home, or other out-of-the-office work arrangements, here are some tips and best practices.


Interface with Conference Treasurer's Office

Interface with Conference Treasurer's Office

Year End Statistics - Each church must submit Statistical Tables I, II and III to update General Church records, and, among other things, provide the information needed to calculate each church's Shared Ministry Apportionment. 

You can enter your statistical information and look up historical data at the Ezra website sponsored by GCFA  (ezra.gcfa.org) 

Instructions and detailed information about these tables can be found on our website at Resources/Local Church Forms and Information/Forms Due January 31, 2021.

Conference Budget - |2019| |2020| |2021| |2022| At each Annual Conference session, representatives from each local church meet together to accomplish the business of the conference.  One of the duties of the members is to approve the Conference Budget for the next year, affirming that their church will support this decision by paying their share - or their apportionment.  The 2022 document is a copy of the budget approved at the 2021 annual conference on which your 2022 apportionments are based.  The descriptions are sometimes helpful for church members wanting to understand where their dollars are going.

Apportionment Calculation - Conference Shared Ministry Apportionments (the apportioning to each church of their fair share of the budget approved by members of Annual Conference) are calculated based on Conference Rules 5.140 - 5.145.  This document explains the calculation process.

2021 Monthly Remittance Form (Excel) / (PDF)  - Churches should complete and include this form with any payments toward their Conference Shared Ministry Apportionment, Conference Askings, and Special Offerings for Conference or General Church Benevolent Giving. 2020 Monthly Remittance Form (Excel) / (PDF)

2021 Monthly Benefits Remittance Form (Excel) / (PDF)  - Churches should complete and include this form with any payments toward their Health Insurance Premiums, Pension Plans, and Flexible Benefit Plans for Conference Board of Pensions. 2020 Monthly Benefits Remittance Form (Excel) / (PDF) 

2021 Conference Fund Listing - Summary of Conference Fund Numbers and various GBGM Project Numbers to use when completing the Monthly Remittance Form (see above). 2020 Conference Fund Listing -

Payroll and Tax Information

Clergy Moving Expenses: Reporting on W-2  If you received a new pastor in the calendar year, you must include all payments and/or reimbursements made by the church to or on behalf of the pastor when calculating Taxable Income. You can find more information on Wespath’s website: www.wespath.org/movingexpenses/      

Clergy Payroll Guide - |2019| |2020| |2021| Processing payroll for Clergy is a little different than processing lay employee payroll.  This document contains guidelines for paying clergy.

Lay Employee Payroll Guide - |2019| |2020| |2021| This document contains guidelines for paying lay employees.

Paychex Payroll and Tax Compliance Solutions- click here to learn more about this payroll provider familiar with the unique needs of church payroll. UMC Organizations receive a 35% discount through Wespath. 

Employee or Independent Contractor? - Federal and State regulations determine whether someone performing work for the church is an employee - requiring tax withholding and reporting - or an independent contractor - requiring a 1099 form.  This document offers an explanation of the differences.  For specific instances, you can contact the state bureau of labor for confirmation.

Accountable Reimbursement Policy - Reimbursing expenses for clergy and lay employees must be done in accordance with a written Accountable Reimbursement Policy, or the reimbursements could be considered taxable income.  This guide from GCFA answers questions about reimbursement and includes a sample policy.

Housing Allowance - This guide from GCFA answers questions about the Housing Allowance for Clergy

Transportation - This guide from GCFA and the IRS gives information regarding the particular regulations related to reimbursing transportation expenses.

Tax Letter - |2018| |2019| |2020| Each year the conference provides information and examples for completing and filing the W-2 for both clergy and lay employees. Use the 2020 letter for preparing 2020 W-2s.

941 Letter - Churches with no lay employees, and who don't withhold federal income tax for their pastor are not required to file form 941.  This is a copy of a letter from the IRS verifying this.  (Note: churches are still required to file form W-2 and the Oregon OQ for the Oregon Workers' Benefit Assessment Tax)

New hire Reporting - Churches must notify the state whenever there is a clergy appointment change or a new lay employee is hired.  Forms and instructions are available at the following state websites:

Idaho:https://www2.labor.idaho.gov/newhire/  Oregon:https://employerportal.oregonchildsupport.gov/index.aspx?ReturnUrl=%2f


Annual Audit - each church is required to perform an audit of its financial records each year.  The audit does not have to be performed by a CPA and there are step by step guidelines in the Audit Guide provided by GCFA (see below).  Some churches have found that partnering with another church gives them more flexibility in finding someone to perform the audit who is not already working in a financial capacity at the church or related to someone who is.  Some have also found that they benefitted from and enjoyed meeting together after the audit to compare best practices.

Guide, Form and Instructions, Financial Audit Guide FAQ

Building Use  

Leasing Your Facility - Information from GCFA to review when considering leasing your facility to outside groups.

Cell Tower - Information from GCFA related to Cell phone companies using church steeples as cell towers or siting towers on church property.



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