By: Roger Wiles, Executive Director of Central Services
There is a business side to ministry in our day that did not exist a few generations ago. A couple of generations back churches did not have to worry about complying with such laws as the Affordable Care Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, and various anti-discrimination statutes. I can remember when churches would not have given a thought to obtaining religious non-profit 501(c)(3) status under the Internal Revenue Service.
Even though the ARPC has significant protection under the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, we are obligated to follow and obey, what the late Justice Antonin Scalia called, “generally applicable laws.” The Office of Central Services is here to help carry the increasing burden of what it takes for the agencies, presbyteries, churches, boards and committees of the ARPC to “Render to Caesar.”
“Central Services, the agency of the Executive Board of General Synod, exists to support and encourage churches, pastors, agencies, and boards of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, as together weshare the Gospel with the world. The ministries of Central Services include: Administrative Support, Finances, Human Resources, Employee Benefits, Publications and Promotion.” Mission Statement
Central Services is charged to serve, support, and encourage the agencies, presbyteries, churches, boards and committees of the ARPC. Central Services does not set the direction, priorities, or budget of the agencies, presbyteries, churches, and boards and committees of the ARPC. But Central Services cannot do our work well for the benefit of the greater Church without communication from all the leadership and governing bodies of the ARPC.
The Office of Central Services is here to encourage, support, and serve every congregation, presbytery, agency, board, and committee. To do our work we need every church Treasurer, Clerk of Session, Clerk of Presbytery, Agency Director, Board and Committee Chairmen to give us the information we need to serve the ministries of the ARPC.
Please Consider the Following as Particularly Important:
- Change in the status, position, benefits, salary, address etc. of any minister or employee is critical to the work of Central Services.
- Change in finances and/or budgets effects the role of Central Services in maintaining the financial integrity of the Church.
- Creating or revising official church documents at any level may conflict with the Manual of Authorities and Duties, Form of Government, and Retirement and Insurance benefit plans. Submit new or revised documents to Central Services for review before use or publication to avoid unintended consequences.
- Information regarding local congregations, presbyteries, and agencies allows Central Services and the ARP Magazine to inform and encourage the greater church regarding God’s good work in the ARPC.