In response to a student question as to whether parsonage value was taxable if provided by the church, tax accountant Mark Friesen has provided this information:
Like other fringe benefits, free or discounted church-provided lodging is usually subject to income and other taxes. To determine the fair market value of the housing provided to an intern, the church may check local newspaper listings for comparable rental properties or ask a local realtor for an estimate of the property’s rental …
After Easter, cluster meetings begin! Here's the schedule:
Washington Cluster: April 9-10, at Rainbow Lodge, North Bend, Wash. (Julie Josund)
Twin Cities First Year Concurrents: April 10, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Luther Seminary, Northwestern Hall Room 230. (Steve McKinley)
Northern Minnesota-North Dakota Cluster: April 16, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at Hope Lutheran Church, South Campus, Fargo, N.D. (Steve McKinley)
Twin Cities West Cluster: April 18, 9 a.m.-3 p.m., at Trinity Congregation/Augsburg College, Minneapolis, …
Pastors work in a complex financial situation. Their salary is frequently public and is approved as part of the church budget process. In addition, they have a unique standing before the IRS, both as common law employees and as self-employed for Social Security purposes. The complexities that result are often not well understood by pastors or their tax advisors, and there are specialists in the tax preparation industry who work solely with clergy.
But student interns are not yet clergy! It is important …
Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 10.
If you are one of our perfectionist interns, you will set your alarm clock for 2 a.m. when you go to bed on Saturday night, then wake up and push the proper buttons to set the clock ahead one hour.
If you are a normal productive intern, you will set the clock ahead before you go to bed on Saturday night.
If you are one of those I-do-my-best-work-at-the-last-minute (meaning I-only-work-at-the-last-minute) types, you might still be working on Sunday’s …
The CL office is running out of file space—and you can help. Once you've submitted your mid-year and final evaluations online, all we need from you are the signed signature pages that accompany them. There's no need for you to print and submit the entire evaluation form; we can access that portion online ourselves. So please think of our files (and consider the trees) when you go to print your evaluations—and just go for the signature pages.
At Bethany-Elim in Ivanhoe, MN, where Steve Rasmussen and Julie Anderson are the pastors and Kent Krumwiede is the intern, some wonderful veteran members of the congregation were "present" virtually for worship on the Sunday after Christmas. For a Lessons and Carols service on that day, elderly and shut-in members of the congregation were videotaped reading the lessons, and the videos were played at worship as part of the service.
When one of those members died a few weeks later, she had “just …
by Ingrid Arneson Rasmussen
“A good funeral gets the dead to where they are going, and the living to where they need to be.” –Thomas Lynch
During theology school, I took a preaching course on death and dying with Tom Long. Long assigned Thomas Lynch’s book entitled The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade. Lynch, a poet and a funeral director in Michigan, shares Long’s abiding interest in the way that the living treat the dead.
Unless your internship congregation …
Are blue Priuses the official vehicle of choice for ELCA Lutherans these days? Maybe they are in the state of Washington. These four lined up side by side at the ordination of Annette Andrews-Lux at Trinity Lutheran in Freeland on January 19. (Jim Lindus, Luther Seminary Board Chair, is the senior pastor at Trinity.) Word has it that three of these cars belong to ELCA pastors, and the fourth is driven by a person from the NW Washington Candidacy Committee. (photo by Julie Josund)
Tony Fair, who was in the midst of a concurrent internship at Messiah Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, died on Dec. 18, 2012, after a long series of health struggles. Tony was a delightful, happy, energetic man who, not long before his death, was working on his approval essays from the intensive care unit.
We join with the entire seminary community in sending sympathy and prayers to Tony’s sons Everett and Maddox and his sister Theresa. May God’s comfort be with those who mourn.
A time …