Abiding Grace Lutheran Chapel   Launch Team Meeting  7/21/2010

Attendees: :  Phil and Sally Hart, Nolan Clemens, John Nelson, Patti Langsdale, Tim Draney, Kim Saunders, Carl Christensen, Kenn Mingus

Phil opened in prayer at 7:00 pm.

Picnic Review

The picnic and worship on Sunday was wonderful.  We had 58 people sign in and think that about 70 people attended.  The ones that didn't sign in were probably visitors from Calvary Lutheran.  Another picnic is a great idea – when the weather is cooler.

Stewardship and Treasurer's report

Nolan reported that we received $1216.00 in offerings.  The amount of checks was $720 and f that amount, $70 was beyond financial intent, and $400 was outside of financial intent.

When we did the stewardship assessment a few weeks ago, we only had 11 responses.  We know that we have more than 11 family units so the question is how to go about reassessing the bigger group in order to get a true financial assessment.  We know that we have $3000 a month and we can do a formal stewardship drive later.  Kenn thinks we can comfortably double the amount from our previous assessment.  If we are comfortable thinking we can get twice as much, we can move forward with renting a location.  We should have a bank account very soon.  Sally and Phil will draft a letter and send to John and/or Lynette to get a new financial assessment out.  The letter will include that we intend to start worshiping August 15 and also how to send money to our bank account.

Nolan met with Pastor Steve Kanouse.  Nolan created a paper with the questions and answers from that meeting.  I have included this paper.  

One of the questions that Nolan and Steve discussed was Risk Management insurance.  Tim Draney offered to look at the policy and see if anything else is needed.  

After his meeting he created a document entitled Financial Related Items for Consideration and Possible Action.  I have included this document.

Nolan will be our temporary treasurer and Lynette Clemens will be our temporary Financial Secretary and serve as designated agents for AGLC.

Nolan will help design a spreadsheet for the membership secretary to use.  

Nolan and Carl will work on a proposed budget for the remainder of 2010.  

Nolan proposed that the LT select three persons to have signature authority on the checking account.  We selected Kenn, Phil, and Carl.  

On the last page of the document "Financial Related Items for Consideration and Possible Action", Nolan proposed that $182.40 be reserved for mission support.  This is 15% of the picnic/worship offering.  We chose to round that up to $200 to give to the synod office.

Nolan also drafted a document for "in-kind" gift acknowledgement.  

Nolan would like to create a binder of policies and procedures as well as other documents that we create.  The will be helpful to us later in applying for grants for helping other chapels that start in the future.

Kenn will talk to Steve and/or Kevin Kanouse about where our membership stays.

Nick's services and agreement

Kenn talked to Jane Mar and once we have decided on what we can commit to Nick, she will create the document.  We would like to have Nick involved with bible study, but may not be able to afford that right now.  We are comfortable in hiring Nick for Sunday now and revisiting hiring him for bible study in October.  Nolan will get signature from Nick on correct forms for payment.


John's neighborhood room has an occupancy level of 50.  It is available now every Sunday morning for $100 for 4 hours.  We felt that the occupancy level would not allow us to grow.

The Montessori school told Phil that they would do a month to month lease for at least 3 months to see if we have enough money.

Carl also is trying to talk to the rabbi at the synagogue in Colleyville.  The rabbi is out of town until August 2nd.

We will begin worshiping on August 15th at  Highland Meadows Montessori Academy in Southlake.  They have a microwave, coffee pots, keyboard and PA system that we can use.  Patti is looking for a keyboard player.  We will meet from 9:30 -11:30 and will include a service, coffee time, and Sunday School.  We can then clean up and leave by noon.

Tonya Tomlin has offered to be in charge of Altar Guild.  Kim and Patti have offered to be on the Altar Guild team.

Kenn or Phil will check on getting a cross for the altar.

We need to ask the school if there is a place that we can store things.  

Patti is going to provide non-flame candles.

Augsburg has an online facility that one can build bulletins and pull in the lectionary.  The price is based on the size of the church and may come with a 30 day free trial.  John thinks it costs about $200 a year.  Sally volunteered to type the bulletin and Tim Draney offered to print it at his office.

Carl is going to check on paraments.  (John mentioned that Julie loves to sew and so does Susie H.)

Communications and IT

John is working on our website this weekend.  He will set up an email account for finance and other groups.  He has one set up called Discipleship.  The launch team will look at it and give suggestions.  After that, we will announce it to the "interested people" of AGLC.  He will emphasize inviting people to the chapel, love of Christ, community, as well as having links to the synod and the ELCA.  He can also add a link for prayer requests.  Right now there is already a launch team distribution list – lt@abidinggracedfw.org.  We can set up separate distribution lists for those that want to join and for those that have already joined other churches, but want to be kept informed.

Prayer chain

Kim will create a letter to send to the discipleship group to ask if they would like to pray on behalf of people who submit prayer requests to us.

SAWC Administration

Kenn will fill out the necessary forms.  He will also ask about the appointment of a congregation of record.  We can use the model constitution from the synod.  


Kenn will also ask the synod about moving our memberships.

Congregational Meeting

We would like to have a congregational meeting on the Sunday after Labor Day, September 12th  to vote on a council.  At that meeting, we should also discuss time and talent and getting people assigned for worship opportunities such as ushers, Altar Guild, readers, coffee hosts, etc.


We need a phone number for the chapel so that someone could at least get a recording of when and where our services are.  Phil is going to talk to AT&T about adding a line with the name Abiding Grace

Bishop's meeting at LW after the second vote

The Bishop was promised a meeting at LW after the second vote.  This would be a good opportunity to explain that they are no longer members of the ELCA, but the ELCA has a new chapel in the area.  The LW council has changed since that promise and we probably need to remind them.  Jeff Trang is still on the council and we will ask him to bring this up at a council meeting.

Service Projects

Phil will contact Habitat for Humanity, Mid-Cities Care Core and other service groups.  

Kenn closed with prayer at 9:15

Next meeting is Monday August 2, 2010

Respectfully Submitted,

Kim Saunders


Abiding Grace Lutheran Chapel

Leadership Team Meeting

July 21, 2010

Financial Related Items for Consideration and Possible Action

  1. Review of notes from meeting with Rev, Stephen Kanouse, ELCA Director of Evangelical Missions on July 16, 2010 re the formation of synodically authorized worshipping community I/N/O Abiding Grace Lutheran Chapel (“AGLC”).

  1. Proposed actions

  1. Proposed that Nolan Clemens be designated as Temporary Treasurer and Lynette Clemens be designated as Temporary Financial Secretary and serve as designated agents for AGLC. This designation by the Leadership Team is pending the formation of a Board of Trustees and possible affirmation by that entity.
  1. Nolan will be responsible for financial accounting, check writing and financial reporting but will not have signature rights on any AGLC bank accounts.
  2. Lynette will be responsible for membership giving records and required reports but will not be involved in membership gift deposits or related bank account activity.

  1. Proposed that the Treasurer establish and maintain a copy of the following documents:
  1. All correspondence and forms associated with the formation and legal operation of AGLC.
  2. All correspondence and documents associated with AGLC insurance coverage

  1. Proposed that the Treasurer develop and document financial policies and procedures for review and approval by the Leadership Team pending the formation of a Board of Directors and possible affirmation by that entity.
  1. Further Proposed that a suggested policy for In-Kind Gifts be approved for immediate use.
  1. Proposed that the Leadership Team consider the development and staffing of the position of Membership Secretary to work with the Treasurer and Financial Secretary to meet ELCA and Synod membership recordkeeping and reporting requirements.

  1. Proposed that members of the Leadership Team be appointed to complete the following forms which are to be forwarded to the Treasurer for mailing to Rev Steve at the Synod office.
  1. Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community Ministry Profile Form
  2. Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community Synod Council Authorization

  1. Proposed that members of the Leadership Team be designated to work with the

Treasurer to develop a proposed budget for the remainder of 2010 for presentation and approval by the Leadership Team and submission to Rev. Steve.

  1. Proposed that the Leadership Team select three persons to have

signature authority on a checking account to be established at First Financial

Bank, Southlake, Texas 

  1. Further Proposed that Nolan Clemens be responsible for the establishment of the bank account and that the monthly bank statement be mailed to Mr. Clemens and one if the approved signers.

  1. Proposed that the Leadership Team approve the following summary of current AGLC receipts and disbursements following the AGLC service and picnic on July 18, 2010


        Cash                                $    496.00

        Checks                                      720.00

                        Total Receipts                           1,216.00


                        Pulpit Fees                               250.00

                Net Cash on Hand                        $    966.00


  1. Of the checks given, $70 was beyond “financial intent”

while $400 was outside “financial intent”.

  1. Proposed that, consistent with the ELCA Policy on Criteria for Synodically Authorized Worshiping Communities, 15% of Sunday’s offering ($182.40) be reserved for benevolence (“mission support”).

 Formation of the Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community

I/N/O Abiding Grace Lutheran Chapel

Questions for Discussion

July 16, 2010


  1. Re the 501 (c) (3) Designation-
  1. Am I correct that the Chapel will use the national ELCA’s tax exempt designation until we receive our approval letter from the IRS?

Yes. While AGLC has secured its EIN –Tax ID (32-031340), it must also apply for State of Texas permission to exist as a non-profit corporation and secure a tax exempt determination letter from the IRS to exist as a 501(c) (3) entity that is exempt from Federal income tax.

To support the AGLC’s use of the ELCA tax exempt designation, the congregation will need to complete the ELCA Authorization Form and mail it to the ELCA office in Chicago. Nolan Clemens will complete and mail this form.

  1. What is the process the AGLC ill need to follow to secure its tax exempt status?

Complete Form 202 for the Texas Secretary of State to secure a Certificate of Nonprofit Corporation. The filing fee is $25 and should be approved in three to five days. The application will be forwarded to the IRS who may require 5 to 9 months to issue its determination letter. Nolan Clemens will complete and file this form. He will also continue to monitor the status of the IRS determination letter.

  1. Will the Chapel function as a “DBA” of the ELCA?

The “DBA” reference is not required while AGLC awaits it IRS determination letter.

  1. What tax ID number will we use during this temporary period?

The EIN already secured by the AGLC plus a non-profit corporate number that will be issued by the State of Texas.

  1. When would you recommend that we start the process of securing our 501(c) (3) designation?

At once.

  1. Other questions/points for discussion?


  1. Re a Corporate Bank Account
  1. When have you found that a new church should establish a bank account?

As soon as AGLC receives its approval to exist as Non-profit Corporation from the State of Texas. This will also require a corporate resolution to open the bank account. Nolan Clemens will coordinate this activity.

  1. Will we use the ELCA tax exempt ID # for the bank account application?

Yes. Bishop Kanouse will supply a letter to authorize this activity.

  1. Should the checking account be styled in some way to affirm its relationship with the ELCA?

Not needed.

  1. Does the ELCA typically receive copies of the bank statements and reconciliations while a new church operates under the ELCA’s tax ID?

Yes. Copies of the bank statement and a summary of receipts and disbursements should be sent to Rev. Steve on a monthly basis. This monthly summary should include a reference to an annual budget developed and approved by the congregation. The report should be signed by the Church Treasurer and approved by the AGLC Board of Trustees.

  1. Other questions/points for discussion?


  1. Re Revenues and Expenditures-
  1. Will the Chapel be responsible for all required tax reporting including Form 1099’s, W-2’s, etc?


  1. Does the ELCA have a documented expenditure policy that the Chapel will be expected to follow?

No. However, AGLC should consider developing such a policy and procedures guide for its use. Nolan Clemens will develop this guide for Board approval.

  1. Will the ELCA require dual signatures for checks above a certain sum?


  1. Will the ELCA require any type of contribution reports during the Chapel’s start up operations?

A monthly summary of receipts should be provided to Rev. Steve. It should be signed by the Financial Secretary.  Once AGLC is assigned a congregational ID number by the ELCA, the congregation will be required to provide additional contribution information typically required of such entities. Pastor Steve will complete the “Congregation ID Request Form” to secure the required number.

  1. Does the ELCA have any specific requirements related to recording and reporting gifts-in-kind while we operate in the Chapel status?

No. However, AGLC should consider developing such a policy and procedures guide for its use. Nolan Clemens will develop this policy for Board approval.

  1. Other questions/points for discussion?


  1. Risk Management
  1. What minimal insurance coverage should the Chapel have in place before beginning operations?

The ELCA has a policy that provides liability and loss of personal property for congregations under development. AGLC should contact Rob Thoma (rob.thoma@elca.org) to discuss coverage. Additional coverage should be considered, as needed, by the congregation. Nolan Clemens will seek to initiate the ELCA coverage.

  1. Will the Chapel be covered ELCA insurance policies during its initial operations?

Yes, if AGLC can secure the coverage described in question listed above.

  1. Should the Chapel seek to secure ELCA approval on all legal agreements (i.e.: short term property leases) or is there a document that the ELCA would provide to limit their liability?

ELCA is typically not included as party to legal agreements initiated by congregations under development. Neither the ELCA nor the Synod has a Memo of Understanding or similar document that could be used to affirm their lack of liability associated with contracts or agreements established by AGLC.

  1. Other questions/points for discussion?


  1. Membership Records
  1. Does the ELCA have a standard form and/or procedure for the recording and reporting of information normally maintained by the membership secretary?

AGLC should consider the appointment of a Membership Secretary who will be responsible for the maintenance of a membership record book that is typically found in Lutheran churches. This activity is initially maintained by the Membership Secretary in a computer spreadsheet and can be later moved to one of two software applications, Shelby Membership or Shepard Staff.

  1. Are there any special requirements with respect to membership participation that will be required by the ELCA during the entity’s existence as a Chapel?

Once AGLC is assigned a congregational ID #, it will be expected prepared and present the normal annual membership report as required by the ELCA.

  1. Other questions/points for discussion?


  1. Other
  1. Have there been any revisions to the Policy on Criteria for Synodocally Authorized Worshiping Communities since its adoption by the ELCA on April 6, 2003?


  1. Other questions/points for discussion?
  1. AGLC should complete the following forms
  1. Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community Ministry Profile Form
  1. This form should be completed and mailed to the Rev. Steve at the Synod offices
  1. Evangelical Outreach and Congregational Mission Synodically Authorized Worshipping Community Synod Council Authorization
  1. This form should be completed and mailed to Rev. Steve for presentation to the September meeting of the Synod Council.


Abiding Grace Lutheran Chapel

In-Kind Gifts


As a non-profit organization, AGLC may receive the gift of goods or services other than money. These are generally referred to as “in-kind” gifts. Such gifts may provide a means by which an individual or business can support AGLC when cash is not available. The following presents our general policy and procedures regarding in-kind gifts.


In-kind gifts are typically goods and services that a non-profit organization would have to otherwise buy if they hadn't been donated. A typical example is the cost of printing provided by a printing firm. Some non-profit organizations have found in-kind gifts to be of such significant value that they record and report the value of donated supplies or services in their financial statements.

By law, non-profit entities cannot provide a donor with the dollar value of an in-kind gift. However, AGLC can acknowledge in-kind gifts with a description of their practical value to our organization, and make some reference to their worth in dollars; that is, what AGLC might have had to pay in a retail purchase for a like item.

While in-kind gifts can be a great value to our operations, like most non-profits, we do not apply the value of these gifts to member pledges. This is because pledge amounts are used plan and manage the general cash operations of AGLC. Should the member wish, the amount of their pledge can be adjusted by the Financial Secretary in the event of a substantial in-kind gift.

Policy & Procedure:

  1. The Donor (AGLC member or third party entity) will provide the Financial Secretary with a summary of the in-kind gift that includes the date of the gift, a description of the item(s) gifted and approximate retail value.
  2. The Financial Secretary will complete an In-Kind Gift Acknowledgement form for review and signature by the Treasurer.
  3. The Treasurer will
  1. Review and sign the form,
  2. Place a copy of the form with the Donor supplied summary in the Church financial files, and
  3. Mail the signed form to the Donor.


        In-Kind Gift Acknowledgement

Abiding Grace Lutheran Chapel

In-Kind Gift Acknowledgement

Date _________

Name ___________________

Street Address  ___________

City, TX  _________________

Thank you for your gift of ________________ which we received on _____ ___, 2010. Your contribution will help in our efforts to provide on-going support for our worship community.

According to IRS regulations, we are not allowed to declare the value of your donation in this acknowledgment. However, we can say that we likely would have had to expend approximately $ ______ for what you gave as an In-Kind contribution. These are dollars saved that we are able to apply directly to the programs and services we provide for the well-being of those whom we serve.

Again, thank you.

Nolan Clemens


Abiding Grace Lutheran Chapel

Tax Exempt, Non-profit Section 501 (c) (3) Entity

% Nolan Clemens

2177 Winding Creek South

Grapevine, TX 76051