Membership Proposal Q&A #1

Hello Friends,

Since the Membership Proposal that was posted earlier is going to be a big change for the PCA as a whole, we are having a 30 day comment and suggestion period. Since a good deal of questions have already come through both on Facebook and from our mailing list, I will be collating the questions and posting these Q&A posts weekly until the comment period is over.

If you have questions, feel free to comment here, on Facebook, and through the mailing list.

Here are this week’s questions:

  1. General question from several people: “I’m already ordained, do I need to go through the ordination process again?”
    1. No. Already ordained clergy will be grandfathered in and only required to pay the yearly dues ($10) and get a new background check if they haven’t done so in the last year.
  2. From Ford Frazar: “Where do we get a PCA stole?”
    1. We haven’t been able to find the original supplier, but we are looking for an alternate one. If anyone knows where the original stoles came from, please send that information to the LC.
  3. From Deborah Hill: “Would PCA be an Association of Professional Chaplains (BCCi) approved endorsing body?”
    1. Not yet, but our Co-Chair, Beth, is now working on the documentation to make us so. This was one of our first priorities after completely the 501(c)3 process. Please keep an eye on our website for updates.
  4. Jim Tarvid asked about the minutes as legal documents, and “990’s”
    1. This is J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer: As of right now we are not required to file a Form 990, as per our 501c3 Approval letter. If that changes, I will certainly file a Form 990.
  5. Jim also wondered if $10/mo is enough, and about the clergy roster.
    1. Re: Dues: We welcome suggestions of what you think would be a reasonable rate. We intentionally were keeping rates low since the clergy business doesn’t exactly make one rich. Also, we are planning to eventually have ordination scholarships for those in financial hardship.
    2. Re: Clergy Roster: Unfortunately, there was some document loss in the last few years between changing of boards, and our current records are incomplete. The online roster was also not a complete record of clergy, since the online listing was voluntary. We are hoping that with this process we’ll be able to have, and then maintain, an up to date roster of all PCA clergy.
  6. From Antinoë Magdalene on Facebook: As an ordained Wiccan priest, would I be a layperson or affiliated clergy? Or, is the affiliation only for other Christian denominations?
    1. Since the PCA is a nominally Christian organization, the affiliation process would be for other ordained Christian denominations. As a Wiccan Christian, however, you can get your Christian ordination through the PCA.

Again, if you have more questions, please feel free to comment at the places listed above, or through our contact page.

Thank you for your questions!

Rev. Gina

Councillor-at-Large

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes September-November 2016

Hello Friends,

We apologize for these minutes being late, but here they are in PDF format. If you have problems reading these files, please post a comment and we can send you another version.

Note: The Leadership Council did not meet in December due to the holidays. We hope that everyone had a wonderful Holiday season!

September Minutes: PCALC-23SEP16

October Minutes: PCALC-28OCT16

November Minutes: PCALC-15nov16

Proposal for Membership Definitions and Yearly Dues

The Progressive Christian Alliance is an international, transdenominational association of Christian ministers, ministries and laypersons.

We are a diverse fellowship inviting others to share in our common spiritual journey while walking our unique and sacred pathways. We believe that following Christ’s example means working for social justice and hospitality to all people, especially those who have not found hospitality elsewhere, and a heartfelt, thoughtful approach to being in relationship with God.

We exist to provide support and love, direction and shared experience, encouragement and constructive engagement, in our mutually shared journey to celebrate a progressive sacramental Christian faith.

The Spirit is calling us to strengthen our relationships with one another as Progressive Christians and to establish clearer definitions of our loving and just relationships.  The Leadership Council is feeling lonely.

We don’t know our ministers, ministries and lay people well enough. We have developed a document outlining a plan to remedy our isolation and to connect us in a way that will enable a stronger right practice of Christ’s example (orthopraxis) of social justice and hospitality to all people, with a heart felt thoughtful approach of being in relationship with God.

This document is entitled, “Proposal for Membership Definitions and Yearly Dues.” We are posting it here on the PCA website and on our Facebook groups and pages for your consideration and refinement.  After extensive grassroots discussion and clarification the Leadership Council will place the final version up for a vote to include it in the PCA Constitution and Cannons. The Leadership Council celebrates the Progressive Christian Alliance and each and every one of our ministers, ministries and lay people. We request your prayerful, thoughtful responses and love as we move forward with this work of faith.

 

Rev. Dr. R. Lawton Higgs, Sr.

Leadership Council, Chair

Progressive Christian Alliance

January 10, 2017

Timeline for commentary:

  • Thirty days for general commentary and suggestions. Deadline is February 18, 2017.
  • Two weeks for editing and consideration of suggestions by the Leadership Council: Deadline March 4
  • 30 Days for general commentary and vote for implementation: Voting would end April 3.

Click on the link below to read the entire proposal (PDF and should be viewable on most computers.)

Membershipdefinitionsproposal-10jan17

Exciting News! (501c3 Update)

The Leadership Council is excited to announce that we are now an official 501(c)3 organization! This opens up a lot of opportunities for our members and the organization as a whole. The Leadership Council is very excited, especially since this status opens us up as a body for sponsoring chaplains, having regular convocations, and being able to do more to support ministries! (This also means that any contribution you make from here on out is tax deductible!)

We’d like to particularly thank our treasurer, J.T., for his heroic feat of paperwork filing that made getting 501(c)3 status not only possibly, but fast!

Thank you all for your support while we went through this process, and we will be grateful for your continued support as we move forward!

Many blessings, and Happy New Year from your Leadership Council!

R. Lawton Higgs, Chair

Beth Beyer Abbott, Co-chair

J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer

Fred-Allen Self, Secretary

Gina Pond, Councillor-at-Large

501(c)3 Update

We are pleased to announce that we have been informed by the IRS that our paperwork has been received and that they are in the process of reviewing our application.

We’d like to thank all of our donors who helped us raise the funds to file our application! We really appreciate the faith and hope you have invested into the Progressive Christian Alliance.

Many thanks,

The Leadership Council

Leadership Council Meeting Minutes – August 2016

Note from the Board: We apologize for the lag in the posting of meeting minutes. We will be posting the backlog as soon as we possibly can.

Minutes:  PCA Leadership Council

August 12, 2016

Present:  Lawton Higgs, Sr, Beth Abbott (recording secretary), Gina Pond, J.T. Ramelis

Absent: Fred-Allen Self

 

Opening Reflection and Prayer:  Matthew 5:15  Lawton spoke of the need for us as PCA and PCA leaders to be light in the darkness of today’s world.  Lawton asked Beth to lead the opening reflection and prayer for the September meeting.

 

July Minutes Approved  JT made motion, Gina seconded, consensus of approval.

 

Treasurer’s Report $50 from JT is in account we opened to receive contributions for the 501c3 application and administrative costs for PCA.  When we receive our 501c3 status, the cost per month will drop from $15/month to $10/month if we keep a $500 balance.

 

501c3

In order to submit the 501c3, we will have to make a minor change in the wording of our Constitution and Canons (C&C) article VI.  Because there has been mis-use of 501c3 status by other people, the IRS strongly suggests that any monies in a 501c3 account be transferred into another tax-exempt account upon dissolution.

 

The following wording was approved and will be sent to membership for a vote for the change.  The request for vote will be sent out via e-mail and posted on the PCA private Facebook wall for 30 days to comply with the C&C.  Gina will create a Survey Monkey questionnaire and send out the emails three times as required.  She will create a rotation of LC members for postings with the link on the Facebook wall so that it is more visible and less “spam-like.”

 

from: In the event of liquidation or dissolution of the Progressive Christian Alliance all of its assets and property of every nature and description whatsoever shall be paid over and transferred at the direction of the trustees to the individual congregations and affiliated ministries

 

to: In the event of liquidation or dissolution of the Progressive Christian Alliance, all of its assets and property of every nature and description whatsoever shall be paid over and transferred at the direction of the Leadership Council to PCA 501c3 congregations, 501c3 affiliated ministries or any 501c3 agencies.

 

 

 

Fund raising, PayPal and fund management

In the past, all administrative costs have been paid for by the Leadership Council or volunteers.  As we move forward to be recognized as a global entity, it is important to make PCA self-sufficient monetarily. Additionally, we believe that if people find value in our organization, they should support it with time, talents and financially.  Gina and Fred-Allen will work with J.T. to get a PayPal button set up on the website for donations.  We need $400 for the 501c3.  PayPal takes 2.7% of each donation and charges a 30 cent surcharge.  EXAMPLE: If someone makes a $10 donation, PCA receives $9.43.  If we were to set up a Facebook button, an additional 3.1% would be removed and so we hope to only need the website button.

 

Affiliation and Ordination

Gina and Fred-Allen have backgrounds in quality control and are working to create an updated affiliation document.  Included will be multiple categories: individual (member and requesting ordination separated), clergy, dual clergy and institutional/church.  It was suggested that a small yearly fee ($25) be attached to individual memberships.  This will serve multiple purposes.  It will give us a way to document the number of members for accounting.  It will help fund administrative costs.  It will create a greater sense of “ownership” among the members.  It will help us create a current database for emailing information about PCA and PCA events in the future.

 

It has been recommended that those seeking ordination first affiliate, then they will be linked to a Regional Servant Leader.  A handbook will be made for RSL’s so that the process for meeting standards for ordination is standardized.  We do not want to lose the flexibility of the current system, but do want consistency across regions.  For future discussion:  Cost for affiliation and for clergy;  turning the applicants over to an Ordination Committee chaired by the Co-Chair of PCA; process for mentoring applicants with minimal formal education who are requesting ordination; resources for candidates and RSLs.

 

One of the challenges in ordination is the criminal background check.  These vary from state to state and it is difficult to know whether we are meeting the standards of safety we feel are non-negotiable.  JT will check in with his local sheriff to see if he can give us some guidelines and/or links for candidates to utilize.  Once we receive 501c3 status, the LC can (with adequate funds) do the necessary background checks.

 

The ordination of Julian Adams was approved pending OK of the background check submitted.

 

 

PCA UK

Since Lawton became Chair, a relationship between the UK PCA and our LC has been increasing.  Recently, David Gray reported ordinations of: Charlotte Hughes, Clive Larson, Jackie Glover, and Marc Roberts and gave a brief overview of their ministries in Great Britain.  It was unanimously approved that Lawton send our blessings to these newest PCA clergypersons.

 

Additionally, we have received a copy of the Promise of PCA Ministers that clergy in the UK sign.  It was approved to add this to our PCA ordinations.

 

As a minister with the Progressive Christian Alliance I promise:

  • To seek to follow the example of Jesus in offering unconditional love, healing, wisdom and affirmation from an inclusive heart that values all people regardless of faith, gender, age, ability, sexuality or any other aspect of human identity.
  • To share my story with a willingness to listen openly to other people’s stories without proselytizing.
  • To seek the good in other people, beings, places and in life’s situations.
  • To develop a daily spiritual practice that while rooted in Christianity may be informed by the cosmic Christ-Buddha nature.
  • To examine my own ego, prejudices and habits against the unfolding revelation of love.
  • To serve my community, especially those of its members who are vulnerable or marginalized.
  • To constructively challenge systems and institutions that are failing to serve the human family and nature herself in the best way possible.
  • To provide and up to date enhanced background check to those seeking my services should this be requested.
  • To take personal responsibility for my words and actions and seek to ensure that the credibility of my ministry is not defiled by them.

…so help me Godde.

 

Name:                                     Signature:                                           Date:

 

 

Next meeting: September 23 at 6:00 CST. 

Proposed Change to Constitution Voting Results

Hello Friends,

Voting is now closed for the Proposed Change to the Constitution. The results from SurveyMonkey are shown below:

surveyresults

There were 30 total votes with 29 “yes” and one “no.” This means that the change has passed.

This means we will update the Constitution and Canons accordingly and move forward with our 501(c)3 filing.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this process!

Sincerely,

The Leadership Council

Reminder: 501(c)3 Fundraiser and Constitution Change

Hi Friends!

We are so close to our goal of raising $400 to file for our official 501(c)3 status. If you would like to donate and haven’t yet, please click here.

We also have an amendment proposal for our constitution that is required to be in our constitution by the IRS for 501(c)3 status. If you haven’t read about it or voted, please click here.

Thank you so much for your support! The Leadership Council is very excited about this very important stage in our organization’s development, and once we’ve filed, we hope we can serve our community even better!

Many Blessings,
Rev. Gina
Councillor-at-Large

Proposed Change to Constitution

To the Members of the Progressive Christian Alliance,

The Leadership Council, per Article VII of our Constitution, is required to get a vote from the membership, with a 30 day comment period, when we need to change any part of the Constitution and Canons.

In order to submit our 501(c)3 application, we are required by the IRS to change the wording of Article VI to clarify who or what organizations will get the Progressive Christian Alliance’s assets in the event that the Progressive Christian Alliance is either liquidated or dissolved. Because there has been mis-use of 501(c)3 status by other people, the IRS strongly suggests that any monies in a 501(c)3 account be transferred into another tax-exempt account upon dissolution.

The following wording was approved by the Leadership Council and now requires a vote by the membership to approve the following change:

from: In the event of liquidation or dissolution of the Progressive Christian Alliance all of its assets and property of every nature and description whatsoever shall be paid over and transferred at the direction of the trustees to the individual congregations and affiliated ministries.

to: In the event of liquidation or dissolution of the Progressive Christian Alliance, all of its assets and property of every nature and description whatsoever shall be paid over and transferred at the direction of the Leadership Council to PCA 501c3 congregations, 501c3 affiliated ministries or any 501c3 agencies.

Per the constitution, voting will be open for the next 30 days to allow for comment and discussion. Voting will open today and expire on September 30, 2016 and the results will be posted within a week of closing date (if not sooner).

Please vote using the box below, or, if you have issues with the box below, click here to go to the SurveyMonkey website.

Thank you for your participation in this process, and we appreciate your patience as we move closer to 501(c)3 status!

 

Create your own user feedback survey

501(c)3 Filing Fundraiser!

Friends,

We are nearing the finish line with our application for 501(c)3 status! All the paperwork is in order and our initial incorporation is done, but now the Progressive Christian Alliance needs your help! In order to actually file the paperwork, we need to come up with the $400 filing fee.

This is where you come in: we need your donation to help us be able file for our non-profit status so that we can do more for our members and clergy than we can do right now. Getting this status means we can be an official ordaining body for clergy who would like to do chaplaincy. We’ll be able to do more fundraising for special ministry projects. It’ll help make it possible for us to do annual, or even regional, conferences and gatherings. This status will also help pay for the little things: printing ordination certificates, paying for background checks clergy, and other basic office type necessities.

In short, getting 501(c)3 status will allow us to have the necessary tools to help this organization, and it’s ministry of radical inclusion, grow and move forward!

Click here to go to our donation page and help the Progressive Christian Alliance meet our goal! We suggest a $25 donation, but every little bit counts! Even $1 will help us toward our goal!

Many Blessings and Much Thanks,

The Leadership Council:

R. Lawton Higgs, Chair

Beth Beyer Abbott, Co-chair

J.T. Ramelis, Treasurer

Fred-Allen Self, Secretary

Gina A. Pond, Member-at-Large