Property for a Pilgrim People
MISSION AND PROPERTY
Proceeds of Sale Policy
03 A word from the Rev. Niall Reid 04
The Journey so farâ€Ś
07 The Five Marks of Mission 15 Proposed Proceeds of Sale Policy 18 Appendix 1 Terminology 20 Appendix 2 Resolutions of Synod and Synod Standing Committee 22 Appendix 3 Five Marks of Mission and the Basis of Union 24 Appendix 4 Current Sale Proceeds Policy
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A word from the Rev. Niall Reid Property for a pilgrim people
write this paper not because I have a great desire to be engaged in a discussion on process or development of policy around property. I write it because I love God, I love the Uniting Church and I believe that it is called by God to be part of transforming our society.
Rev. Niall Reid
Selling property, developing property, preserving property, building places of worship is only of any value if it serves the mission of God. If anyone believes that if we just get the property policies of the Church right we will solve all our problems then anything written will have been a waste of time. Any policy we develop can facilitate the process, help build relationships, encourage us to work together but it cannot save the Church. The only reason that it might be worth reading this paper is if you are willing to think differently about what the Church looks like, how it is to operate and how you can be part of making the resources of the Church work much harder for the mission of God. We all know that the Uniting Church is facing crises on many fronts and some will tell us that it is because we are not being faithful disciples. I believe it is a cry from God to go into the whole new mission context that is Australia. The Church has no special status and should not expect one. Institutional Christian faith has little credibility. We can cry about this or, as my son would say, we can “build a bridge and get over it.” Indeed that is exactly what we have to do: build bridges to the community, create opportunities for community and develop relationships. How can we use our property resources more effectively for this purpose? During 2014, through the Property for a Pilgrim People workshops and consultations it was very clear to me that we are a Church wandering about in the wilderness looking for the
promised land. The lack of trust that is so evident in the Church arises out of a pining for the past that no one is willing or able to recreate and a need to blame someone for the circumstances in which we find ourselves. It was also clear to me that there are many people who really want to be faithful to God, live as disciples of Jesus and be about his transforming work but they just do not know where to start. Many recognised that we have to let go, let go of previous ways of doing things, ways of being in ministry, ways of giving expression to the faith and ways of thinking about property and how we use it. In some cases we just need to let go of property so that we are free to reimagine how we are to live out our faith in this new world in which the Church as we have known it has no place. The Property for a Pilgrim People workshops and consultations also confirmed the need for trust to be rebuilt. It was apparent that there was strong feeling that this can only happen if we engage in a collaborative and cooperative way and so in this paper I will be suggesting processes that model this. We need to remember, however, that no policy will make things happen, change people’s hearts, touch their souls or transform the world. That requires the creativity and passion of God’s people. I will be looking for feedback on whether or not the model being suggested can facilitate and encourage that creativity and passion.
How we use terms in this paper Sometimes in the Church we use terms that can be understood in different ways and so a list of terms with explanations as to how they are used in this paper is attached as Appendix 1.
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The Journey so farâ€Ś I
n the second half of 2013, representatives of rural and metropolitan Presbyteries with theological, educational and practical experience gathered to develop a theology of property to guide the Church in how property can best serve the mission of God.
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As a result of this process it was determined that there would need to be consultation across the Church. Uniting Resources called Rev. Niall Reid to a placement within Uniting Resources to facilitate this work. During 2014 consultations and workshops were held across the Synod. There were meetings with representatives of Synod boards, Presbytery officers, Presbytery committees, Presbyteries, the UAICC and members of Congregations. Two special editions of Insights were published, the first based on and developing the work of the group gathered together at the end of 2013 and the second reflecting the responses to the first arising out of the four workshops and Presbytery consultations. In September 2014 a number of proposals were taken to the Synod relating to proceeds of sale, Manse policy and the particular covenantal relationship with the UAICC. These proposals although they underwent some editorial word-smithing substantially reflected proposals developed in the workshops and consultations. The Synod directed the Synod Standing Committee to: “Articulate the purpose of the Sales Proceeds Policy, including a biblical reflection on missional use of property, not stewardship”. This affirmed the general understanding that the primary role of property is to support mission. A number of resolutions were developed and carried and the Property for a Pilgrim People Project was recognised as an initiative in the Synod Mission Plan. Appendix 2 contains the Resolutions of Synod.
What now? This paper seeks to provide some biblical reflection within a Uniting Church context on what we understand by “mission” and how property fits into that mission story. Finally the paper outlines a proposed Proceeds of Sale Policy. A separate policy relating specifically to ministers’ residences is being developed and will also be made available for discussion in due course. The role of those who read this paper is to review, discuss, and provide feedback. All will be taken on board and considered in preparing a policy for Synod Standing Committee’s consideration and, if acceptable, approval.
What does the Bible have to say? The Old Testament has much to say about property but in quite a different context to the world experienced in 21st century Australia. The laws governing property and debt, debt forgiveness and land tenure as expressed in the Sabbath and Jubilee year laws were about ensuring that property did not end up in the hands of a few. There were also laws that mandated the support of the temple and those who ministered there. In the biblical tradition there is also tension, if not a conflict, over whether or not it was appropriate to build a temple for the worship of God. In the world of Abraham and Sarah and their offspring there were sacred places but no temples or buildings of that nature. Solomon built a temple and for the next 1000 years the temple was at the heart of religious life.
By the time of the New Testament, synagogues had come into being as centres of gathering and learning. Quite probably these were multifunctional buildings that served both secular and religious purposes – a cross between a town hall and a place of worship. They probably served as banqueting halls, as places of refuge and courts of law among other things. The synagogue served as the centre of the cultural and religious life supported by the whole community where culture and religion were inextricably bound together. Jesus and the apostles would frequent synagogues and engage in the activities, discussions and debates but it would seem that the Church, as it developed, had no property for the purpose of gathering and worship. In Acts 4 individuals sold property for the leaders in the church to distribute to the needy. One can conclude that the emphasis was in sharing the resources for the benefit of all. Later we see Paul collecting money from the Churches established in other parts of the Roman Empire to support the struggling Church in Jerusalem afflicted with persecution and famine. In 2 Corinthians 8, Paul writes that the reason for giving is about “equality” clearly he believed rich Churches should support poorer ones. In terms of how Church property is used, the Bible does not really provide specific or consistent instruction or examples that are relevant to the circumstances of the Church in our time and place. However, that does not mean we cannot deduce some principles that help us reflect on what might be appropriate. The Old Testament law of Jubilee required that after 50 years all agricultural land be returned to the original owner without compensation.
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This does not provide a model but suggests a principle that might be applied to Church property whereby we recognise that it cannot be alienated in perpetuity or accumulated only for the benefit of one person or group of people. It is about ensuring that property provides for the needs of all – a principle noted also in the reference above to the Church as described in Acts.
The criterion of the faithful use of property is therefore the efficacy in its proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Property is both a place and a form of proclamation.”
In the context of the Church those needs might be described as being about fulfilling the mission and that mission is much more than looking after the Church property. As Paul asserts it is about equality. Those with a greater capacity should support those who have less capacity.
Good News is transformative and property held in any form must provide opportunities for individuals and society to be transformed, to turn around and live towards the culture of God?
If the Church is to follow in the way of Jesus, living by His mission statement, we would expect the resources we have to be used in preaching of “…Good news to the poor, to proclaim freedom for the prisoners, recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:1819). Here there is an allusion to the year of Jubilee – the universal release of people and property from the burdens of the past. The mission of Jesus is essentially about transforming society, reconciliation and renewal. Jesus began his ministry “…proclaiming the good news of God. ‘The time has come,’he said. ‘The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news.’”
What might we conclude in response to the biblical reflection? The Synod of Victoria and Tasmania has expressed it like this: “Property is not the Church’s ‘possession’ or ‘gift from God to be used wisely. Instead, it (property) provides an opportunity to witness to the new… order constituted in the reconciling work of Christ… all our dealings with property should point to the kingdom of God.
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Of course property, as defined, may not be a place of worship and need not be a place at all but could be some form of investment or cash. How do these forms of property give expression to Good News?
The question needs to be asked: if property, in whatever form, did not exist would the community be the poorer, less likely to progress, change, move forward and be transformed? What might be some helpful principles? If we accept that the role of property is to support mission and this is a shared responsibility, how can we fulfil our obligations? In this paper it is proposed that the Five Marks of Mission framework be used to assess the role of a property in furthering the mission. This prioritises mission. There are also practical matters to consider for a particular time and place and so we propose a simple framework. The overarching principles flowing from the biblical and theological perspectives outlined above and confirmed in the workshops and consultations are: 1. The mission of God is fundamental and the function of property is to serve the mission 2. The Councils of the Church have a shared responsibility for property These principles are consistent with Uniting Church polity however the development of a policy with processes that reflect this is not so easy.
In the process of consultation with Presbyteries, through Insights, Property for a Pilgrim People workshops and Synod, it would seem that there is fairly broad agreement for the proposition that property should serve the mission of God through the Church. What is not so clear is how to define that mission. Yet, it is vital to define the mission, even if broadly, so as there is some form of benchmark against which to assess the missional value of a property. The hope expressed for the Uniting Churches in the Basis of Union is “…a continuing renewal in which God will use their common worship, witness and service to set forth the word of salvation for all people.” [Basis of Union par. 1]. Throughout the Basis of Union there are references to “worship, witness and service.” Surely these are the three legs of mission providing the means for God’s mission to bring about “reconciliation and renewal…for the whole creation” [Basis of Union par. 3]. Mission then has to be about transformation in the life of individuals, the Church, the broader community and the world. Worship, witness and service are integral and inter-related requiring the building of relationships with God, individuals and community. Consequently there are aspects of the Church’s life which in and of themselves are not mission e.g. the presence of an identifiable church building in the community the provision of community services where there is not a context of witness and worship worship that does not foster witness and service
NEXT STEPS Take some time to read over this document and discuss it in your Congregations and Presbyteries over the coming months. We would welcome feedback on this document and you can send this to firstname.lastname@example.org. We would like you to give feedback to us by July 31.
The Five Marks of Mission T
he Five Marks of Mission have been adopted and adapted by Christians of varying cultures all over the world. They provide a set of mission principles against which we can assess not only the health of a congregation (and the Church as a whole) but also whether a property is fit to serve these principles. A reading of the Basis of Union will reveal that the Five Marks of Mission are consistent with a Uniting Church theological perspective. (See Appendix 3)
The Five Marks of Mission are: 1. TELL - To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom 2. TEACH - To teach, baptise and nurture new believers 3. TEND - To respond to human need by loving service 4. TRANSFORM - To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
Or are there options for re-purposing the property in a way that resources the Congregation for the mission. Where the mission of a Congregation is affirmed, the particular property may be assessed to better understand how well it can support mission by asking questions such as: • Is the property fit for the mission? (This could relate to issues such as layout, size - too big, too small, location, Work, Health and Safety, sustainability and timespan) •A re there other proximate properties that could equally or better serve the mission? •D oes the Congregation (or other body) have the capacity to maintain the property for the mission? •A re the mission activities of a scale, quality or strategic importance that warrants the use of the property? Where a Congregation has been assessed to have little or no missional capacity or there is no missional use of a particular property, it may still be relevant to ask questions such as: • Is the location of the property strategic even if currently not supporting the mission?
5. TREASURE - To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
•C an the property be used to resource mission in other contexts or in different ways?
When assessing the Life, Witness and Service of a Congregation it is essential to consider if and how these Five Marks of Mission are in evidence in the life of the Congregation and how effective the property resources are in resourcing them.
It may be that the missional principles are in place but the capacity to allow them to flourish is impacted by physical limitations. Conversely a particular property may have strategic value but the missional principles have not yet been addressed. A property may be strategic in an area where:
Is the property enhancing or hampering the Congregation’s capacity to “tell, teach, tend, transform and treasure.”
• it may be ideally suited for another purpose such as providing for a non-Anglo Congregation or relevant community services in a place of changing demographics
Decision making in the Church The inter-conciliar nature of the Church requires each council to recognise both the responsibilities and limitations each has and to work collaboratively for the good of the whole. In practice the process can become adversarial and conflicted between councils rather than being seen as a process of joint discernment. Synod has responsibility for providing effective supervision of property matters within its bounds including the development of policies and procedures. [Reg. 3.1.5(k), Reg. 4.2.1] The Presbytery has the responsibility to conduct a Life and Witness Consultation of a Congregation every five years. Those appointed by the Presbytery to undertake the consultation can make any recommendations relating to property as they think fit. [Reg. 3.1.4 and Reg. 3.1.4 (e) (iii)]. When conducting a Life and Witness Consultation, Presbytery should be asked to make an assessment of the property, based on the principles set out above and on the basis of that assessment make recommendations as to whether it is appropriate to sell, develop or hold the property assets of the Congregation.
• the Church has no other property • it is known there will be future development • t here is a potential for the UAICC to use it in its ministry
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If Presbytery foresees the likelihood that there will be significant proposals related to property then it is appropriate to apply the consultative process proposed in the Proceeds of Sale Policy. In the case of entities other than Congregations, Presbytery, Synod or a responsible body, as appropriate, has authority to determine how property is managed or controlled. [Reg. 4.5.1]. Where such property exists the responsible body or council should assess at least once every five years, the value of any property (to mission) based on the principles set out above. The use, retention, sale or purchase of Property has to be grounded in the mission of the Church.
Discernment is the key Given that property serves the mission of God then discernment as to whether the property is aligned with and fulfilling the mission of God is necessary. Discernment is about listening and being open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, bringing out the best wisdom of those involved to serve the vision of God. The discernment process requires great integrity and impartiality. Discernment is always going to be at risk of being corrupted by the influence of ego, politics, ideological perspectives, fear, emotions, resistance to change and manipulation of connections.
Who discerns? Discernment is a collaborative effort with those engaged in the process being people chosen or elected because of their: • vision • capacity to discern • openness to change • ability to help others engage and see alternative possibilities • broad knowledge and experience of the Church across its councils A ‘good’ discernment process will address all the factors set out above. It will be collaborative in nature, engaging all the councils with their particular responsibilities. It will value the different missional, spiritual, commercial and administrative skills and talents that are necessary in revealing what is possible. This is an application of the body image in 1 Corinthians 12. nswact.uca.org.au
What are the basic property decisions? There are three basic decisions being, in no particular order: 1. Buy or develop 2. Hold 3. Sell When we buy or develop we have to find the resources to fund that decision. When we develop it may be to provide better facilities to achieve the mission or it may be to maximise the financial return to fund the mission. The “decision” to hold is usually passive rather than intentional. In relation to much Church property (real estate or cash) we continue to hold it without making any discernment or assessment of its missional value. When we sell, the property is converted to cash and we have to make a decision about how to use those funds. 1. Why buy or develop property? • Because we believe the Church has a calling to be an agent of transformation in the lives of individuals and our society. This will determine what we buy, what we build and where we build it. In the course of this discernment we have to question whether traditional Church buildings are an appropriate resource for this calling and whether at this stage of our Church’s life and in this particular place we have the capacity to exercise the calling to be an agent of transformation in the lives of individuals and our society. • To support Mission activities directly such as; Capacity Building Team (CBT) bringing together in one place or community Congregational, UnitingCare, and Presbytery activities; new worship centres and other buildings that are used in witness to the mission of God through the Church’s presence and ministers’ housing. • To support Mission indirectly though providing a commercial funding source for appropriate mission in, for example, Aboriginal communities or areas of disadvantage where the Church is unlikely to be self-funding
2. Why continue to hold a property? •W here there is significant mission and the property is fit for that mission • T he property is strategically placed and has mission potential and a plan is put in place to achieve the potential • It is appropriate to give a Congregation opportunity to renew itself or to die gracefully 3. Why sell a property? • The property is not fit for mission, is in the wrong location or is beyond the capacity of the congregation to maintain • It has salability with viable options for the Congregation to be located elsewhere and maintain or improve on its mission initiatives • There are more properties in one locality than are needed to achieve the mission • To enable the resourcing of mission
If we sell, what happens then? Having considered the broader property context it is now appropriate to address what we do with the proceeds of any sale, recognising that they are a form of property to which the principles set out above apply and will inform any policy developed around their use. Good stewardship of the mission means that, as with real estate, there needs to be assessment and decisions made as to the use of this property. Do we fund purchase or develop real estate? Do we hold and invest it using the interest for a particular missional purpose? Do we use it to fund non real estate missional activities? Do we give it away? There are different approaches for the use of proceeds of sale. What approach do we use? The Synod currently operates under a Proceeds of Sale policy approved by Standing Committee in August 2010. (See Appendix 4). The authority for such a policy comes from the regulations that provide direction for the intentional use of funds.
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Purpose of a Proceeds of Sale Policy The current proceeds of sale policy aims to: • protect the capital of the Synod of NSW and the ACT by supporting projects which produce, expand or refine durable resources that will better facilitate the Church’s service delivery and mission, resources which in themselves have a lasting value • provide resources to support missional initiatives by imposing a tithe on the proceeds of sale • prevent subsidising expenses that are the responsibility of the Church entity and beneficial user I suggest that the emphasis here is about stewardship of the capital when it would be more appropriate to be about stewardship of the mission. How property can serve this end and what use achieves this has to be discerned and assessed. Does funding unsustainable missional projects achieve this in the long run? How does ‘idle’ property (including proceeds of sale) serve mission? What are the benchmarks? The principles set out above are a means of determining appropriate use of property generally and proceeds of sale specifically.
Why Synod has responsibility for developing a Proceeds of Sale Policy? Within the polity of the Uniting Church, it is stated that the Church is given expression to in the local Congregation [Basis of Union para.15(a)]. But the Church is more than its local expression and so different councils of the Church, as part of the whole, are given different responsibilities. In the interests of good governance and to endeavour to use the resources of the Church for mission, Synod has a responsibility to develop policies to guide the Church as it seeks to achieve effective missional outcomes.
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The Synod has responsibility for: • “ …general oversight, direction and administration of the Church’s worship, witness and service within its bounds.” [UCA Constitution Division 3, Part C, Clause 32] •p roviding effective supervision of property matters within its bounds including the development of policies and procedures. [Reg. 3.1.5(k)] • t he general oversight and management of Synod funds and Synod policy and procedures relating to property which may include imposing conditions on how sales proceeds are applied [Regs. 3.1.5(k)(iv) and 4.8.1(b)] • g iving the final (property) decision (through the Synod Property Board) having ensured “that each proposal is in accordance with the policies of the Synod” [Reg 4.2.1(d)] The property workshops and consultations conducted across the Synod in 2014 acknowledged the need for some form of Proceeds of Sale Policy with considerable support for the current policy, recognising the need for some revision or amendments. The meeting of Synod in 2014 affirmed this.
What makes a good Proceeds of Sale Policy? Responses from the workshops and consultations indicated support for the idea that the policy: • provide for consultation across the councils in determining the best use of proceeds of sale (Uniting Church polity works on the premise that there will be consultation and collaboration) • should enable resources to be distributed across the Synod rather than simply in the context of the Congregation or Presbytery with beneficial stewardship. (This was affirmed at Synod 2014) • should address inequities. However, this should not be taken to mean every Presbytery or Congregation receives an equal share but rather that there is potential access to resources for effective mission anywhere in The Synod.
T his being determined on a case by case basis in the context of the mission of The Synod as a whole i.e. where will these proceeds of sale be most effectively and wisely used in enhancing the mission of the Church? Any policy must seek to ensure that any proposed use of proceeds of sale: • Can be understood and accepted • Can be implemented • Is not overly complicated to administer • Can deliver the Church’s objectives
Commonwealth Approach to Proceeds of Sale The Proceeds of Sale Policy has worked on the basis of a Congregation or body with proceeds of sale coming up with a proposal for their use and seeking permission to use them in accordance with the proceeds of sale guidelines. The predominant expectation has been that the proceeds of sale are used by the Congregation that had beneficial use of the property sold and if there is no proposal then the proceeds remain unused. Both the workshops and the Synod resolution recognise that there is a need for another approach. Such an approach would recognise a commonwealth of resources available for the mission of the Church more broadly mostly for the benefit of the local mission but not necessarily in the locality or context from which the proceeds of sale have come. It has been noted that the Sydney property market has delivered huge gains in value for property in the metropolitan areas not replicated in regional or rural centres. A commonwealth approach, if it is to be accepted, requires a change in a way of thinking from it is “mine” to it is “our collective responsibility to discern and use what belongs to God for the good of all.” Conversely it cannot be seen as a “grab” by those who have not from those who have but an opportunity for there to be a corporate discerning as to where resources that belong to all may best be deployed for the overall mission of the Church.
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At the same time it is vital that local creativity and initiatives be encouraged and, at least in the first instance, a bias towards these is appropriate and desirable before other mission possibilities are considered. The vitality of the Church ultimately is dependent on its local expression. Judgement will need to be made as to the reasonable quantum of resources necessary for local mission initiatives to be most effective and at what point the application of extra resources has dwindling benefit.
Basic approaches for a Proceeds of Sale Policy
After sale $30,000 is paid into the Congregation’s account to be used as the Congregation thinks fit and then a proportion of the balance of the proceeds is allocated to the wider Church 1. 10% of net proceeds between $0 and $200,000 2. 40% of net proceeds between $200,001 and $2,000,000 3. 55% of net proceeds exceeding $2,000,000 From the first 10% received by the wider Church, funds are allocated: 1. 50% - UAICC
Responses to Property for a Pilgrim People indicated considerable support for the current Proceeds of Sale Policy [Appendix 4]. There was support for a model that is more consultative and it is questionable whether the current model provides for that. A number of attempts to adapt the current Proceeds of Sale Policy within a collaborative and consultative framework proved to be difficult. “New wine into old wineskins” (Mark 2:22) comes to mind.
2. 25% - Heritage Building Funds
Two approaches that could provide the basis for a new Proceeds of Sale Policy are:
5. 15% - to UAICC
• The Principle Based Approach This approach has a heavy emphasis on principles and the discernment of a group of people who reflect collaboration between the councils of the Church. This approach requires a high level of trust and collaboration with an end result where between 0% and 100% of the proceeds of sale may be required by the selling council based on a process of discernment. The discernment process may determine funds be used for projects identified by Presbytery and Synod as having priority on the basis of the same principles and discerned as having some synergy with the Congregation. • The Prescriptive Approach This approach develops a proportional allocation of the proceeds for specific predetermined purposes. An example of this, incorporating some level of discernment, is the model used in the VicTas Synod. In this approach:
3. 25% - Rural Presbyteries Interest Only Mission Fund From the net proceeds of the rest: 1. 45% - Mission Support Fund Capital Fund 2. 15% - Capital Works fund 3. 15% - Rural Presbyteries Interest Only Mission Fund 4. 10% - Heritage Building Funds (Source: Discerning Mission and the Use of Property, 2011, Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of Victoria and Tasmania)
The remaining proceeds are held for up to 3 years for Congregation and Presbytery to discern a missional use which may be local or shared with another part of the Church. If an application is not forthcoming within the specified time then the remaining proceeds of sale are distributed to the wider Church in the proportions indicated above. There are exemptions where for example a manse is sold to purchase another manse or a Congregation is replacing one worship complex with another. The VicTas model has discernment built in – at the front end there has to be discernment about the appropriate proportions (already prescribed) and the purposes to which the funds are allocated. Then there is discernment by the Congregation and Presbytery for the use of funds that have not been specifically allocated.
Points to consider: •D oes having set allocations abrogate responsibility to participate in ongoing discernment of the appropriate mission initiatives in a particular time and context and does it deny the opportunity for Congregations to own the decisions they are participating in? •S hould there be a flat rate allocated or should it be progressively larger the greater the amount of the proceeds of sale? •W hat, if any, exemptions should exist? •D oes the Principles based model set the Church up for protracted decision making with the potential for greater conflict? •D oes the Principle base model leave too much to the subjective decision making of those with responsibility for applying the principles? •S hould the UAICC always receive a portion regardless of the model used? In practice, a hybrid model could be developed e.g. there could be is a Principle Based Policy that is triggered after a % is allocated to the UAICC (as per proposal to 2014 Synod) and any other designated body or purpose. It may also be that, as in the VicTas model, a specified threshold amount is allocated to a Congregation without any restrictions.
What of the UAICC? The proposed model does not have provision for an allocation for the UAICC or any other body, fund or activity of the Church other than the Growth Fund. Proposals relating to the UAICC and its funding are being addressed in other contexts and it should be noted that the outcome of discussions and decisions in those contexts may have an impact on the Proceeds of Sale Policy without requiring significant change to the general provisions of the policy.
In the prescriptive allocation Model, how does one determine the appropriate percentage to be allocated and for what purpose and should this be under constant review? nswact.uca.org.au
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Proposed Proceeds of Sale Policy This section provides a draft policy for your review and consideration. It will be modified based on feedback received by 31 July and reformatted prior to a final draft being presented to Synod Standing Committee for approval.
1. PURPOSE The primary purpose of property is to serve the Mission of God through the life of the Church in its worship, witness and service. The retention or disposal of any property is to be determined through a process of collaborative discernment. Where property is sold, this Policy shall apply to the realised funds.
2. APPLICATION/SCOPE The Proceeds of Sale Policy (the “Policy”) will apply to: Congregations and their associated activities; Presbyteries and related activities; Synod Boards, entities directly under their oversight and related activities; All current and future Proceeds of Sale accounts Entities and activities specifically excluded from the Policy are as follows are Uniting Financial Services, Community Services activities of Parish Missions, UnitingCare and Schools. Presbyteries and Synod are included as there is no obvious reason why their activities should not be subject to the same discernment process and application of principles as are applied to congregations. Uniting Financial Services is exempt given that its function is to resource the Church for mission. The other three exemptions are made on the basis that their funding comes from sources that restrict their use. However, Parish Missions will have to identify properties that are for the beneficial use of Community Services and those that are for the beneficial use of the Congregation. Past policies have provided exemptions where a minister’s residence or worship centre is sold and replaced by another minister’s residence or worship centre within a set period. This exemption has been omitted from this draft as it is believed the proposed policy provides adequate scope for this outcome to be achieved.
3. THE DISCERNMENT PRINCIPLES Determination of the use of funds consistent with this Policy should occur prior to the realisation of any funds based on a discernment process that reflects the following principles. (i) The mission of God is fundamental and the function of property is to serve God’s mission (ii) The councils of the Church have a shared responsibility for the stewardship of property The discernment process is intended to determine how resources best serve the mission of the Church. This may be in the local context or may be across the wider Synod. Any decision made must be purposeful and have a clear direction for how a property or funds realised upon sale will be used to support the mission. It is recommended that the Five Marks of Mission be used during the discernment process. Where there is a proposal to sell a property, the Presbytery in consultation with the congregation or relevant body will make an assessment of the wider missional value of the Property. If determined that the property should be sold, a consultation team shall be appointed to discern the best missional use of the proceeds of sale.
4. APPROVAL TO SELL Approval to sell a property will only be given by Uniting Resources (UR) after there has been: •A process of discernment engaging the appropriate councils of the Church, which has resulted in a clear mission based plan for the use of proceeds •A pproval by Presbytery after assessment of alternative uses •A pproval by Uniting Mission and Education (UME) where non real estate missional uses are proposed
5. DETERMINING AVAILABLE FUNDS Prior to any determination on the missional use of proceeds it is necessary to determine the net proceeds available. This calculation recognises the need for certain deductions to be made from the gross proceeds including:
•S elling costs such as real estate agent fees, advertising, costs of a development application and legal costs •R easonable costs associated with the discernment and consultation process •G enuine encumbrances, such as debt specific to that property that was incurred to acquire or improve that specific property Legal or other obligations, in such circumstances, the Proceeds of Sale Policy applies to the balance once the grant or subsidy is repaid , for example: • T he property was acquired using funds donated for a specific purpose such that the proceeds of sale must be retained for that specific purpose • T he property was acquired from funds to which are attached specific restrictions on its use, including moneys from a Deductible Gift Fund • T he property was acquired, or financed, by government subsidy or grant for which there is an obligation to repay part or all of the grant or subsidy if sold within a specific, pre-determined period •U pon settlement, a general grant of up to [$50,000] will be made available for the beneficial user to apply as it is discerned to be appropriate Upon sale, the gross proceeds will be deposited in a UFS account from which shall be paid any relevant deduction. The balance shall be held within this account until such time as the missional use is fulfilled or the funds are repurposed. Interest earnt shall be credited to the account. Uniting Resources will be responsible for the management of these Proceeds of Sales accounts.
6. APPLICATION OF FUNDS The application of funds is determined by discernment as to how resources are best used to support the mission of the Church. Any reference to a congregation can apply to any other relevant body seeking to sell property. This Policy proposes an approach that varies depending on the value of the expected net proceeds.
Property for a Pilgrim People 2015 15
Congregations i. Net proceeds are less than [$500,000] • T he Congregation and Presbytery will engage in a discernment process with proceeds to be used as discerned without any specified sharing. Appropriate consideration must be given to the mission plan of the presbytery ii. Net proceeds are greater than [$500,000] but less than [$2,000,000] • T he net proceeds shall be subject to a sharing as outlined in section 7 • T he Congregation and Presbytery will engage in a discernment process for the retained portion that will enable the mission plan approved by the presbytery to be implemented whilst taking into account the mission plans and priorities of Congregation, Presbytery and Synod iii. Net proceeds are greater than [$2,000,000] • T he net proceeds shall be subject to a sharing as outlined in section 7 with different rates applied to sales above $5,000,000 • T he Congregation, Presbytery and Synod will engage in a discernment process. Any proposal will have to take into account the mission plans and priorities of Congregation, Presbytery and Synod If the congregation has no identified missional use for the proceeds of sale the Presbytery (and Synod as applicable) will, in the consultation process, help the congregation assess whether there is a potential missional use that should be explored and, if not, engage the congregation in the process of assessing where the proceeds of sale may best be used for the benefit of the whole Church. Presbyteries Where proceeds of sale are under the beneficial stewardship of a Presbytery a consultation with the Synod will be required and any proposal by Presbytery to be assessed taking into account the mission plans and priorities of Presbytery and Synod. Synod Where proceeds of sale are under the beneficial stewardship of Synod or its Boards, the use of funds will require approval by Synod Standing Committee upon recommendation of the relevant Board. Consultation Teams All consultations will be carried out by a consultation team comprised of an equal number of members (and at least one) from each council or body of the
16 Property for a Pilgrim People 2015
Church involved and convened by a person appointed by the Presbytery (or UME where the proceeds are from the sale of Synod property). If the Congregation or Presbytery chooses to be represented by a consultant, the reasonable cost of that representation will be funded from the proceeds of the property sale. Synod representation on any consultation team will be determined by the Uniting Mission and Education Board or by those as determined by SSC. In making a recommendation, the consultation team will •M ake itself aware of the mission plans and priorities of the respective councils of the Church and consult with those councils • Seek support from the relevant Congregation and Presbytery (or Synod Standing Committee for the proceeds of sale of Synod property) for any recommendations it makes •W here possible, identify funds to be allocated to the mission of the wider Church outside the Growth Fund •S eek to discern the best use of the proceeds of sale and make a recommendation to the Uniting Resources Board In the event that the Consultation Team is unable to reach a consensus any recommendations will require the approval of the Uniting Mission and Education Board. The implementation of the decision for the application of funds must be undertaken within two years. If the decision is not implemented the funds will be available for repurposing.
7. SHARED USE OF PROCEEDS This section outlines a framework for the use of the net proceeds in both the local and wider context. Four thresholds are proposed with an escalating level of sharing based on the net proceeds with the sharing noted in the policy to be made available to the wider Church through the Synod Growth Fund. 1. If Net Proceeds are LESS than $500,000: •N o sharing specified with any sharing to be determined by the Congregation and Presbytery, with appropriate consideration given to the mission plan of the presbytery 2. If Net Proceeds are GREATER than $500,000 and LESS than $2,000,000: •N o sharing specified for the first $500,000 of proceeds •A minimum of twenty five percent (25%) of the net proceeds greater than $500,000 to be shared with the wider Church
3. If Net Proceeds are GREATER than $2,000,000 and less than $5,000,000: •N o sharing specified for the first $500,000 of proceeds •$ 375,000 representing 25% of the proceeds between $500,000 and $2,000,000 •5 0% of net proceeds above $2,000,000 to be shared with the wider Church 4. If Net Proceeds are GREATER than $5,000,000: •$ 1,875,000 plus between 50% and 100% of the net proceeds above $5,000,000 to be shared with the wider Church through the Growth Fund • T he actual level of sharing shall be determined based on an assessment of the mission plan. The specified share for the wider mission of the Church is considered to be a minimum The sharing noted above is proposed as a minimum. Given the Discernment Principles noted in Section 2, this Policy allows for the final sharing to range between 0% and 100%. i. W here the Congregation and Presbytery consider that the full (or greater) amount of the proceeds of sale generated by the rationalisation of property will be required to implement a mission plan, the Congregation, Presbytery and Synod will engage in the discernment process together. The outcome of that process may be that (up to) the full amount of the proceeds of sale is allocated to implementing the mission plan ii. Where no missional purpose is identified, up to 100% of the net proceeds may be repurposed to the Growth Fund Comment: Where changes to environmental planning controls generate a significant increase in property value it is expected that the wider Church would benefit from such a windfall.
8. RESTRICTED USES PROCEEDS OF SALES Proceeds are not to be used to fund the responsibilities of the beneficial user. Examples include the payment of salaries and stipends and the cost of operating expenses and maintenance of property. Applications for the use of funds in exceptional circumstances to fund the responsibilities of the beneficial user will be subject to approval of UR and UME upon recommendation of Presbytery.
9. EXISTING PROCEEDS OF SALE ACCOUNTS All accounts are to be reviewed and Mission Plans prepared within 12 months of approval of this policy. If the congregation has no identified use for the proceeds of sale the Presbytery will engage in a consultation process with the congregation to assess whether there is a potential missional use that should be explored and, if not, engage the congregation in the process of assessing where the proceeds of sale may best be used for the benefit of the whole Church. The consultation team will make recommendations to UR regarding use of funds. Any recommendation will include a response from the account holder to any recommendation. UR shall, in conjunction with UME, where appropriate, determine whether to approve the proposal arising out of the consultation after which funds shall be repurposed. Where proceeds of sale are under the beneficial stewardship of a Presbytery a consultation with the Synod will be required taking into account the mission plans and priorities of Presbytery and Synod. Funds not utilised (or being used consistent with the agreed plans) will be transferred to the Growth Fund, or other fund as determined by Synod Standing Committee. Example 1 (refer diagram 1) A manse that requires a significant upgrade is to be sold for $800,000 with the intention of acquiring another manse. The property has a UFS mortgage of $65,000, the costs of sale will be $30,000 and the costs of support to the Congregation during the discernment process will be $4,000. Scenario 1 As a result of the discernment process, the Consulting Team determined that the congregation was unlikely to be able to afford a minister therefore had no need for a manse. Further discernment identified a rural congregation that was seeking assistance with a heritage property. The Congregation recommended a $200,000 grant to the rural Congregation as a means of creating a city/rural relationship, $200,000 to the Growth Fund and $200,000 to a support a nearby Congregation pay for a new multipurpose centre. The remaining funds were provided to the Congregation to improve disabled access to the Church. Scenario 2 As a result of the discernment process, the Consulting Team determined that the congregation could not currently afford a minister but would be able to within 18 months. The entire net proceeds were provided to the Congregation to buy a new manse with a reassessment to be
DIAGRAM 1 Expected Sale Price at Auction Less: Real Estate Agents fees Less: Consulting Team support Sub Total Less: Mortgage Less: Grant to the Congregation Net Proceeds
$800,000 ($30,000) ($4,000) $766,000 ($65,000) ($50,000) $651,000
Sharing Calculation Sharing on first $500,000 $0 Sharing of the next $151,000 at 25% $37,750 Total Min. Sharing to Growth Fund $37,750 % of Net Proceeds 5.8% Proceeds to Congregation (*Plus $50,000 grant) $613,250 undertaken in two year’s time. Example 2 (refer diagram 2) A Church property sold for $4,800,000 after two Congregations merged on a single site. The costs of sale were $80,000 and the costs of support to the Congregations during the discernment process were $10,000. Scenario 1 The Congregation’s plan to redevelop the combined site with a new $2.5M multi-purpose centre to meet the needs of a revitalised community was consistent with a Presbytery approved mission plan. The proceeds of sales covered this sum. The Consultation Team agreed that the remaining $455,000 would be split between a sinking fund of $250,000, a Presbytery initiative of $50,000 and a gift to the UAICC of $155,000. Scenario 2 The Congregations plan to redevelop the combined site with a new $3.5M multi-purpose centre to meet the needs of a revitalised community was consistent with a Presbytery approved
mission plan. The proceeds of sales after sharing would leave a shortfall in the development budget of $545,000. The Consultation Team agreed the project met the missional needs of the local community but believed that that a more modest investment could achieve the same outcome. As a result, the investment required was reduced to $3.2M. The recommendation was agreed by Synod resulting in $3.2M being retained by the Congregation and the sharing with the Growth Fund reduced from $1,705,000 to $1,460,000. Scenario 3 The Consultation Team was unable to identify a clear missional need by the Congregation however gained the Congregation’s support for the Presbytery’s plan to create of a new hub. The Consulting Team recommended that $2,000,000 be shared with Presbytery, $100,000 be used for a local initiative developed as part of the discernment process and the balance be transferred to the Growth Fund.
DIAGRAM 2 Sale Price at Auction Less: Real Estate Agents fees Less: Consulting Team support Sub Total Less: Mortgage/Other encumbrances Less: Grant to the Congregation Net Proceeds
$4,800,000 ($80,000) ($10,000) $4,710,000 ($0) ($50,000) $4,660,000
Sharing Calculation Sharing on first $2,000,000 Sharing of the next $2,660,000 at 50% Total Min. Sharing to Growth Fund % of Net proceeds Proceeds to Congregation (*Plus $50,000 grant)
$375,000 $1, 330,000 $1,705,000 36.5% $2,955,000
Property for a Pilgrim People 2015 17
Appendix 1 Terminology Geographic
T he Synod - the geographic Synod inclusive of all Congregations, Presbyteries and agencies of the Church (within the bounds of NSW and the ACT)
Property - “…means property of whatsoever nature whether real or personal, and includes money, investments, and rights relating to property.” [Reg 4.1]
The Presbytery - the geographic Presbytery inclusive of all Congregations, and agencies of the Church
Government and Administration ynod - the council of the Church S established in Division 3, Part C of The Uniting Church in Australia Constitution with “general oversight, direction and administration of the Church’s worship, witness and service within its bounds. It shall exercise executive, administrative, pastoral and disciplinary functions over the Presbyteries within its bounds, shall be the council to hear and deal with appeals and requests from Presbyteries and shall establish and maintain such boards, institutions, committees and agencies as are appropriate to the furtherance of its responsibilities” Presbytery - the council of the Church established in Division 3, Part B of The Uniting Church in Australia Constitution with “such oversight as is necessary to the life and mission of the Church in the area committed to it; it shall stimulate and encourage the Congregations within the bounds, providing them with opportunities for counsel in the strengthening and assistance of one another and in their participation in wider aspects of the work of the Church”
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Capital - Real Estate, cash, invested funds Manse - a residence providing housing for a minister or ministry agent. In this paper, a Manse is always a residence, but a residence is not always a manse. For example, a residence may be an investment that provides income for the beneficial user
“Ownership” Stewardship - The joint responsibility to use resources for the Mission of the Church, representing a greater responsibility than simply the preservation of capital or good maintenance of property assets Beneficial Users This is a term that has come into common usage in the Church that acknowledges a right and responsibility that must be recognised but which is not ownership. A Congregation has beneficial use of property owned by the Uniting Church as a whole. It has the benefit of the use of all “property of the Church acquired or held for the use of the Congregation” and the Church Council has the responsibility of management and administration of it [Reg 4.4.1]. The same principle applies in relation to other councils or bodies [Reg 4.5.1].
Ownership - In its usual understanding means that a person or entity has exclusive right to property and may determine how to use and deal with it (noting legislative capacity to limit rights of ownership). The Uniting Church as a whole owns all Uniting Church property through two property trusts. All Councils of the Church have an interest in the property held by the Uniting Church: 1. The Congregation has beneficial use (noting, other bodies may also have such use) 2. Presbytery has to ensure property resources are being used and maintained appropriately for mission 3. Synod administers and sets policy for property assets within the bounds of The Synod held by the Property Trust on behalf of the whole Church 4. Assembly provides “for the control and management of the property and funds vested in the Church” [UCA Constitution Division 3 Part D] All Councils of the Church have a responsibility in relation to property but none have exclusive rights Common wealth all the resources of the Church within the bounds of The Synod Growth Fund – as set out in the Synod Mission Plan adopted by Synod in 2014 under the heading: Financial and Physical Resources, Initiative 5 – Build a Growth Fund with a target of $50M by 2017, sourced from Church entities and property sales, to support growth initiatives.
Property for a Pilgrim People 2015 19
Appendix 2 Resolutions of Synod and Synod Standing Committee Synod has made a number of resolutions in relation to proceeds of sale, the Synod Mission Plan, UAICC and Ministers’ Residences that will guide the development of our property policies and must be considered during your reflection.
Proceeds of Sale 156/14S, Property for a Pilgrim People Section A Resolved That Synod 1. Affirm the value of a Sales Proceeds Policy, which releases funds for God’s Mission for the sake of the world both in the local context and beyond a) Direct Synod Standing Committee to appoint a task group to undertake a review of the current policy taking into account the priority areas of affordable housing, employment, social enterprise, local Congregation and community initiatives, and environmental sustainability b) in relation to the five areas of priority, take into account the proposals arising out of the Property Workshops held in June and July 2014, and Section C that addresses proposals relating to UAICC c) articulate the purpose of the Sales Proceeds Policy, including a biblical reflection on missional use of property, not stewardship d) addressing the appropriate use of sales proceeds e) r ecommending what body should have oversight of the distribution of sales proceeds f) advising as to the role the council or agency with beneficial stewardship over the property sold has in determining the use of the proceeds of sale bringing a report and recommendations to the Synod Standing Committee for determination by the end of June 2015. 20 Property for a Pilgrim People 2015
Synod Standing Committee 162/14SC
Resolved that the Synod Standing Committee notes the Synod Resolution…e158/14S and determined the following actions to progress
Sales Proceeds Policy
(i) seek the Common Good with regard to residential properties across the Synod
(i) appoints the Board of Uniting Resources to fulfil the responsibilities of the Task Group with the expectation that it will consult with Uniting Mission and Education and Presbyteries prior to bringing any proposals to Standing Committee for its meeting on 19 June, 2015
Synod Mission Plan Synod approved a Synod Mission Plan that included the following section: 8. FINANCIAL AND PHYSICAL RESOURCES Objective: We will live out the generosity of God in the way we steward our individual and collective resources. Initiatives: 3. Complete the ‘Property for a Pilgrim People’ review and establish a Property Policy that encourages the optimal use of property across the Synod. The following Resolution of the Synod and Synod Standing Committee in relation to Ministers’ Residences and the UAICC are being addressed separately and are not the subject of this paper. They are included here for your information and because any decisions made in response to them may have an impact on property policy generally and a Proceeds of Sale Policy specifically.
Synod 157/14S That the Synod
(ii) note a) the strong commitment of the synod meeting to honour the custodianship of the first peoples as expressed by the UAICC b) Minister’s different residential requirements c) the variation in costs for providing minister’s residences across the synod d) the inequality of a blanket housing allowance for ministers or Congregations in different areas to the detriment of ministers or Congregations e) the current or planned missional use of some residences f) the essential use of rent at market value to supplement costs of mission in some Congregations (iii) instruct the Synod Standing Committee to a) review the housing allowance to consider the realistic costs in different areas for provision of housing to ministers living in their own homes or for Congregations renting appropriate accommodation b) develop a plan how Congregations can equitably contribute to the co-ordinated costs of provision of a residence without being put at significant disadvantage or risk of viability c) e nact the above proposals as a matter of priority (iv) Encourage Presbyteries to share with each other what they are doing at present about these matters nswact.uca.org.au
UAICC Synod 158/14S That Synod Direct Standing Committee to enter a conversation around the suggestions of the UAICC Regional Committee outlined below: (iii) As a symbolic acknowledgement that our Churches are built on stolen land, and as a ‘jubilee-like’ action, the suggestion is that all Congregations and agencies of the church (including schools) be required to pay rent. Congress members believe that the fairest way for this to happen is not with a set amount but a set percentage – 1% - of the annual income of all bodies in the Church. This money would go into a special trust account or capital fund for ministry and not for administration costs (i.e. Synod could not simply stop its support because other funds had become available for ministry expansion. [NB: It was suggested that consideration be given to alternative language to ‘pay rent’.] (iv) That the Synod suggest to all Presbyteries that they implement a policy similar to that of MacquarieDarling Presbytery, viz: that if there is a property which is surplus to the needs of the Congregations in the Presbytery that the property be first of all offered to Congress for ministry (not simply to have and sell). If Congress does not want the property for its ministry that the property can be sold, and the proceeds subject to the tithe mentioned below
(vi) That there be an exploration of the possibility of Congress having its own property trust And bring proposals to the 2016 Synod. Synod Standing Committee 162/14SC Resolved That the Synod Standing Committee notes the Synod Resolution… t157/14S, 158/14S and determined the following actions to progress Minister’s Residences (i) notes that the Governance and Nominations Review Committee (GNRC) is responsible for reviewing Ministers’ remuneration and entitlements and request that it review the Minister’s Housing Allowance in accordance with the Synod Resolution 157/14S 3.a) and report to the Synod Standing Committee with recommendations for its meeting on 17 -18 April 2015 (ii) instruct the Uniting Resources Board to address Synod Resolution 157/14S 3.b) and report to the Standing Committee with recommendations for its meeting on 17 -18 April 2015
UAICC (ii) to help facilitate the conversation, ask the UAICC Regional Committee together with UME to develop a discussion paper and/or a process incorporating both • t he theological, historical and philosophical reasoning behind the suggestions put in the resolution •a nd the practical implications of implementing them (iii) ensure that there is plenty of time for the both Presbyteries and Standing Committee to engage with and respond to the discussion paper (iv) encourage Presbyteries to invite the UAICC representatives to meet with them to engage in the conversation The extracts in this section have been sourced from other documents and are not numerically correct.
(iii) bring Synod Resolution 157/14S to the attention of Presbyteries and request that they advise Uniting Resources of any policies that they have in relation to the allocation of residences and income derived from them
(v) That Synod explore the most appropriate way in which a tithe can be made to Congress from property sales, maybe something like 5% of all sales
Property for a Pilgrim People 2015 21
22 Property for a Pilgrim People 2015
Appendix 3 Five Marks of Mission and the Basis of Union The proposed Five Marks of Mission framework of assessing the role of a property is consistent with the Basis of Union. Following are examples of the synergy that exists with quotations from the Basis of Union under each of the Marks of Mission: 1. TELL - To proclaim the good news of the Kingdom a. The Church as the fellowship of the Holy Spirit confesses Jesus as Lord over its own life; it also confesses that Jesus is Head over all things, the beginning of a new creation, of a new humanity…an instrument through which Christ may work and bear witness to himself. (par.3) b. The Uniting Church acknowledges that Christ has commanded his Church to proclaim the Gospel... (par.6) 2. TEACH - To teach, baptise and nurture new believers a. The Uniting Church acknowledges that Christ has commanded his Church to proclaim the Gospel both in words and in the two visible acts of Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. (par.6) b. …a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole, (par.3)
3. TEND - To respond to human need by loving service a. a fellowship of reconciliation, a body within which the diverse gifts of its members are used for the building up of the whole. (par. 3) b. Baptism…initiates people into Christ’s life and mission in the world, so that they are united in one fellowship of love, service, suffering and joy… (par.7) 4. TRANSFORM -To seek to transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation
ts Insigh issue
Y PROPEPRilTgrim for a People
a. God in Christ has given to all people in the Church the Holy Spirit as a pledge and foretaste of that coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation. The Church's call is to serve that end: to be a fellowship of reconciliation… (par. 3)
Property For A Pilgrim People
5. TREASURE - To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation, and sustain and renew the life of the earth.
You can view them online at http://issuu.com/ insightsmagazine
a. …coming reconciliation and renewal which is the end in view for the whole creation. (par. 3)
Have you read Property for a Pilgrim People and Property for a Pilgrim People: The Next Steps?
Alternatively, if you would like a print copy, send an email to email@example.com
c. The Uniting Church will baptize those who confess the Christian faith, and children who are presented for baptism and for whose instruction and nourishment in the faith the Church takes responsibility. (par. 7)
Property for a Pilgrim People 2015 23
Appendix 4 Current Sales Proceeds Policy SALES PROCEEDS POLICY – SYNOD of NSW & ACT (Approved by SSC on 28th August 2010)
2.3 The following specific uses, in addition to 2.4 and 2.5 and subject to approval, will be permissible:
– application forms and details of the application process are to be obtained from the Synod Mission Resource Fund Committee
Section 1 - SCOPE
2.3.1 Repairs and maintenance where:
2.6 Presbyteries should review any unused Sales Proceeds within their respective bounds at least every three years and in situations where there is clearly no intended planned use, regardless of whether three years have passed:
The Sales Proceeds Policy (the “he Sale) will apply to all Congregations and their associated activities within the bounds of the Synod of NSW & ACT 1.2 Entities and activities specifically excluded from the Policy are as follows:1.2.1 Synod Boards, entities directly under their oversight and related activities 1.1.2 Uniting Financial Services 1.1.3 Presbyteries and related activities 1.1.4 Community Services activities of Parish Missions
Section 2 – USE OF SALES PROCEEDS 2.1 All Sales Proceeds, including interest earnings on Sales Proceeds, can only be used for Capital Works 2.2 Capital Works is defined as “projects which produce, expand or refine durable resources that will better facilitate the Church’s service delivery and mission, resources, which in themselves have a lasting value” 2.2.1 This includes (but is not limited to) expenditure on land, buildings, construction and major additions or alterations, capital equipment, intellectual property, ministry and leadership, discipleship training, a new mission program developed by a Congregation according to its Presbytery approved mission plan, a Church owned business activity, a new community service, research & development
24 Property for a Pilgrim People 2015
22.214.171.124 The repairs and maintenance work is urgent, may lead to liability or injury being incurred and may materially devalue the property if not undertaken 126.96.36.199 The Congregation is experiencing significant long term economic hardship 2.3.2 General operational expenses where: 188.8.131.52 Major events such as fire, flood or drought have occurred, and 184.108.40.206 Significant economic hardship is being experienced as a result of those events 2.3 Building Sinking Funds may be established for large costly or heritage listed buildings and should be subject to rigorous assessment of the quantum required and rules for use 2.4 After receiving a recommendation of the relevant Presbytery, Uniting Resources is the body to approve applications for the use of sales proceeds for purposes of expenditure on land, buildings, construction and major additions and alterations, expenditure on business activities and for specific uses listed in 2.3 2.5 After receiving a recommendation of the relevant Presbytery, the Synod Mission Resource Fund Committee is the body to approve applications for the use of sales proceeds for purposes other than expenditure on land, buildings, construction and major additions and alterations, expenditure on business activities and for specific uses listed in 2.3
2.6.1 A Presbytery may formulate proposals for the use of those Sales Proceeds and make recommendations to Uniting Resources. Uniting Resources will consult with the Presbytery and the Congregation concerned when assessing the recommendations. If Uniting Resources believe it is appropriate to proceed then formal approval will need to be obtained according to either Clause 2.4 or 2.5 depending on the nature of intended use 2.6.2 Presbyteries are encouraged to collectively assess and make recommendations for unused Sales Proceeds as described in Clause 2.6
Section 3 – TITHING ON SALES PROCEEDS 3.1 Ten percent (known as tithing) of the net Sales Proceeds arising from the sale of real estate is to be transferred to the Mission Resource Fund and is authorised to use the tithes for mission priorities in accordance with its terms of reference 3.2 The following sales of real estate will not be subjected to a tithe: 3.2.1 Sales Proceeds of real estate originally acquired by specific, and/ or conditional gift, or out of funds to which there are externally imposed legal restrictions on their use. Examples are real estate which is: nswact.uca.org.au
220.127.116.11 Donated for a specific purpose such that the Sales Proceeds must be retained for a specific purpose 18.104.22.168 Purchased from funds to which are attached specific restrictions on its use, including moneys from a Deductible Gift Fund 22.214.171.124 Financed by government subsidy or grant for which there is an obligation to repay part or all of the grant or subsidy if sold within a specific, pre-determined period. In such circumstances, a tithe would be payable on the net of the sales proceeds and the repaid grant or subsidy 3.2.2 Proceeds of a ministerâ€™s residence to the extent that such proceeds are used for the purchase or building of another residence to replace it within a period of three years after the sale 3.2.3 Where special circumstances warrant the exclusion from the tithing commitment such as substantiated economic hardship 3.3 The Synod Mission Resource Fund Committee is the authority to determine the exemptions from tithing
Property for a Pilgrim People 2015 25
Mission and Property: Proceeds of Sale Policy