The Iowa Conference Board of Directors (BOD) met on July 17 to return to agenda items on which the Iowa Conference Annual Meeting was unable to vote on because it did not have the number of voting delegates required by the Iowa Bylaws to constitute a quorum on June 15.
During the June meeting time, participants were able to make comments and ask questions about the agenda items including 2020 budget and compensation guidelines.
On July 17, the Iowa BOD approved the 2020 Iowa Conference Budget which showed a 4 percent deficit of approximately $38,091. The board discussed concerns raised about this deficit budget. The board agreed that the deficit spending, though a slight concern, was an appropriate number because expenses and revenue were conservatively estimated. The deficit is not likely to remain that high when the 2020 expenses and revenue are finalized.
The board also reviewed and approved 2020 Clergy Compensation Guidelines. The compensation included a 1.5 percent cost-of-living salary increase. The compensation guidelines also recommend an additional benefit for pastors moving expenses. The 2020 Iowa Compensation Guidelines suggest that pastors moving for a new position be compensated for 15.3 percent of their relocation expenses to offset the income tax now associated with this benefit. Prior to December 31, 2017, a church’s payment or reimbursement of a pastor’s qualified moving expenses was a nontaxable benefit. However, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Job Act made the moving expense benefit provided for clergy a form of taxable income that must be reported on the pastor’s W-2. The congregation’s additional cash benefit to the newly called clergy covers the clergy’s increased tax liability that results from the changes.
With a newly elected Iowa Board of Directors, the board needed to elect from among their ranks a new Iowa Representative to the Tri-Conference Ministries (TCM) Board of Directors. The BOD named the Rev. Forrest Cornelius to that board. He will now join Rev. Kate West and Jim Judkins as Iowa representatives to the TCM Board. The TCM serves as support and oversight of the staff serving the Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota conferences. Rev. Cornelius replaces Jennifer Cohrt on the TCM Board as her term on the Iowa Board had ended. Each conference has three representatives on the TCM Board. Two representatives are from the each conferences board of directors plus one at-large member.
“We are glad to take action on these important items in light of the comments and questions we received at our annual meeting in June,” said Rev. Kate West, Iowa Conference Board of Directors Chair. “Iowa Conference members should feel free to reach out to me or any board member at any time with their comments or questions.”