Risk Management Conference for Ministries Draws Nationally Distinguished Speaker
Redlands, California, November 10, 2011— Richard Hammar’s Legal and Tax Update captivated the diverse audience at the 2011 Risk Management Conference for Ministries in Yorba Linda, CA, held at Friendship Baptist Church, on November 9, 2011. The annual conference is sponsored by The Cutler Group, located in Redlands, CA.
The full-day program, with afternoon breakout sessions, including tracks on the topics of Security, Legal and Finance, was targeted to those in church ministry who wish to become better informed on liability issues that directly impact them. Topics included: Top 10 Legal Issues Facing Churches Today; Tax Changes for 2012; and, Healthcare Tax Credits for Churches. Attendees of this annual conference included pastors, church board members and staff, youth directors, and attorneys specializing in tax/church law and related issues.
Richard Hammar is the senior editor of Church Law and Tax Report and Church Finance Today newsletters, and a graduate of Harvard Law School. He is an attorney, CPA, and best-selling author of more than 100 books on legal and tax issues for churches and clergy, and is recognized as the leading specialist in legal and tax issues affecting churches and is a frequent speaker at legal and tax conferences.
Hammar stated, “I marvel at the resources Cutler provides and the experience they have attained over the years. It is an honor for me, anytime they ask me to come out to speak, because we all have the same interest and that is protecting churches.”
“The biggest tax threat for clergy is the continuing attack, or assault on the housing allowance, which is the greatest tax benefit available to ministers—that is something I monitor carefully—it would have a catastrophic impact on ministers in this country.”
Hammar fielded many questions during the conference, regarding new legal and tax issues that directly impact churches. He addressed many subjects, including the ministerial exception case currently at the Supreme Court, which will precisely define a “pastor”. Additionally, he discussed the possibilities of the IRS negating non-profit status when preachers discuss or present political issues from the pulpit. He also covered liability issues as small as using old cribs in church school nurseries and inadequate donation receipts for contributions of $250 or more.
Matt Branaugh, Director of Editorial and Special Projects for Christianity Today, International located in Carol Stream, Illinois noted, “Risk Management is a topic people don’t want to talk about a lot, simply because they’re there to administer to people.”
“For Cutler Insurance Agency to come together with people like Brotherhood Mutual and Richard Hammar and say ‘We’re going to do an event that really helps churches with these kinds of concerns,’ I think speaks to Cutler’s commitment to churches.”
Also in attendance were Mark Robison, Chairman and President of Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, Indiana; and, Mark Jones, Vice President of the Evangelical Christian Credit Union, Brea, California.
Richard Hammar – Keynote Speaker
Hammar has been inducted into the church management “hall of fame” by the National Association of Church Business Administration, and has served on the boards of several prominent charities, including the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. He is a member of the Missouri and Illinois Bar Associations, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the Christian Legal Society, and has been admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court. http://www.churchlawandtax.com/hammar/
Richard Hammar – Keynote Speaker
The 2011 Risk Management Conference for Ministries is sponsored by The Cutler Group as a part of the firm’s outreach to those serving in ministry. This is not a sales event.
Also offered were afternoon breakout sessions, including three tracks and eight sessions:
- Preparedness & Awareness to Threats at your Church
- Talking Down or Taking Down a Potential Threat
- Security in International Ministry
- Significant Human Resources Issues for Religious Employers in California
- Answers to Most Common Church Liability Questions
- The Church Outside the Walls, Developing EDCs, CDCs, Available Grants, the Creation
- Alternative Revenue Sources, Monetizing Online Opportunities, Corporate Sponsorship
- Evaluating your Ministry’s Financial Health
- How Will Health Care Reform Impact Your Church’s Bottom Line and How Can You Prepare Now
- How to Keep Your Ministry’s Financial Assets Secure
The Cutler Group
The Cutler Group is a full service independent insurance agency specializing in the needs of churches. Services include property, liability, health and life insurance. The company currently serves the insurance needs of over 2,300 churches in California, Arizona and Nevada and is considered a leader in the church insurance field. Our personnel have an average 14 years’ experience insuring churches. Administrative offices are in Redlands, CA.