Forms and Documents for Congregational Leadership

General Congregational Forms

Ministry Review Congregational Guide

Congregational health involves having a clear sense of purpose grounded in God’s mission, openness to ongoing change needed to live into that purpose, and empowerment of congregational leaders. A ministry review is a time for reflecting together on how ministry is going and what level of health is present for the congregation to carry mission forward and discern what’s next.

Scheduling a Review / Questions: Pr. Keith Zeh, Director for Evangelical Mission, at (218) 790-1764 or
More Information: Ministry Review Congregational Guide (download .pdf file)

Resources for Congregational Administration

Pulpit Supply List:

The recommended remuneration for Sunday supply preaching in the Eastern North Dakota Synod is $125 for a single service and $50 for each additional service, plus mileage at the current Internal Revenue Service rate. It is recommended to make reimbursement as soon as possible.

The Pulpit Supply List (download .pdf file) (usually updated monthly) consists of Clergy/AiM/Diaconal, GIFTS program participants/alumni, and laypersons. You may also contact Jean Peterson at 701-232-3381 or for further information.

Record Retention:

The ELCA Office of the Secretary has an Record Retention Schedule/Guidelines for Congregations (download .pdf file) document advising what documents to keep and for how long.

Suggested Guidelines for Compensation and Benefits:

This synod document includes guidelines for salary of ordained staff and pulpit supply rates.

Also see the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Eastern North Dakota Synod (download .pdf file).

North Dakota Labor Department:

The state of North Dakota requires employers to post several state and federal labor posters in a conspicuous place. You can download these posters, free of charge, from (external link).

Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

The Model Constitution for Congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America originally was adopted by the Constituting Convention of this church in Columbus, Ohio, on April 30, 1987. This was done as required by the Constitutions, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Political Activity:

Learn what your congregation can and can't do politically. The ELCA Advocacy Tool Kit (external link) contains helpful guides from the IRS, ELCA legal counsel, and Lutheran Services in America. Learn more about the ELCA's Advocacy and Social Justice activity (external link).

Resources for Treasurers and Bookkeepers

Congregational Audit Guide:

A newly-developed comprehensive Congregational Audit Guide (external link) is available from to help answer questions regarding congregational audits.

ELCA Office of the Treasurer:

The Resources for Congregational Treasurers and Bookkeepers (external link) document is very helpful and covers many topics including:

  • Responsibilities of a Treasurer
  • Cash Handling Suggestion
  • Housing Allowance
  • Audit Procedure
  • Records Management
  • W-2 Help / Payroll Tax Obligations

ELCA Portico Benefit Services:

Portico (external link) (formerly ELCA Board of Pensions) has an EmployerLink for Treasurers & Benefits Administrators (external link) which includes useful information for rates, forms, calculators, and instructions for the ELCA's pensions and health plan. A printable format and worksheet for manually determining insurance costs are available with the Compensation and Benefits Guidelines.

Portico Healthcare Information and Calculators

Feel free to use the PowerPoint presentations and Excel documents below for review or educational purposes.

Housing and Furnishings Allowance:

The Housing and Furnishings Document (download .pdf) provides information on establishing and documenting a pastor's housing and furnishings allowance.


The Internal Revenue Services (external link) has a section for Churches and Religious Organizations (external link) to provide treasurers with guidelines on tax topics and contribution substantiation, including Publication 1828 "Tax Guide for Churches and Religious Organizations", which contains information on a number of tax issues as they apply to churches.

IRS 501(c)(3) Exempt Status Certification Letter:
If your congregation needs a certification letter proving federal tax exemption ruling, request it electronically by emailing to In the subject line, enter 501(c)(3) Exempt Status, and send it. You will receive an automatic reply asking for specific information. Once verified, the ELCA will send the certification letter and attachments to you electronically via pdf format.

IRS Mileage Rate Reimbursement

Purpose 2015 Rates 2014 Rates
Business 57.5¢ per mile 56¢ per mile
Medical / Moving 23¢ per mile 23.5¢ per mile
Volunteer / Charitable 14¢ per mile 14¢ per mile

Mission Support:

The treasurer will receive a supply of the Contribution Remittance Forms by mail each January. A generic remittance form (download .pdf file) is also available. You can make contributions to the current year Mission Support through the fiscal year end of January 31.

statement-of-intentStatement of Intent: Your Congregation’s Plan for Mission Support

Please route this resource to your congregational treasurer or chairperson of your finance committee. This form should be filled out and returned to the synod office following your annual meeting:

Understanding the Terms:

Mission Support represents undesignated gifts from congregations to the synod that support the synod general budget (this includes churchwide ministries). Mission Support was previously known as Benevolence.

Designated Gifts are contributions from congregations given through the synod for specific ministries or programs of the ELCA and Eastern ND Synod. Examples would include Missionary Sponsorship (external link), World Hunger (external link) or the EaND Synod Endowment Fund.

Learn more about Mission Support....

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EaND Synod Office
1201 13th Ave N
Fargo, ND 58102
(Get Directions)

Phone: 701-232-3381
Toll Free: 877-895-4598
Fax: 701-232-3180

Office Hours
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Fridays: 9 am - 3 pm
Sat-Sun: closed

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We are a synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 207 congregations and a variety of ministries.
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