Covenant FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the National Conference Covenant

Do we have to sign it to remain a United Brethren Church?

Yes. In 2005, we chose to move toward being a proactive church that is held together by a common commitment to fulfilling the Great Commission and our common adherence to the Confession of Faith. We also moved from being purely hierarchical to more of an association of churches. The covenant is our way of making a mutual, on-going commitment to each other.

What is the 3.5% partnership fee?

A part of the covenant is the agreement to contribute 3.5% of all non-missions, non-building fund monies as a partnership fee. This fee enables us to provide help to each local church through support services, coaching, resourcing and leadership training. It is a small investment in each other.

What happens if our church doesn’t sign the covenant?

By choosing not to sign the covenant, your church is choosing to withdraw from the Church of the United Brethren in Christ, USA. Steps will be taken to determine if that is truly the desire of your congregation.

What are the ramifications of withdrawing?

Here are some of the key ramifications.

1. You will lose your tax-exempt status if you are functioning under the umbrella of the denomination’s 501c(3) charitable exemption, which enables the gifts of congregation members to be tax-exempt and for the minister to qualify for clergy housing allowance. Those advantages will be gone until you either attach yourself to another non-profit group or establish your own 501c(3) status. This may also affect the tax-exempt status of any church property, depending on local or state laws.

2. Members who are attending Huntington University may lose grants that go to UB members and UB churches.

3. In the future, you will be on your own when it comes to securing a new pastor.

4. Some current retirement benefits could be lost or affected.

5. Pastors and any staff members of churches that withdraw will lose their ministerial credentials or license. Therefore the local church or another group would have to provide licensing or ordination for them. This could affect their performance of certain duties depending on local or state law until the alternative licensing is secured.

Is it possible that the bishop would choose not to sign our covenant?

Yes, that is possible, but it would likely not happen often.

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