Category

Church

Religious Organizations and Zoning in Arizona

Religious Organizations and Zoning in Arizona

By | Church

Like other states, Arizona permits its municipal subdivisions to engage in zoning, including regulating the various types of structures and uses of land that residents within a given “zone” (generally residential, mixed residential-commercial, industrial, and so forth) are permitted to erect, maintain, and operate within. Read More

How to Handle Nonprofit Volunteers with a Past History of Violence

How to Handle Nonprofit Volunteers with a Past History of Violence

By | Church, Nonprofit

Churches and religious ministries, probably better than any other type of institution in existence, understand that human beings are fallible. We make mistakes. We are capable of changing—from willfully malignant to behaving in a manner worthy of humanity. Therefore in a way it would fly in the face of the beliefs of many nonprofit organizations to outright ban from volunteer work someone with a past history of violence (like a single fight decades in the rear-view mirror), so long as that violence truly does lie in the past. Read More

Who is Responsible for Legal Documents Signed by a Clergyperson?

Who is Responsible for Legal Documents Signed by a Clergyperson?

By | Church

Among the legal threads holding our society together, the legal signature is the height of indicators of personal and organizational responsibility. Contracts that make entire industries run are predicated upon the signing of name on a line at the end of legal documents. Often these signatory promises are made by one person—a representative—on behalf of an organization, which must then keep that individual’s promise even if that person somehow ceases to be a member of that organization. And, as churches must operate within the rubric of the larger society, they are expected to abide by similar rules. Read More

Five Steps Every Church or Ministry Should Take to Protect Their Employment Decisions From Government Intrusion

By | Church

President Ronald Reagan’s director of personnel is quoted as saying, “Personnel is policy.” It’s a pithy way of describing the truism that the people who work for an organization shape and mold the organization. They portray it to the outside world and embody the beliefs and values of the organization. In many ways, the people who work for an organization make it what it is and also have the power to change it within their scope of authority in the organization. Read More

How Churches Can Handle Personal Injury Risks

How Churches Can Handle Personal Injury Risks

By | Church

In focusing on the spiritual side of life, churches can, at times, lose sight of the more physical issues that can arise at church. And this—coupled with a healthy dose of the very normal tendency to hope for the best and ignore the worst—can lead some church leaders to forget to take precautions against the real possibility of personal injury claims. Read More

Mitigating the Risk of Church Property Disputes

How to Handle Church Property Issues

By | Church, Nonprofit

The particular manners in which church property disputes arise are as numerous as the lilies of the field. But those that are peculiar to churches (as opposed to the more standard types of property dispute, such as issues that arise concerning payment of property tax, or even in such an ordinary circumstances as the selling or leasing of land) do tend to cluster into some more-common patterns. Read More

Arizona Property Tax Exemption For Churches and Religious Nonprofits: How Does My Organization Get It and How Do We Keep It?

Arizona Property Tax Exemption For Churches and Religious Nonprofits: How Does My Organization Get It and How Do We Keep It?

By | Church

The Arizona Constitution permits taxation of all real estate, improvements to real estate, and, for that matter, all personal property—with certain exemptions determined both within the Constitution itself and in the Arizona Revised Statutes. Among the latter exemptions, as you may have already guessed, is an exemption for churches and religious organizations. But it isn’t just as simple as any property the church owns being exempted from property tax. Read More

Clergy Confidentiality in Arizona: What is Confidential?

Clergy Confidentiality in Arizona: What is Confidential?

By | Church

Members of religious congregations often rely on their clergypeople in times of uncertainty and distress, and the offering of penitence is even a core practice in some faiths. Naturally this often entails the disclosing of personal and otherwise private information—the sort of disclosures that people generally like kept secret for any number of reasons. Because of how important this is in the practice of religion, the clergy-penitent legal privilege has long been an observed in Arizona, as in the US more broadly. Read More

Can a Religious Organization Require Employees to Sign a Statement of Faith?

Can a Religious Organization Require Employees to Sign a Statement of Faith?

By | Church

The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the government from either the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise of religion. The meaning and application of the First Amendment has been hotly debated. One such are of ongoing debate is in the realm of employment law. Religious institutions are after all employers. So how does employment law intersect with the First Amendment? Read More