Last fall, the Southern California Conference (SCC) treasury team spent two Sundays offering training for our local church leaders. One event took place at San Fernando Valley Academy and the next at White Memorial church, two locations intentionally chosen to facilitate participation. Attendees held a variety of roles: local church treasurers, pastors, board members, and more.
Topics covered throughout the day included the role of the treasurer and treasury updates, asset/risk management, human resources, payroll, remittance, billing, honorariums, auditing, the Jewel accounting system, and plant assets. The diversity and breadth of these topics was no accident. “We planned the meeting to include subjects of general knowledge that affect the entire operation of the church, not just treasury items,” Orville Ortiz, SCC treasurer/CFO, explained.
Ellis Flores, pastor at Ebenezer Spanish and Highland Park Spanish companies, especially appreciated the risk management information. “This was my first time going to this type of training, and it was helpful to me,” he recalled. “We had an incident one time at a camp, and a group of youth was attacked. At that time, we didn’t know what to do as far as church insurance and procedures. At this seminar, I asked Warren [Tetz, asset/risk management director] about the steps we need to take when something like this happens. That was very helpful for me to know how to be prepared when an emergency happens.”
“By making the team available with quality, up-to-date information, it makes the treasurers and the pastors aware of issues that could impede ministry if not cared for,” Ortiz said. “This event also lets the attendees know there is a group of experts here in the office who are ready to assist when they encounter difficulties.”
These in-person events are also invaluable for networking. “I appreciated meeting other treasurers and bonding with others in this role, because we face similar challenges,” Sherlyn Luedtke, treasurer at Canoga Park Community Adventist church, shared. “I am also very grateful for the treasury, accounting, HR, and risk management teams for holding us to the highest standards of God’s work and also what the state expects. A lot of it was very informative to me. I learned so much, and truly, I didn’t know what I didn’t know.”
“What I saw was how many people are on my team as a treasurer, that the conference staff is really part of my team to do the treasury work—God’s work—well,” Luedtke reflected. “It was a great experience. I’m looking forward to attending next year because I know I’ll learn even more.”