Methodists/parsonage

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Question
Our church is considering selling our parsonage.  We understand how to get permission but cannot find any clear answers as to what to do with the money from the sale.  We know that it stays with the church but how, exactly, can the money be used.  We have been told that it must be used for other building projects.  This does not make sense to us. Can it be used to pay a minister housing allowance?  Can it just sit in the bank and draw interest? Can it be used to just bills expenses such as electricity, etc.  Please state exactly  any ways that the money can be used.  Thank you in advance for helping us decide if selling is a good idea.
I am the financial secretary of the church.

St. John United Methodist Church
Sumter, SC  29150

Answer
Monies from the sale of a parsonage should be expended to support the housing needs of pastoral staff.  If it is not needed for this purpose, the monies may be invested and allow to draw interest, however the principle would need to be expended for building use if not used to provide pastoral housing support.

The Discipline outlines that the sale of property not be used to support general budget items, but pastoral housing support is not usually considered a "general budget item" since that is usually considered under parsonage or housing allowance line-items.

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Rev. Gregory S. Neal

Expertise

I can answer questions dealing with all issues of United Methodist Doctrine and Wesleyan-Arminian Theology. In particular I can answer questions dealing with the Sacraments and other liturgical and worship-oriented questions. I can also answer questions dealing with the form, structure, and organization of the United Methodist Church and our relationship with other denominations.

Experience

I am an ordained United Methodist Elder with more than 20 years of ministerial service experience in the local Church.

Organizations
I am a Clergy Member in Full Connection and have been a member of the North Texas Conference of The United Methodist Church since 1991. I am a member of the Society of Biblical Literature and the American Academy of Religion. I am also a member of the Emmaus Community, and am currently serving as Senior Spiritual Director for the Dallas Emmaus Community. I am a member of the Order of Saint Luke in the United Methodist Church.

Publications
I have my own website: www.RevNeal.org.   I have written two books, "Grace Upon Grace" and "Seeking the Shepherd's Arms," both available at Amazon.com and in bookstores.

Education/Credentials
I have a BA in Religious Studies, History and Russian. I have an M.Div in Systematic Theology and Biblical Studies and a Ph.D in Sacramental Theology and New Testament.

Awards and Honors
Ordained Elder in the United Methodist Church
Fellow of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist

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