Manual of The Mother Church/Guardianship of Church Funds
GUARDIANSHIP OF CHURCH FUNDS.
Church Edifice a Testimonial. Section 1. Whereas, on March 20, 1895, the Christian Science Board of Directors, in behalf of The First Church of Christ, Scientist, Boston, Mass., presented to Rev. Mary Baker Eddy their church edifice as a Testimonial of this Church's love and gratitude, and she, with grateful acknowledgments thereof, declined to receive this munificent gift, she now understands the financial situation between the Christian Science Board of Directors and said Church to be as follows:—
Financial Situation. Sect. 2. The Christian Science Board of Directors owns the church edifices, with the land whereon they stand, legally; and the Church members own the aforesaid premises and buildings, beneficially. After the first church was built, the balance of the building funds, which remained in the hands of the Directors, belonged to the Church, and not solely to the Directors. The balance of the church building funds, which can be spared after the debts are paid, should remain on safe deposit, to be hereafter used for the benefit of this Church, as the right occasion may call for it. The following indicates the proper management of the Church funds: —
Report of Directors. Sect. 3. It shall be, the duty of the Christian Science Board of Directors to have the books of the Church Treasurer audited semi-annually, and to report at the annual Church meeting the amount of funds which the Church has on hand, the amount of its indebtedness and of its expenditures for the last year.
Finance Committee. Sect. 4. There shall be a Committee on Finance, which shall consist of three members of this Church in good standing. Its members shall be appointed annually by the Christian Science Board of Directors and with the consent of the Pastor Emeritus. They shall hold quarterly meetings and keep themselves thoroughly informed as to the real estate owned by this Church and the amount of funds received by the Treasurer of The Mother Church, who is individually responsible for said funds. They shall have the books of the Christian Science Board of Directors and the books of the Church Treasurer audited annually by an honest, competent accountant. The books are to be audited on May first.
Prior to paying bills against the Church, the Treasurer of this Church shall submit them all to said committee for examination. This committee shall decide thereupon by a unanimous vote, and its endorsement of the bills shall render them payable.
If it be found that the Church funds have not been properly managed, it shall be the duty of the Board of Directors and the Treasurer to be individually responsible for the performance of their several offices satisfactorily, and for the proper distribution of the funds of which they are the custodians.
God's Requirement. Sect. 5. God requires wisdom, economy, and brotherly love to characterize all the proceedings of the members of The Mother Church, The First Church of Christ, Scientist.
Provision for the Future. Sect. 6. In case of any possible future deviation from duty, the Committee on Finance shall visit the Board of Directors, and, in a Christian spirit and manner, demand that each member thereof comply with the By-Laws of the Church. If any Director fails to heed this admonition, he may be dismissed from office and the vacancy supplied by the Board.
Debt and Duty. Sect. 7. The Mother Church shall not be made legally responsible for the debts of individuals except such debts as are specified in its By-Laws. Donations from this Church shall not be made without the written consent of the Pastor Emeritus. Also important movements of the manager of the Committee on Publication shall be sanctioned by the Board of Directors and be subject to the approval of Mary Baker Eddy. (See Article I, Sect. 6.)
Emergencies. Sect. 8. The Treasurer, personally, or through the Clerk of the Church, may pay from the funds of the Church bills of immediate necessity not exceeding $200 for any one transaction, and he may keep on deposit the sum of $500 with the Clerk, as a petty cash fund, to be used by him for the payment of such bills. Such payments shall be reported, on the first of the following month, to the Board of Directors and the Committee on Finance, for their approval.
Committee on Business. Sect. 9. The Christian Science Board of Directors shall elect annually a Committee on Business, which shall consist of not less than three loyal members of The Mother Church, who shall transact promptly and efficiently such business as Mrs. Eddy, the Directors, or the Committee on Publication shall commit to it. While the members of this Committee are engaged in the transaction of the business assigned to them they shall be paid from the Church funds. Before being eligible for office the names of the persons nominated for said office shall be presented to Mrs. Eddy for her written approval.