Keep active and archived records in order.
The Metropolitan Chicago Synod can help you better manage your congregation’s active and archived records. Best practices suggest that you keep the following records in one accessible fireproof file, a copy in a secure off-site location and a copy at the synod office.
- Articles of Incorporation: Illinois Not-for-Profit Corporation with the Illinois Secretary of State or a Religious Corporation filed with your county.
- Copy of current Congregational Constitution and Bylaws.
- Deed and title to all church property.
- Lease agreements for the congregation.
- Annual Property Tax Exemption Affidavit.
- Illinois State Sales Tax Exemption from the Illinois Department of Revenue.
- Quarterly report/payment to the Internal Revenue Service for employee withholding tax and Social Security.
- Insurance Documents. All past and present documents including, property, workers' compensation and fidelity.
- Annual audit of financial reports.
- Annual Report/Congregational Meeting Minutes.
- Building usage policies.
- Policies governing practices of the congregation.
- Press policy specifically designating an authorized spokesperson.
- Personnel policies.
It is also important to preserve your congregation’s archived records, so that you can have the information you need in the correct format, at any point in the future. The ELCA has many suggestions for managing active and archived records. To learn more, visit Records Management on ELCA.org.
Archives for disbanded congregations.
In addition to holding material from the districts and synods of The American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America, it is also the main repository for the former Iowa Synod, a church body that existed from 1854-1930. Records from most dissolved congregations are held at the appropriate ELCA regional archives.
Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin, Upper Michigan:
ELCA Region 5 Archives
333 Wartburg Place
Dubuque, IA 52003-7797