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Picking up the pieces
California congregation crafts mosaic in memory of members killed in explosion
Special to Presbyterian News Service
SAN BRUNO, CALIF.
shattered bits of ceramics and glass gathered at the site of a huge gas
pipeline explosion that killed eight people three years ago here, members of Bethany Presbyterian Church recently pieced together a healing
for themselves and the surrounding community through a poignant mosaic.
Three members of the Bullis family and Bethany’s congregation — Lavonne, 82, her son Greg, 50, and his son William, 17 — were killed instantly inside their home near the epicenter of the violent blast that destroyed 38 houses in the Crestmoor neighborhood on Sept. 9, 2010.
All that was left of the Bullis home were pieces of cups, saucers and Christmas decorations from Lavonne Bullis’ collections. Lavonne’s daughter, Jeannie Bullis Young, found shards of the orchid pattern china used when the family gathered for Easter and summer birthdays, a small angel holding a harp and a sweet nativity scene that once decorated the home at Christmas, along with other reminders of happier times.
Young and other stunned family members scooped up the remnants out of the ashes of the family home while escorted by emergency personnel and Red Cross workers days after the tragedy. They tucked away the fragments, not sure what they would do with them. <<Read More>>
Pam Marino is a communications professional and freelance writer in Sunnyvale, Calif.
Cell Phone Tower Antenna Leases!
It sure sounds like a good idea - a cell antenna on your church property would generate some money! As a practicing attorney who represents churches and property owners on cell tower leases, here are some suggestions to increase the benefits:
- Rents should be in the $1,500 to $2,500 a month range, more for locations near residential areas.
- Make sure the church (not the cell company) gets the additional rent if other companies put their antennas on a cell tower or your church. Overlooking this is one of the most common mistakes churches make.
- Existing cell tower leases can be "gold mines," worth a lot if they are sold, and worth more if kept by the church.
Other risks stand out: << Read More>>
Written by: "John W. Pestle, firstname.lastname@example.org, is an attorney and Finance Team Chair at the Good Shepherd United Church of Christ in Sahuarita, AZ. He is a graduate of Harvard, Yale and the University of Michigan Law School and represents churches and other property owners on cell tower leases".
IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax
We have received reports that some churches have received a notice from the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) stating that they are required to file IRS Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.
The Group Ruling held by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) which provides 501(c)(3), tax-exempt status to the group, also exempts Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations, presbyteries, synods, and the General Assembly from filing Form 990. << Read More>>
April L. Davenport, Associate General Counsel