I have been an ordained minister for 4 months now. I have decided on what services I shall render to the public and have researched local laws and tax requirements, however.....I am by my own ethics conflicted about what to charge for my services. I have always been in service to my community through various events occasions and commities, however I do not know the "value" of a handfasting to a poor couple vs. a rich couple nor am I in the opinion that there is a true "price" that could match its value at all. I am thinking of rendering my services for a donation, but that may not cover my costs. I am also considering setting a set price but leaving it as "negotiable". I know this may seem a petty concern to some but ethically it poses quite the problem for me. Please respond with any suggestions or opinions the may help me. I appreciate you time and value your opinions.
Re: Practices of Ordination By: Lark Moderator / Knowledgeable
Post # 2 Jan 08, 2015
I think this is a very valid question to ask. All I can tell you is what I did when I was doing handfastings and the like and you can see if that works for you.
First of all, I looked at it as a service that I could do for those in my community, not as something that was going to make me money. Approaching it in that fashion I decided that the most I would ask was for any travel expenses such as gas for my car to be covered. If the couple wished to give me more than that I would accept it, but I only asked that my own expenses be covered.
In cases where the couple didn't have the sort of cash-flow to cover my expenses I would still do their hand-fastings, etc. without cost to them. In that case I viewed my services as an offering of service to my Gods.
Hope you find this helpful and I'm more than willing to discuss it further with you if you'd like.
Re: Practices of Ordination By: Star.Child / Novice
Post # 3 Jan 08, 2015
Being ordained minister, your services should only be donations, and possible travel expenses. It is a service, not a job to speak of. Tax breaks/exemptions are for the churches; buildings, land; not for you personally. You are doing a community service, so usually no money is involved, although it is custom that they give donation for your time. Hope this helps.. BB
I am already tax exempt living on a fixed income of less than 7,000 a year most of which is social security. I dont expect to make mad cash in the 3rd poorest state in the middle of the bible belt. I do however have to report and cash I make at the end of the year by filling out a 10-99 tax form (hope you all read this because thats useful info for aspiring ministers out there!) Im just conflicted about the money part. I have never charged a dime for any services rendered to my community before. But I am greatful for your replies. I have decided to only work on donation without suggestion to expenses or other costs. It seems like that is a great way to resolve my conflicts. Ive never seen a post like this on here before, so hopefully it serves others as well as it has me. Thanks again guys!
This is a great post.. Ive been an ordained minister for about a year and a half. I got it to do a friends wedding,and recently was thinking about doing them in my community,but had the same things on my mind. The answers on here are both morally and legally right on...