Insights & News

Leaders of Stradley Ronon’s Nonprofit & Religious Organizations Group to Present at the 2022 RCRI National Conference

October 5-6, 2022

Hyatt Regency Hotel
300 Reunion Boulevard
Dallas, Texas 75207

Mark E. Chopko, Jennifer A. Gniady and Michael D. O’Mara will present at the 2022 Annual Resource Center for Religious Institutes (RCRI) Conference. The conference’s theme is “A Synodal Church: Together in Service to the Church’s Mission.” Chopko, Gniady and O’Mara have significant experience representing nonprofit, religious and higher education institutions.

October 5 - Jennifer Gniady
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Lessons From a Pandemic: A Look at Governance and Administration

During the pandemic, many administration and governance issues either came to the forefront or were pushed aside for more urgent crises. This workshop looks at how we can use those experiences to improve organizational administration and governance. Topics will include both the documents governing our entities and the people carrying out governance through boards, councils, and committees. We’ll also look at trends in policies and practices, including whether to revisit pre-pandemic ways of doing things.

4 - 5:30 p.m.
Employees in Ministry: Making Sense of Administrative Rules and Judicial Cases in Practice

Alongside religious and volunteers, employees increasingly carry out our ministries. But managing employees in ministry presents unique challenges and significant nuances in areas such as job descriptions, anti-discrimination law and regulation, taxes, and unemployment matters. This workshop will look at those areas with a focus on the role of the ministerial exception. The goal is real-world practice informed by an awareness of religious exemptions, as well as understanding how to communicate these practices to employees.

October 6 - Mark Chopko & Michael O’Mara
11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Sponsorship in Jeopardy

Recent litigation between Southern Methodist University and its sponsoring Conference (like a diocese) of the United Methodist Church has raised more than eyebrows about the enforceability of longstanding religious expectations. Among others, the Conference had rights to approve trustees and real estate transactions. But the Methodist Conference lost its attempt to prevent SMU from divorcing its sponsor. Using that case as a lens, this workshop will explore the relationships between sponsors and ministries, and practical tips for assuring traditional expectations are respected (even by the secular courts).


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