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Memorandum of Understanding
Between the Center for Religious Experience and Study and the Reverend Vern Barnet, DMn


The Board of CRES recognizes the call of the Reverend Vern Barnet, DMn, to interfaith ministry in metropolitan Kansas City and beyond, and his service as CRES minister in residence. In the spirit of partnership, cooperation, and mutual support, it hereby extends that call with the following terms:
 

1. TENURE. 

He shall have indefinite tenure and may be dismissed by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors at which the subject of his tenure shall have been announced two weeks in advance. He may resign with three months notice or with such arrangements as may be mutually agreeable.


2. NO CREEDAL TEST. 

The minister shall exercise professional judgment in the conduct of ministry and no creedal test shall be applied to his work. The Board and its members are not expected to agree with everything that arises from his efforts to lead in interfaith ways, but it is expected to defend his creativity when his efforts evidence competence and integrity.


3. DUTIES FOR CRES

     A. The Minister toward the Community. The minister shall articulate and promote the multifaith vision and mission of CRES, provide appropriate programs and services, and set a schedule of fees for such programs and services. Since ministry is often informal, the Board recognizes that this description of duties is necessarily incomplete. The following list represents (but does not exhaust) the kind of activities he currently performs as CRES minister in residence.

[Convening the Kansas City Interfaith Council]
Publishing the CRES monthly journal, Many Paths
CRES programs such as the current "Spiritual Diving Lessons" series
Tours of sacred art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum under the CRES aegis
Cooperating with other agencies as a representative of CRES
Referrals provided through CRES
Workshops and retreats
Courses in educational and religious institutions
Curriculum design
Consultation
Weddings, funerals, coming of age programs, etc
Kansas City Star columns and writings in other publications
Counseling and Individual Religious Instruction
Designing and facilitating interfaith events
Speaking and preaching and worship leadership


       B. The Minister toward the Staff. The minister shall be chief of staff. Paid and volunteer staff positions shall be created, filled, and terminated at his pleasure.

     C. The Minister toward the Corporation. The minister shall function as president for the corporation. (a) He shall provide the Chair of the Board with suggestions for the preparation of the agenda for Board meetings and (b) inform the Chair when he is out of town or otherwise unavailable, (c) He shall provide appropriate office support for Corporation officers and directors and (d) report on his work and plans regularly and receive the Board's advice and review. In cooperation with the Treasurer, he may (e) expend budgeted funds, (f) invoice for services, and (g) keep records of gifts and other income. (h) He shall be authorized to write incur debt and expend funds within regular budgeted expectations. Unusual items over $500 shall require the approval of the Board chair or treasurer. (i) He shall provide notice to the Treasurer of changes in the Corporation's physical assets. (j) He shall yearly propose a budget for the Board's consideration.

     D. The Board toward the Minister. In addition to duties implied by other terms of this Agreement, the Board or the Chair shall, when requested, provide letters of recommendation or evaluation necessary to maintain the professional certification of the minister.


4. COMPENSATION. 

Both the Board and the minister recognize that the financial condition of the Corporation at the time of the adoption of this Agreement, makes Compensation more of a goal than a reality. The minister expresses appreciation for the concern of the directors but does not rely on any expectation of more than the most nominal compensation in terms of salary at the outset. When the financial situation of the Corporation makes it possible, the Board and he will devise a plan for regular compensation installments.

   A. Compensation categories. Compensation shall be provided as adopted and adjusted within the Corporation budget. The categories of compensation shall include salary, medical, life, disability and other insurance benefits, and a tax-excludable housing allowance. Since he has opted out of Social Security under previous parish service, no Social Security shall be withheld.

   B. Professional expenses. The minister shall have discretion to exercise his ministerial judgment in the purchase of books, magazines, videocassettes, entertainment, and other media and media access, and attend conferences and engage in such travel as he sees fit for continuing education to advance professional growth and the purposes of CRES, within the budget established by the Board. Such materials shall be regarded as consumables and not assets of the Corporation.
   Professional expenses, including memberships, entertainment, gifts, and travel reimbursements, shall not be considered compensation as they advance the work of CRES.
   The minister shall not be solicited for the support of CRES.

   C. Time off; sabbatical. Scheduled at his discretion, the minister shall be entitled to one complete day off each week, and one week winter and one month summer vacation, free of ministerial responsibilities with notice to the chairman. Should budgetary and staffing conditions make it possible, the Board and the minister shall develop a sabbatical plan.


5. RIGHT TO INDEPENDENT CONTRACT and OWNERSHIP OF PRODUCTIONS. 

(a) The minister retains the right as an independent professional to contract for professional services and to receive the fees therefrom. At his discretion, he may assign such fees to CRES, as has been the consistent practice in the past.  

(b) Unless otherwise agreed, all material written or produced for CRES by the minister shall be considered his property, including material printed with a "copyright CRES" notice, and under his exclusive control.



6. REVIEW. 

This Agreement, including compensation, shall be reviewed annually. The Board and the minister shall yearly review their working relationship, commencing one year after the adoption of this Agreement. This Agreement may be modified by mutual consent between the Board and him, or by a two-thirds vote of the Board of Directors at which the subject of this Agreement shall have been announced two weeks in advance.