Pertinent information for churches regarding the Social Security Tax Deferral


As you may be aware, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that allowed for the deferral of social security taxes paid by employees.  This order impacts the employee part of the Social Security payroll tax (6.2%) (not Medicare) for those whose bi-weekly payroll amount is $4,000 or less, or who have a monthly payroll amount of $8,666.66 or less (annual of $104,000).  It is effective September 1. 

Bear in mind this is not a waiver or exemption but merely a deferral.  The order allows for non-payment of such taxes for 2020, but in 2021 they will become due and employees will owe them to the IRS.  Those who participate in this order would see their share of the payroll taxes in 2021 doubled until the 2020 deferral amounts are paid in full.
This order does not impact clergy as they are self-employed for Social Security.  In fact, if clergy make quarterly estimated tax payments, the September – December amount is not due until January 15, 2021 which makes any deferral moot. 

The Conference Treasurer and the Conference Staff Relations Committee have concurred this is not a good alternative for conference staff and will therefore not be participating. We recommend that our churches carefully consider the benefits and challenges of the Executive Order.

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at