The Community Miracles Center is an official church organization because it has been officially recognized by the State of California and by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of the United States of America, as such. CMC has the appropriate recognition letters and will supply copies of them to anyone who requests them. It is possible to function as a church without official recognition but this is not the case with the CMC . A church with an unrecognized, unofficial status presents complications with guaranteeing contributors that their donations are tax deductible.
An official church is a legal designation provided to a certain class of non-profit corporation that has been: formed for the public benefit, has services open to the public, and have been formed around a specific spiritual teaching. All recognized churches are legal corporations. The process of applying for this “church” designation is a lengthy and a thorough one. It usually takes about 18 months to two years (or longer) before an organization receives both recognition letters. Usually the IRS letter from the USA government requires that the appropriate state government has already investigated and declared the organization a “church.”
Official churches have important rights and privileges. They have the privilege of filing less corporate paper work with the state and federal government because of the separation of church and state that exists in the USA. An official church is also a non-profit, public charity organization so it does not have to pay corporate income taxes on the income it receives or on any remaining income it may have after expenses. However, churches can be, and frequently are, investigated if the government deems there is a reason to believe they are violating their non-profit purpose, or they are not keeping adequate financial records. Co-mingling of funds between church officers, ministers and the church corporation is a common reason why churches are investigated. For this reason all church financial records should be complete and impeccably kept. The Community Miracles Center’s records are. These records have to be available at all times if an appropriate government organization wants to look at them.
Official churches also have the right to ordain legal ministers. Legal ministers can perform marriages and are legal “pastoral counselors.” All of the Community Miracles Center’s ministers can marry people and can be pastoral counselors. There is no legal difference between the CMC’s ministers and any priest or minister from any other faith.
An official church can have certain functions that are available to a select group without violating their public function as long as basic core services are available to the general public. The CMC does provides certain services to it’s Supporting Members, because of their commitment of monthly financial support, that it does not make available to the general public. This is well within the rights of all official churches.
To become a CMC Supporting Member click here: CMC Supporting Members.
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