Dozens of clergy and lay persons gathered Tuesday at Pasadena First UMC for the Benefits Awareness Seminar regarding pension changes and the Affordable Care Act led by Rev. Ken McMillan of the Cal-Pac Board of Pensions as well as Alliance 360, an insurance brokerage that is assisting the Conference.
The 2-hour session consisted of two presentations, on how local churches are affected by changes in the UMC pension program and the healthcare reform laws, and time for questions and answers. The information presented brought about questions from the attendees that were both as of yet unforeseen and that have been on their minds for a while.
Many of the questions were along the lines of the following:
– How does the ACA affect a church with part-time employees?
– Is Worker’s Compensation involved in any of this?
– What are a church’s obligations for clergy benefits?
– Are there different options for clergy family benefits?
– What are subsidies and how are they applied in relation to clergy income?
Rev. Jane Voigts found the session helpful, especially in her preparations to go on leave. “It was reassuring to be able to talk to the presenters in person, too,” said Rev. Voigts.
Rev. Robert Wicherts, Pastor at Friendly Valley Community UMC in Newhall, commented on the benefits of meeting other people from churches of similar circumstance. But, he was also surprised about one thing in particular. “You know, I am leaving here today with a deeper appreciation for the work of our Conference Staff and volunteers. It is a lot of work, like what we had today, and it means a lot that our local churches have a Conference like ours,” said Rev. Wicherts.
The seminars will be held throughout the month of August in multiple locations across Cal-Pac and preparations are being made for presentations in others languages.
“I am thrilled to see how many people came today and how many others have registered for the upcoming seminars. The information given here can truly help benefit not only the church and the clergy, but lay staff and the congregation as well. This is a wonderful and important way by which the Conference resources the local church,” said Christine Collier, Cal-Pac Health Benefits Coordinator.
To sign up or for more information, contact Christine Collier (firstname.lastname@example.org)