PNews 7/28/22

We cannot grow if we listen only to voices that declare what we already believe to be true; however, we tend to gravitate to voices and viewpoints that confirm our own already-settled convictions. When we stay within our own echo chamber, we consign ourselves eventually to death, because that which does not grow eventually dies. If we learn to listen to those whose perspectives differ from our own, who knows what we might learn, or even how we might be changed? In this week’s meditation, Escaping the Echo Chamber, Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge explores this and more.

While the Presbyterian Youth Triennium was cancelled due to COVID precautions, there are some resources available online for groups to use to explore the theme “When Did We See You?” Three online resource guides have been published so that youth and their leaders can participate in their own way and at their own pace. A Group Study Guide, Recreation Guide, and Worship and Prayer Guide are now available for download.
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Pastor’s Participation Medical Dues Increasing in 2023
Directors of the Board of Pensions approved an increase in Pastor’s Participation dues for the first time in five years. Effective January 1, 2023, medical dues will increase 2 percent, from 27 percent to 29 percent. As a result, total dues for the benefits package will be 39 percent, up from 37 percent. Directors raised the cap on the maximum annual medical dues amount by $1,500, from $33,500 to $35,000, and on the minimum annual medical dues amount by $500, from $11,000 to $11,500.
The vote to increase dues followed a review of cost forecasts by Milliman Inc., the agency’s medical actuarial counsel. Healthcare costs spiked in 2021 as medical costs continued to climb and healthcare use increased following the coronavirus crisis.
In summarizing actions taken at General Assembly, the Reverend Dr. Frank Clark Spencer, Board of Pensions President, discussed specific requests directed to the Board concerning parity of medical dues and affordability for small congregations, particularly within communities of color. He affirmed the need for ongoing evaluation and assessment of existing benefits structures that may not best serve an evolving denomination. And he reiterated the Board of Pensions’ commitment to providing affordability and flexibility in its benefits and to eliminating plan designs that perpetuate disparities and inequities.
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Wee Kirk is back! After two years on hiatus due to the pandemic, Wee Kirk will be happening again this year, October 10-12, at Laurelville Conference Center. Attendance by Zoom is available, as well as in person. For more information and registration, click here.
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This webinar, on Aug 25, 2022 at 1:00 PM, will cover the changes to Federal Student Loan policy that massively affect PC(USA) leaders. The webinar will be presented by PeopleJoy. PeopleJoy is a student loan consulting company contracted by the Presbyterian Mission Agency to provide digital advising as well as hands-on document preparation and submission for Federal Programs including Public Service Loan Forgiveness, Income-Driven Repayment Plans, Loan Consolidation, Default Recovery and more. You can find past webinars and FAQs at
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Coffee with Clergy
Coffee with Clergy on Monday mornings is taking a summer break for the month of July. Join us again in August for more coffee, laughter, and great conversation among colleagues.
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