PNews 8/4/22

The most important ingredient of a strong abiding relationship between pastors and their congregations is love. Not just any kind of love will do. A pastor needs to love the congregation just as it is, and its members just as they are, otherwise they will doubt the sincerity of the pastor’s love. As church leaders, our calling is first and always to love those we are called to serve. In this week’s meditation, What’s Love Got to Do with It?, Rev. Dr. Sheldon W. Sorge discusses this and more.
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The Mid-Kentucky Presbytery has made several General Assembly resources available for broad use across the Church. The video and liturgical resources are based on the GA225 theme, “From Lament to Hope.” They consist of a video — the soundtrack of which is a new hymn of lament and hope that debuted at GA225, “Come Bear Witness” — a written statement, an SATB and guitar chord score of the hymn, as well as written prayers and liturgical resources.
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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.

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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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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