Rootedness in the Creative Reality of God

By Rev. Ryan Otto

In a letter to the United Church Board of Ministerial Assistance, the philanthropic arm of the Pension Boards, the Rev. Ryan Otto, Pastor First Congregational Church, Sioux Falls, SD, shares how the gift of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative has rooted and shaped his approach to life and ministry. Rev. Otto was a participant of NGLI*1, the inaugural cohort.

Ryan OttoTo the dreamers, visionaries, and leaders of the Next Generation Leadership Initiative of the Pension Boards: Thank you. Please receive my sincere gratitude for your diligent work in the inventive NGLI program, for the faith to take the risk on such a new endeavor, and for your investment in my ministry and in me as a person of faith.

I will attempt to name the gift of the ten-year NGLI program in one word: rootedness.

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Equipped to Lead through NGLI

By Rev. Beth Abbott

The Rev. Beth Abbott, Pastor of First Congregational UCC in South Milwaukee, WI, shares how her life has been transformed during her almost-completed 10-year journey with the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI). Rev. Abbott is a participant in the inaugural cohort, NGLI*1. Read Rev. Abbot’s letter of gratitude below.

Beth AbbottWhen I began Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI), the idea of a ten-year commitment to anything seemed unusual and rather long. Starting in my 20s, I had only been doing three-to-four-year chunks of schooling (college, seminary) and just dating my now husband, Rich.

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Coming Early 2021: PBUCC Introduces TAD Funds 2045 and 2050

The Pension Boards is pleased to announce the addition of two new Target Annuitization Date (TAD) Funds effective January 2021: TAD Fund 2045 and TAD Fund 2050. These two new TAD Funds are designed for members who expect to annuitize their accounts (convert their monies into lifetime monthly income payments) close to the year indicated in the Fund’s name.

TAD Funds are a worry-free investment choice. The Pension Boards’ investment team automatically invests the funds more for growth when you are years away from retirement, and more conservatively as you approach your anticipated annuitization date. TAD Funds are also ideal for those who do not want to constantly reallocate their investments during market fluctuations.

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November 13 Update from the Pension Boards

Dear Friends,

Greetings to you from the Pension Boards. Each November, our Board of Trustees and its Committees—along with the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance—hold governance meetings in an offsite location. With the ongoing pandemic, our usual schedule of meetings has changed, and last week and this week we have been conducting business virtually via Zoom. Please look for updates on Board actions in upcoming weekly messages.

November is open enrollment month for two Pension Boards benefit plans—Optional/ Additional Life Insurance and the Flexible Benefit Plan. Current participants in the UCC Life Insurance and Disability Income Benefit Plan have an opportunity to purchase additional coverage for themselves and their eligible dependents, at attractive group rates. The Flexible Benefit Plan for UCC Ministries—also known as a flexible spending account or FSA—allows employees to set aside a portion of their pre-tax salary to help pay for qualifying health and dependent care expenses. Please read the article directly below for more information.

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November 6 Update from the Pension Boards

Dear Friends,

This week, I am pleased to announce the launch of new publication from the Pension Boards: Generations: A Journal of Faith and Finance, which addresses the places in our personal and corporate economic lives where the values of faith intersect with our financial obligations and opportunities. Contributors to the journal bring their own experience and viewpoints from the worlds of faith—within and beyond the United Church of Christ—and finance.

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Know Your Net Worth and Cash Flow

Your net worth and cash flow are important barometers of your financial wellness.

Your net worth is your current assets (what you own) minus your current liabilities (what you owe). Among other things, your assets include savings and investments and any property you own. Your liabilities may include housing-related debt, such as a mortgage or home equity loan; car loans; personal loans; and credit card balances.

If you owe more than you own, you have a negative net worth. If you own more than you owe, you have a positive net worth.

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The Strength and Encouragement of NGLI

By Rev. Mark E. Pettis

The Rev Mark E. Pettis, Senior Minister of Manhattan Beach Community Church in California, is completing his 10-year journey with the Next Generation Leadership Initiative (NGLI), a leadership development initiative administered by the United Church Board for Ministerial Assistance, the philanthropic arm of the Pension Boards. Read Rev. Pettis’ letter as he shares his journey and appreciation of the NGLI program.

Pettis Mark 1Having just completed my participation in the “Benediction” event for NGLI*1 (the first cohort in the Next Generation Leadership Initiative), I find myself hovering in a reflective space. Spending this final, “formal” time together with my NGLI cohort reminded me of all that this wonderful program has meant for me and my ministry.

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October 30 Update from the Pension Boards

Dear Friends,

With October almost at an end, we are entering the final stretch of 2020 – a year that has changed just about everything. In our communities, homes are festooned with seasonal décor, but in many places, there will be no trick-or-treaters knocking on the door and plans for upcoming holiday gatherings will be scaled down. Many, if not most, of our congregations continue to worship virtually, and are planning to do so throughout Advent and Christmas. With a new surge in COVID-19 cases, we remain careful, observing safety protocols to protect our health and the health of others.

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October 23 Update from the Pension Boards

Dear Friends,

This is the 32nd weekly message from the Pension Boards since the start of the pandemic. We hope you find these communications helpful in providing information and answering your questions.

We also appreciate the feedback we have received from you, our readers, concerning the topics you would like to hear more about. Thus far, your responses to our reader survey show that health care and pensions continue to be the areas of most interest. Last week, you read about the new Medicare Advantage Plan with Rx. This week, we will highlight one of the major advantages of saving for retirement through the Annuity Plan for the United Church of Christ, administered by the Pension Boards.

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UCC Dental Plan 2000: Open Enrollment Available Oct. 1-31, 2020

As part of an ongoing commitment to provide UCC employees and churches with greater service, access and options, the Pension Boards is pleased to announce that an opportunity to enroll in the UCC Dental Plan 2000 is available October 1-31, 2020 to employees and retirees who do not currently have dental coverage, or who have coverage in a plan other than the UCC’s. Coverage will become effective at 12:01 a.m. on January 1, 2021, and is available on a stand-alone basis, regardless of participation in the UCC (Non-Medicare) Health Benefits Plan or UCC Medicare Supplement Plan. The UCC Dental Plan offers 100% coverage for preventive care services, with no deductible or coinsurance. Preventive care services will not reduce the annual plan maximum.

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