To: All Sessions in Foothills Presbytery

Important reminders from Foothills Presbytery, the General Assembly of the PCUSA, and the PCUSA Board Pensions about decisions that affect you and your congregation.

 

Foothills Presbytery

Terms of Call for Pastors

In May of 2023, Foothills Presbytery approved a recommendation from the Committee on Ministry to increase the minimum terms of call for Pastors beginning January 1, 2024. The new Terms are:

  • The new minimum Effective Salary for Pastors is $55,000.
  • The new minimum Effective Salary for Associate Pastors is $50,000.

Each is an increase of $5,000 per year. The last time the Presbytery voted to raise the terms of call was in 2017.

Reminder: The definition of Effective Salary is Cash Salary + Housing + and half of SECA (Self-Employment Contribution). The second half of SECA goes in the benefits category. In Foothills Presbytery, both portions are paid by the church.

Note: The Board of Pensions will not change its percentage for Health Care and Pension in 2024; therefore, it will remain at 39%.

 

Board of Pensions (BoP)

BoP Insurance options for our Retirees will change in 2024

Health Care benefits for Pastors will change in 2025

BoP Insurance options for our Retirees will change in 2024

Medicare Advantage: New plan replaces Medicare Supplement. The Board of Pensions will offer enhanced medical coverage to retired members through the Humana Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan, starting January 1, 2024. Retired members pay no monthly subscription rate to participate in the new plan, which replaces the Medicare Supplement Plan. Retirees that use this plan will continue to be responsible for the Medicare Part B premium. There is no additional cost to participate in the Humana Group Medicare Advantage PPO plan. With a large national provider network, this plan provides all the benefits of Original Medicare (Parts A and​ B), prescription drug coverage, plus extras like dental, vision, and hearing aid benefits and a variety of wellness, clinical, and fitness programs. Members should receive a packet of material with more information about the change transition from the supplement plan to the advantage plan and information about options. Information is also available online.

If you have specific questions about whether your health care providers are covered in the new plan, you can contact the Humana Customer Care team at 855-273-0021 (TTY: 711) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 9 ​p.m. ET, to learn more.

Health Care benefits for Pastors will change in 2025

The Board of Pensions has declared this as a “Season of Rebuilding.” Their goal is to make the necessary changes to provide greater flexibility and cost control for congregations as they care for the well-being of their pastoral leadership. “Our vision is for all ministers ordained in the PC(USA) to be plan members.” The Board of Pensions has met with over 200 mid-council, congregational, and pastoral leaders on the season of rebuilding initiative and crafted a report. This report is intended to update the wider denomination on this important effort, taken in collaboration with the Church, to assess and redesign the Benefits Plan to better meet the needs of local congregations. The BoP’s Board of Directors is expected to vote on a final design at its meeting in March 2024 and then will schedule meetings across the country to roll out the new plan design, pricing structure, and implementation plan. Presbytery meetings, discernment, and engagement with congregations would continue through the summer of 2024. The revised Benefits Plan will take effect on January 1, 2025.

The Presbytery does not know what the new plan will be, but we do anticipate that all Pastors will continue to receive their full health care and benefits package. The changes will most likely be the benefits plan for spouses and families.

 

General Assembly of the PCUSA

Updates to the Book of Order (BoO)

Changes to the Book of Order went into effect on July 9, 2023:

Meeting procedures:

  •  Please be aware of the new requirement to use Robert’s Rules of Order, Newly Revised, unless your Session designates another parliamentary authority in your bylaws.
  • Congregations and sessions “should” adopt rules to govern electronic meetings if they choose to conduct them. G-1.0501 22-M — G-3.0104 22-N — G-3.0105

Terms of Call:

  • The terms of call for Pastors must include at least 12 weeks of paid family medical leave. The General Assembly policy defines Family Leave to include at least:
  • Leave to accommodate the birth, foster placement, or adoption of a child
  • Leave to provide care to an ill or disabled family member, and
  • Leave to heal following a loss or tragic event.
  • Further, the presbytery’s minimum compensation standards now include a provision for terms when a relationship is dissolved. This applies to called and installed and temporary pastors as well as certified educators.   G-2.0804 22-Q — G-3.0303c

The Committee on Ministry is working on providing additional guidance on the Family Leave Policy. While we are working on guidance, please call the Presbytery if you have questions or need some direction.

Policies and Training:
To be added to your Operations Manual:

All Sessions shall adopt and implement the following policies: a sexual misconduct policy, a harassment policy [1], a child and youth protection policy, and an antiracism policy [2]. Each Session’s policy shall include requirements for boundary training which includes the topic of sexual misconduct and child sexual abuse prevention training for its members at least every thirty-six months. G-3.0106

[1] New to the BoO (2023-2025)

[2] New to the BoO (2023-2025)

The Committee on Ministry’s Sexual Ethics team, the Committee on Shared Mission & Ministry, and the Antiracism Ministry Team are developing resources for Sessions and Church staff as you begin the process of bringing your Operations Manual up to date.

Reminder: Our office is available as a resource to you and looks forward to any and all questions.

Grateful to serve as your Presbytery Leader & Stated Clerk,

Debbie G. Foster

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READ FULL ANNOUNCEMENT HERE