2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESOLUTIONS
PENSION BENEFIT RATES AND ANNUAL CONFERENCE APPOINTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS It was resolved that the Detroit Annual Conference: 1.
Comprehensive Benefit Funding Plan for 2014: A. Pre 1982 Pension (Pre-82) 1. Establish the Past Service Rate (PSR) at $756 for the calendar year 2014 for members and local pastors per each full year of service prior to 1982. This is an increase of 2% over 2013 representing a PSA factor of approximately 1.22% against the Detroit Conference Average Compensation (PSR/CAC ratio). 2. Continue a 2% annual increase as a default cost of living increase for future years. If the PSR/CAC ratio approaches the conference approved 1.15%, the annual percentage will be re-evaluated. PSR increases will be funded through actuarial gains and/or reserves. 3. Actuarial valuation as of 1/1/2012 indicates a funded status of 128%. There will be no required contribution in 2014. 4. Establish the PSR payable to a surviving spouse at 85%. 5. Base our annual CAC assumption at a 3% increase to reflect the future projection of DAC compensation. 6. Base our annual interest rate assumption at 7% to reflect the long range average rate of return on investments in recent years and project an obtainable rate of return for future years. The mortality table used is RP2000. B.
Ministerial Pension Plan (MPP) MPP funding liabilities are shared with all annual conferences based on each conferenceâ€™s percentage of the total MPP liability. Actuarial valuation indicates a total plan funded status of 112% as of 1/1/2012. There will be no required contribution in 2014.
Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP) 1. Defined Benefit (DB) a. 2014 funding liability will be $1,736,273 based on eligibility for full time, three quarter time, and one half time appointments. b. Annual funding liability will be redirected from Pre-82 surplus. The conference realizes that surplus redirection increases the probability of future Pre-82 contributions. 2. Defined Contribution (DC) CRSP DC contributions for full time, three quarter time, and one half time appointments will be funded through the conference pension apportionment. 3. The conference will provide CRSP funding under CRSP Special Arrangements (to the extent allowable under federal law) for full members, provisional members, associate members, and full time local pastors appointed to Medical Leave (non-CPP disability) for a maximum of one year.
Comprehensive Protection Plan (CPP) 1. CPP premiums will be funded through the conference pension apportionment. Participants are not required to contribute toward the cost of CPP.
CPP Special Arrangements are provided for the following appointment status:
Conference Full Associate Provisional Member Member Member Relationship Attend School Y Y Y (After having served under appointment in the Conference) Maximum of one year Family Leave Y Y Y Maximum of one year Medical Leave Y Y Y Maximum of one year Personal Leave Y Y Y Maximum of one year Sabbatical Leave Y Y NA Maximum of one year Compensation less than 60% of the DAC or CAC Y Y Y Appointment less than full time, but at least Âź time Y Y Y 3.
Full-time Local Pastor NA
NA Y NA NA
Health care provision under Attend School or Leave of Absence status: When CPP is provided under special arrangements to attend school or for a leave of absence, a participant in the Conference Group Health Care Plan is eligible to continue health care coverage for a maximum of one year as long as the participant remains enrolled in CPP. The participant must be enrolled prior to the change in status. Premiums will be shared according to the conference approved premium sharing schedule. Coverage cannot be extended past one year even if the participant is appointed directly from one school or leave status to another. Authorize the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits to grant disability payments equal to 70% of compensation (the value of CPP disability benefits) to those persons granted medical leave for a maximum of twelve months. If approved for CPP disability benefits, the grant is reimbursed to the conference by CPP.
Post-Retirement Medical (PRM) Aon Consulting completed an Actuarial Valuation for Funding Postretirement Medical Benefits in 2011 to calculate future health funding requirements for the Detroit Annual Conference retiree plan. Total Past Service Liabilities as of 1/1/2011 equaled $75,163,559 which was 97.5% funded. Approximately 47% of the 2014 liability of $1,575,032 will be funded through the 2014 pension apportionment with actuarial gains projected to generate the remaining 53%. A new valuation will be completed in 2013.
Active Health Care Plan The Detroit Conference active group health care plan exceeded $5.3 million in 2012. Anticipated annual increases based on prior claims experience and current enrollment are expected to increase at least 5% annually. Each charge or conference approved agency shall share with the participant the full cost of the conference group health care policy according to the approved premium
sharing schedule. The Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits is actively receiving information and data as it becomes available regarding future active health care options especially in relation to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. G. Other Benefit Obligations 1. The Detroit Conference is the plan sponsor and contributes a retirement benefit equal to 6.5% of annual salary for eligible conference lay staff enrolled in the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP). Total 2012 liability was $64,838. Contributions are funded through the common budget apportionment. 2. Beginning in 2014, clergy appointed one-quarter time will not be eligible to participate in the Clergy Retirement Security Program. If approved at the 2013 Detroit Annual Conference session, in 2014 the conference will contribute a retirement benefit equal to 3.0% of annual compensation for eligible one-quarter time clergy appointments through UMPIP. Expected 2014 total liability is approximately $3,500. Contributions will be funded through the pension apportionment. Per action of the 2012 General Conference, the above 2014 Comprehensive Benefit Funding Plan must be approved by Annual Conference action. The plan has been submitted to the Actuarial Department of the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits awaiting opinion. 2.
Authorize The Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits (CBOPHB) to negotiate, compromise, or submit to arbitration any claims for benefits that may arise under the health insurance or the Pre-82, MPP, CRSP or CPP plans; and for that purpose to retain legal counsel as needed.
Establish the 2014 budget for the Conference Board of Pension and Health Benefits as follows: Estimated Expenditures: Current Service for CRSP
Fund Change in PSR (increase of $15) Current Costs for Future Retiree Health Contrib to Central Conf Pension Initiative Current Retiree Health Premiums Health Premiums/Clergy on LOA, etc Annâ€™l Cost of Unpaid Apportionments Temporary Disability Fund Wellness Program Staffing Health Plan Actuarial Study Board Expenses Subtotal, Expenditures
$1,736,273 675,000 675,000 1,500,000 1,575,032 12,000 4,400,000 50,000 150,000 12,000 140,000 137,500 12,000 10,000 $11,084,805
(DB portion) (DC portion) (CPP premium)
Estimated Revenues: Pre-82 Surplus Redirection Retiree Health Fund CBOPHB Reserves/Earnings Apportioned to Churches Subtotal, Revenues 4.
$3,236,273 4,400,000 1,049,032 2,399,500 $11,084,805
Housing/Rental Allowance for retired or clergy on disability in the Detroit Annual Conference: A. The United Methodist Church has and functions through Ministers of the Gospel who are duly ordained or licensed; and B. The practice of The United Methodist Church is to provide a parsonage or rental allowance as a part of the gross compensation for each of its active ordained or licensed ministers; and C. Pensions paid to retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers of the United Methodist Church are considered deferred compensation and are paid to said retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers in consideration of previous active service; and D. The Internal Revenue Service has recognized that the Detroit Annual Conference is the appropriate body to designate a housing/rental allowance for retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers who are members of this conference;
THEREFORE IT WAS RESOLVED: 1. An amount equal to 100% of the pension/disability payments received during the year 2014 is hereby designated as a rental/housing allowance for each retired and disabled ordained or licensed minister of The United Methodist Church who is or was a member of the Detroit Annual Conference at the time of his or her retirement or disability; 2. This rental/housing allowance shall apply to each retired and disabled ordained or licensed minister who has been granted the retired relationship or placed on incapacity leave by the Detroit Conference and whose name and relationship to the conference is recorded in the Journal of the Detroit Conference or in other appropriate records maintained by the conference; 3. The pension/disability payment to which this rental/housing allowance applies shall be the pension/disability payment resulting from all service of such retired and disabled ordained or licensed ministers from all employment by any local church, annual conference or institution of The United Methodist Church, or from any other employer who employed the minister to perform services related to the ministry and who elected to make contributions to the pension and welfare funds of The United Methodist Church for such retired ministerâ€™s pension or disability benefits; 4. The amount of the housing/rental allowance that may be excluded is limited to the lesser of: a) The amount designated as the housing/rental allowance, or b) The amount actually expended for housing/rent, or c) The fair rental value of housing, if required by law.
CLERGY RETIREMENT SECURITY PROGRAM It was resolved that effective January 1, 2014 the Detroit Annual Conference (DAC) elects to provide retirement benefits through The Clergy Retirement Security Program (CRSP) for full-time, three-quarter time, and half-time clergy under eligible DAC appointment. The DAC further elects to provide retirement benefits through The United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP) for one-quarter time clergy under eligible DAC appointment. Conference contributions for one-quarter time clergy will be based on the same Defined Contribution (DC) matching contribution schedule as the CRSP DC.
GROUP HEALTH CARE POLICY REVISIONS It was resolved that the Detroit Annual Conference (DAC) adopt the following Detroit Conference Group Health Care policy effective January 1, 2014. Detroit Conference Group Health Care Policy The Detroit Annual Conference Group Health Plan is designed to safeguard the health and wellbeing of covered subscribers and their families. Medical coverage is provided through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. Dental coverage is provided through Guardian Insurance, with an optional subscriber annual election for vision coverage. Prescription drug coverage is provided through CVS Caremark. A prescription mail order program through Global Health Management is encouraged for recurring/maintenance prescriptions. All available benefits are at all times subject to and may be limited, denied, or terminated based on applicable underwriting provisions, contract terms, eligibility rules, and premium payment requirements. Active Plan Benefits: The medical, prescription drug, dental, and vision (optional) plans are designed to cover active subscribers and their eligible dependents during their working years. Retiree Plan Benefits: Blue Cross/Blue Shield Complementary Medical Coverage is provided for secondary medical expenses of retirees and their eligible dependents as a supplement to Federal Medicare (Part A and Part B). Dental, prescription drug, and vision (optional) coverage is also available to retirees. Full details regarding retiree eligibility, requirements, and funding appear in the Retiree Group Health Care Plan section of this report. Plan Administration: Both the Active and Retiree plans are centrally administered by BenePro, Inc. 1423 E Eleven Mile Road, Royal Oak, MI, 48067 where enrollment and premium billings are processed. BenePro and/or the Conference Benefits Officer are available to answer questions about the plans.
Active Group Health Care Plan Enrollment/Effective Date of Coverage: Health Care eligibility begins the first day of a new appointment/hire, change in appointment/employment status, or a life-qualifying event (i.e. loss of other health coverage), provided all required submissions, underwriting, and payments have been timely made. All available benefits are at all times subject
to and may be limited, denied, or terminated based on applicable underwriting provisions, contract terms, eligibility rules, and premium payment requirements. It is the responsibility of the subscriber to submit enrollment forms in a timely manner. If the enrollment process is not completed within 30 days of eligibility, the subscriber must wait until the next open enrollment period. Eligible Subscribers: Active Plan eligible classes include the following: (Full-time for health coverage eligibility is defined as working at least 30 hours per week) 1.
Full-time Clergy (Ordained Ministers and Local Pastors) under Episcopal appointment with the Detroit Annual Conference as the responsible agency for providing benefits. Full-time Lay Employees of the Detroit Annual Conference and its approved, related agencies. Full-time Lay Employees of a local church (including District Superintendent Assignments) until the employee turns age 65. All conference eligibility requirements must be observed. The local church is the responsible agency for all lay employee health insurance premiums. However, premium-sharing schedules may be determined by local church employee policies. Clergy and Conference/Related Agency Lay Employees on Disability Leave, provided the subscriber was enrolled in the Detroit Conference Group Active Health Care Plan at the time they were granted disability leave. a. The subscriber must enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B at the date of first eligibility. b. The subscriber is responsible for submitting a copy of the subscriberâ€™s Medicare card to the Conference Benefits Officer at the time of Medicare enrollment to assure the proper coordination of benefits. Dependents of deceased Clergy and Conference/Related Agency Lay Employee subscribers provided the dependents were enrolled in the group active health care plan at the time of the subscriberâ€™s death. a. Dependents of a retired subscriber will continue health coverage under the same eligibility and funding provisions as the subscriber. b. A surviving spouse that remarries will continue to receive the health care benefit. However, the new spouse is not eligible for coverage. Enrolled dependents of deceased Local Church employee subscribers as allowable by the health care plan if continued coverage is a provision of the local church employee policy, and if the local church maintains responsibility for the health insurance premiums. Divorced or legally separated spouse subject to the following conditions: a. Continuation of coverage until the earliest of the following occurs: i. Acquisition of alternate health insurance ii. Remarriage of the divorced spouse iii. 36 months following the date of the divorce decree or legal separation b. The divorced or legally separated spouse shall be responsible for payment of the monthly premium.
Eligible Dependents: 1. Spouse. 2. Children and Legal Dependents under age 26. 3. Qualifying Adult Children with disabilities.
Changes in Eligibility: All changes in appointment, employee, or family status that affect eligibility in health coverage must be submitted within 30 days of the date the change occurs, otherwise loss, lapses, or gaps in coverage may occur. Subscribers are responsible for providing family status changes (including marriages, births, adoptions, legal guardianships) in writing to the Conference Benefits Officer. A delay in notification could mean a delay or denial of coverage until the next open enrollment period. Working Aged 65: Active Clergy under eligible Detroit Conference Appointment and Conference Lay Employees in Conference/Related Agency employment retain eligibility status in the conference active group health care plan. 1. The conference active group plan continues to be the subscriber’s primary coverage. 2. Subscribers and dependents must enroll in Medicare Part A at the time they turn age 65, but are not required to enroll in Medicare Part B until the time of the subscriber’s retirement. 3. The subscriber is responsible for submitting a copy of the subscriber/dependent Medicare card to the Conference Benefits Officer at the time of Medicare enrollment to assure the proper coordination of benefits. Funding of Active Health Care Policies: 1. Active Clergy and Conference/Related Agency Employees: Health insurance premiums are shared by the salary-paying unit (Detroit Conference, Conference Related Agency, or Local Church) and the subscriber according to the contribution schedule established by Detroit Annual Conference action. 2. Disabled Clergy and Conference/Related Agency Employees: Health insurance premiums are paid by the Detroit Annual Conference to the extent established by Detroit Annual Conference action. 3. Dependents of deceased Clergy and Conference/Related Agency Lay Employee subscribers: Health insurance premiums are paid by the Detroit Annual Conference to the extent established by Detroit Annual Conference action. Termination: 1. A subscriber may voluntarily terminate a subscriber’s health insurance policy at any time by submitting a request in writing to the Conference Benefits Officer. 2. Health insurance policies are terminated the date of a subscriber’s termination from an eligible Clergy Appointment or Conference/Related Agency employment. a. Coverage for terminated employees may be extended up to three months as a severance package provision. b. Under special provisions of the Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits, a policy will be extended for up to one year for a clergyperson subsequently appointed to an eligible leave of absence status. 3. Health Insurance policies for a local church employee are terminated effective: a. The termination date of local church employment. Coverage may be extended up to three months as a severance package provision. b. The first of the month in which the subscriber turns age 65. Existing policies for working aged 65 local church employees as of December 31, 2013 are exempt from this provision. 4. Health Insurance policies will be terminated for non-payment of premiums according to the following schedule: a. Health insurance premium payments are due the fifteenth of every month for the current month’s coverage.
b. c. d.
A delinquency notice is issued when an account is two months in arrears. A second delinquency notice is issued at three months in arrears. A third delinquency and pending termination notice is issued at four months in arrears. e. Policy will be terminated at six months in arrears. i. Policy may be reinstated within 30 days of termination if the outstanding balance has been remitted in full. ii. In a delinquency situation involving a clergyperson appointed to a local church, a repayment plan must be submitted to and approved by the Executive Committee of The Board of Pension & Health Benefits to extend coverage past the six month period. COBRA coverage is not offered through the Detroit Annual Conference. Existing COBRA-like policies in effect as of December 31, 2013 may continue according to the current terms of their agreement.
Waiver of Coverage: 1. Eligible Clergy and Conference/Related Agency Lay Employees that waive conference health care coverage must have a Waiver of Coverage form on file in the Detroit Conference Benefits Office. 2. Persons waiving coverage have opportunity to enroll themselves and eligible dependents in the conference health care plan annually during open enrollment or at the time of a life-qualifying event. Retiree Group Health Care Plan Introduction: This section describes the provisions and requirements of the Detroit Annual Conference group retiree health care plan. All available benefits are at all times subject to and may be limited, denied, or terminated based on applicable underwriting provisions, contract terms, eligibility rules, and premium payment requirements. All required submissions, underwriting, and payments must be timely made. It is the subscriber’s responsibility to understand the specific rules relating to eligibility for coverage in retirement prior to the subscriber’s retirement date. Questions may be directed to the Conference Benefits Officer or conveyed in writing to the Board of Pension & Health Benefits. Do not rely on verbal responses to general questions raised in informational meetings or provided by representatives other than the Board of Pension & Health Benefits. It is crucial that clergy who have served appointments during their career in Extension Ministries or another Annual Conference are knowledgeable regarding years of service credit, coverage, and cost sharing in order to effectively plan for retirement. Definition of Terms: 1. Years of Service Credit for Health Benefits in Retirement: Years of Service in Eligible Detroit Conference Episcopal Appointments used to calculate eligibility and funding levels for health benefits in retirement. 2. Eligible Detroit Conference Episcopal Appointment: An Episcopal appointment is defined when the Detroit Annual Conference is the responsible agency for the clergyperson’s benefits. a. Some Extension Ministry Appointments will be eligible for credit toward health benefits in retirement. Others will not, depending on the agency responsible for the clergyperson’s benefits.
Appointments to other conferences/agencies while maintaining membership in the Detroit Annual Conference are not eligible for credit toward health benefits in retirement. c. Reciprocal Agreement with West Michigan Conference i. A Detroit Conference clergy member will receive credit toward health benefits in retirement for Eligible Episcopal appointments in the West Michigan Conference. ii. A West Michigan Conference Eligible Episcopal Appointment is defined when the West Michigan Conference is the responsible agency for the clergypersonâ€™s benefits. iii. A Detroit Conference clergy member serving a West Michigan Conference appointment must serve a Detroit Conference Eligible Episcopal Appointment and be enrolled in the Detroit Conference Active Group Health Care Plan immediately preceding retirement in order to be eligible for retiree health benefits. (reference: Eligible Subscribers 1.b. below) Mandatory Retirement: Defined as retirement on July 1 after having attained age 72. Full Retirement: Defined as retirement at age 65 or with 40 years of service under appointment as an ordained minister or local pastor. The years of service for retirement may or may not be the same years of service used to calculate health benefit credit depending on the type of appointments served. Early Retirement: Defined as retirement at age 62 or with 30 years of service under appointment as an ordained minister or local pastor. The years of service for retirement may or may not be the same years of service used to calculate health benefit credit depending on the type of appointments served. 20 Year Rule: Defined as retirement under age 62 with 20 years of service under appointment as an ordained minister or local pastor. The years of service for retirement may or may not be the same years of service used to calculate health benefit credit depending on the type of appointments served.
Medicare Enrollment/Coordination of Benefits: The retiree medical health care plan is a supplemental plan to Medicare for all eligible subscribers age 65 and over. 1. In retirement, the subscriber and dependents must enroll in Medicare Part A and Part B effective the date of first eligibility. 2. The subscriber is responsible for submitting a copy of the subscriber/dependent Medicare cards to the Conference Benefits Officer at the time of Medicare enrollment to assure the proper coordination of benefits. Eligible Subscribers: 1. Retired Clergy (Ordained Ministers and Local Pastors): a. Subscriber must be a Clergy Member of the Detroit Annual Conference at the date of retirement. b. Subscriber must be enrolled in the Detroit Conference Active Group Health Care Plan at the time of their retirement. For clergy not participating in the conference active group health care plan, in most situations the final opportunity for a clergy and/or dependents to enroll will be during the Open Enrollment Period prior to the subscriberâ€™s retirement date. Annual Open Enrollment is in December for a January effective enrollment date. c. Subscriber must have served under Eligible Detroit Conference Episcopal appointments for the ten years immediately preceding retirement.
Retired Conference/Related Agency Lay Employees: a. Subscriber must be enrolled in the Detroit Conference Group Active Health Care Plan at the time of their retirement. For employees not participating in the conference active group health care plan, in most situations the final opportunity for an employee and/or dependents to enroll will be during the Open Enrollment Period prior to the subscriber’s retirement date. Annual Open Enrollment is in December for a January effective enrollment date. b. Subscriber must have been employed by the Detroit Conference/Related Agency for the ten years immediately preceding retirement. Dependents of deceased Retired Clergy and Conference/Related Agency Lay Employee Detroit Conference group retiree health care plan subscribers provided the dependents were enrolled in the group retiree health care plan at the time of the subscriber’s death. a. Dependents of a retired subscriber will continue health coverage under the same eligibility and funding provisions as the subscriber. b. A surviving spouse that remarries will continue to receive the health care benefit. However, the new spouse is not eligible for coverage. Divorced or legally separated spouse subject to the following conditions: a. Continuation of coverage until the earliest of the following occurs: i. Acquisition of alternate health insurance ii. Remarriage of the divorced spouse iii. 36 months following the date of the divorce decree or legal separation b. The divorced or legally separated spouse shall be responsible for payment of the monthly premium. Retired Local Church Lay Employees are not eligible to enroll in the Detroit Conference Group Retiree Health Care Plan. Existing retiree policies in this category as of December 31, 2013 are exempt from this provision.
Eligible Dependents: Eligible dependents are determined as of the date of the subscriber’s retirement. All dependents must be enrolled on the subscriber’s group active health care policy at the time of subscriber’s retirement date in order to be considered for coverage eligibility. These include: 1. Spouse. 2. Children and Legal Dependents under age 26. 3. Qualifying Adult Children with disabilities. New dependents through marriage or other family additions subsequent to the subscriber’s date of retirement are not eligible. Funding of Retiree Health Insurance Policies: 1. Clergy that received their first Detroit Conference Appointment prior to 2007: a. Retiring under Mandatory, Full, or Early Retirement i. The Detroit Annual Conference will pay 4% per year of credited service in an Eligible Detroit Conference Episcopal Appointment toward the retiree’s health insurance premium (including eligible dependents) ii. If the subscriber has less than 25 years of credited service, the subscriber will be billed monthly for the balance of the health insurance premium. b. Retiring under the 20 Year Rule i. The subscriber may retain coverage through the Detroit Conference Health Care Plan if they meet eligibility requirements as applicable from time to time.
The subscriber is responsible for the entire insurance premium until age 65. At age 65, the Detroit Conference will pay a portion of the health insurance premium according to the funding provisions for mandatory, full, or early retirement. iii. If the subscriber terminates their policy prior to age 65, they cannot re-enroll at a future date. Conference/Related Agency Lay Employees hired prior to 2007 c. The Detroit Annual Conference will pay 4% per year of employment toward the subscriber’s health insurance premium (including eligible dependents). d. If the subscriber has less than 25 years of employment, the subscriber will be billed monthly for the balance of the health insurance premium. Clergy that received their first Detroit Conference Appointment in or subsequent to 2007: a. Retiring under Mandatory, Full, or Early Retirement i. The Detroit Annual Conference will pay 3% per year of credited service in an Eligible Detroit Conference Episcopal Appointment toward the subscriber’s health insurance premium (including eligible dependents). ii. The maximum payment by the Detroit Annual Conference is 90%. iii. The subscriber will be billed monthly for the balance of the health insurance premium. b. Retiring under the 20 Year Rule i. The subscriber may retain coverage through the Detroit Conference Health Care Plan if they meet eligibility requirements as applicable from time to time. ii. The subscriber is responsible for the entire insurance premium until age 65. At age 65, the Detroit Conference will pay a portion of the health insurance premium according to the funding provisions for mandatory, full, or early retirement. iii. If the subscriber terminates their policy prior to age 65, they cannot re-enroll at a future date Conference/Related Agency Lay Employees hired in or subsequent to 2007: a. The Detroit Annual Conference will pay 3% per year of employment toward the subscriber’s health insurance premium (including eligible dependents). b. The maximum payment by the Detroit Annual Conference is 90%. c. The subscriber will be billed monthly for the balance of the health insurance premium.
Termination: 1. A subscriber may terminate their health insurance policy during retirement at any time. However, the termination is non-revocable and a subscriber cannot re-enroll at a future date. 2. The health insurance policy of a retired ordained minister whose clergy membership is terminated with the Detroit Conference for any reason will be terminated the effective date of the termination of the subscriber’s clergy membership. Existing retiree policies in this category as of December 31, 2013 are exempt from this provision. However, Detroit Conference funding for all such policies will cease December 31, 2013, and the subscriber will become responsible for all premiums. 3. Health insurance policies will be terminated for non-payment of premiums according to the following schedule: a. Health insurance premium payments are due the fifteenth of every month for the current month’s coverage.
b. c. d. e.
A delinquency notice is issued at two months in arrears. A second delinquency notice is issued at three months in arrears. A third delinquency and pending termination notice is issued at four months in arrears. Policy will be terminated at six months in arrears. i. Policy may be reinstated within 30 days of termination if the outstanding balance has been remitted in full. ii. Since termination of a retiree policy is permanent following the 30 day window for reinstatement, subscribers in a delinquency situation are strongly encouraged to initiate communication with the Executive Committee of The Board of Pension & Health Benefits to negotiate a realistic repayment schedule prior to the date of termination.
In the event any of the above provisions need to be interpreted, the Committee on Health Benefits is authorized to make any needed interpretation which will be considered final unless appealed to the full Detroit Conference Board of Pension & Health Benefits, which will have the final authority to decide any issue. In the event of any dispute or disagreement by a participant, the Committee on Health Benefits is authorized to negotiate and settle the matter subject to the terms and conditions of the underwriter of the coverage and review by the Board of Pension & Health Benefits.
TRAVEL EXPENSES It was resolved that CFA Financial Policy D.1.g. be revised to: D.1.g. All others drawing travel expenses from conference funds shall receive reimbursement equivalent to the federal IRS allowance for moving and medical care mileage for car and travel and $.02 per mile per passenger up to five people. This is designed to cover out-of-pocket expenses (i.e. gas and oil).
PROTECTION POLICY REVISIONS It was resolved that the Detroit Annual Conference Policy Statement for the Protection of Children, Youth, and Vulnerable Persons be amended with the following changes: (in bold face and underlined): Section I Certification and Re-Certification Procedures A: Care Provider Selection 1. All persons, paid or volunteer, seeking certification shall: a. be at least 16 years of age and upon turning eighteen (18) years of age they must apply to recertify as an adult. f. provide three references from unrelated persons of legal age (18 years or older) including ways to contact them. h. successfully complete a test indicating reasonable knowledge of the issues addressed in the Policy and the certification training event.
IMMIGRATION REFORM It was resolved that the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church support current legislative efforts of the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to reform the U.S. immigration system; and 286
It was further resolved that the Detroit Annual Conference affirm General Conference resolutions 3281, 3283, 3284, and 5081 which clearly state the United Methodist Church’s responsibility to advocate for the rights of immigrants and reform of the U.S. immigration system; and It was further resolved that guided by Resolution 3281, “Welcoming the Migrant to the US,” we advocate: “Any legislation to reform the US Immigration system must affirm the worth, dignity, and inherent value and rights of migrants, and must also include: •
An opportunity for legal status for all undocumented migrants. Any pathway created for undocumented migrants should have minimal obstacles, and those requirements should not be designed to preclude migrants from eligibility for legalization; Clearing the backlogs and reunifying families separated by migration or detainment; An increase in the number of visas for short-term workers to come to the United States to work in a safe and orderly way. Opportunities for legalization should be available for those who wish to remain permanently; The protection of all workers who come to stay for a certain period of time as well as for those who stay permanently. The right to bargain for higher wages, to protest against poor working conditions, and to preserve their human rights should be maintained by all workers, documented and undocumented alike; Elimination of privately-operated detention centers, which are not regulated by the federal or state governments; Elimination of indefinite detention, incarceration of children, and the expanding prison population, which also benefits privately owned detention centers and prisons; Preservation of due process and access to courts and to adequate legal representation for all migrants regardless of legal status;” and
It was further resolved that the Secretary of the Detroit Annual Conference send a copy of this resolution to Michigan’s U.S. Senators and to Michigan’s U.S. Representatives that serve districts located within the area of the Detroit Annual Conference; and It was further resolved that the Detroit Annual Conference encourages individual United Methodists to contact their Senators and U.S. Representative to express their support for comprehensive immigration reform.
RECOGNIZE FULL EQUALITY It was resolved that the Detroit Annual Conference believes in full equal rights for all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
DISCUSSION RE: SOCIAL PRINCIPLES PARAGRAPH RE HUMAN SEXUALITY It was resolved that congregations of the Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church be made aware of and provide discussion opportunity for the following resolution to be made to the 2016 UMC General Conference. The amendment will
change a resolution in the Social Principles that is incompatible with the position of inclusiveness of all people required by the Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church. The congregations of the annual conference should be prepared to provide knowledgeable discussion about the resolution at the appropriate time. Amend ¶161F as follows (remove one sentence and add four sentences at the end): F. Human Sexuality—We affirm that sexuality is God’s good gift to all persons. We call everyone to responsible stewardship of this sacred gift. Although all persons are sexual beings whether or not they are married, sexual relations are affirmed only with the covenant of monogamous, heterosexual marriage. We deplore all forms of the commercialization, abuse, and exploitation of sex. We call for strict global enforcement of laws prohibiting the sexual exploitation of children and for adequate protection, guidance, and counseling for abused children. All persons, regardless of age, gender, marital status, or sexual orientation, are entitled to have their human and civil rights ensured and to be protected against violence. The Church should support the family in providing age-appropriate education regarding sexuality to children, youth, and adults. We affirm that all persons are individuals of sacred worth, created in the image of God. All persons need the ministry of the Church in their struggles for human fulfillment, as well as the spiritual and emotional care of a fellowship that enables reconciling relationships with God, with others, and with self. We affirm that God’s grace is available to all. We will seek to live together in Christian community, welcoming, forgiving, and loving one another, as Christ has loved and accepted us. We implore families and churches not to reject or condemn lesbian and gay members and friends. We commit ourselves to be in ministry for and with all persons. We recognize that the church is not of one mind about the practice of homosexuality. Some rely on a traditional interpretation of scripture to conclude that this practice is incompatible with Christian teaching. Others come to accepting conclusions based on the broad themes in the Bible, specifically God’s grace and love. We humbly acknowledge that we may not understand God’s will on this subject, but we want our Church to be welcoming to all people. Given the call to inclusiveness, we refrain from condemning the practice of homosexuality.
PREVENT GUN VIOLENCE It was resolved that we ask every and all clergy and laity of the Detroit Annual Conference to join with people of faith across this nation and around the world to contact their U.S. Senators and Representatives and President Barack Obama urging them to move immediately to pass legislation that: 1. Requires universal background checks for all gun sales in any place or venue; 2. Bans the sale of high-capacity “assault” weapons; 3. Bans the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines; 4. Enforces current gun trafficking laws as federal crimes. It was further resolved that we encourage the laity and clergy of our congregations and ministries to: 5. Continue to advocate with state elected leaders for restrictions on open or concealed carrying of handguns in places such as houses of worship, schools, hospitals, day care centers, bars, sporting arenas, etc.
MLK DREAM SPEECH COMMEMORATION It was resolved that The Detroit Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church joins others in the state of Michigan and around the world in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “The Great March to Freedom” held on Woodward Avenue in Detroit on June 23, 1963, and the culminating “Freedom Rally” at Cobo Arena in which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave the first version of his famous, “I Have A Dream” speech. The Detroit Annual Conference further urges its member congregations to commemorate this momentous occasion on a date close to the anniversary date of this march, by telling the congregation about this event during a worship service, offering prayers of thanksgiving for this event and the important part it played in the Civil Rights movement, including a responsive litany about the event in this service, planning a special service to celebrate this anniversary, and/or by encouraging members to participate in community and statewide events commemorating this historic occasion including workshops to be held on Friday June 21 and a commemorative march to be held on Saturday June 22 sponsored by the Detroit Branch of the NAACP (call 313-871-2087 for details).
POLITICAL BOUNDARIES It was resolved that the clergy and laity of the Detroit Annual Conference advocate for an independent, bipartisan commission to re-draw Michigan’s political boundaries to ensure free and fair elections.
CONSIDER SCHOOL FINANCE REFORM It was resolved that the clergy & laity of the DAC advocate for adequate and equitable funding for Michigan public schools.
Dean of Cabinet’s Report 2013
DEAN’S REPORT 2013 Rev. Mark E. Spaw Did you hear . . . We’ve got a new bishop! Bishop Deb in her own wonderful and inspired way has led our cabinet . . . In a year of unprecedented pastoral changes, retirements and all the other challenges that God has placed before us with grace, caring, humor, innovation and truly spirit led leadership. Thank bishop keisey for your insights, encouragements and insightful leadership. You can bish! Grandpa story – too long or too short I’ve heard over 32 years of dean’s reports, and never saw a rope trick. And over 32 years of dean report’s reviews. So the report will either be too long or too short, informative or not so much, factual or not so much, inspiring or dry. Whatever this dean’s report will be or not be . . . Know this, outrageous hope will be my thanks. Because I know it’s going to be alright. Turn to the person next to you and tell them “God loves ya and there is nothing you can do about it. It’s going to be alright.” I’m blessed to work with five God gifted spirit led d.s.! Together we seek through prayers and discernment God’s plan for this Annual Conference. I’m privileged to work with such talented and faithfilled friends and colleagues. You see it’s going to be alright. You are working in a garden on a beautiful sunlit morning pulling out dandelions. Suddenly, you drop to your knees and discover beauty in the unique coloring, beauty in the intricate design. Beauty even in the strange smell. Suddenly the dandelion is transformed. You know it’s more than just an ugly yellow weed; it’s a little bit of the wonder and the glory of God. Suddenly, you can appreciate in a whole new way the pietistic phrase, “let go and let God.” Suddenly you can hear yourself saying, “it’s going to be alright.” You watch your child marching to the marriage altar and, suddenly, no longer do you see messy rooms; no longer do you remember late, anxious nights; no longer do you hear angry shouting. Suddenly you realize that in your experience of parenting you have encountered something of the divine love –that intense, irrational love which nothing can shut out, and your child is transformed before your eyes so completely that you now see him or her in a whole new way. And suddenly, you can hear yourself saying, “let it be!” We come to Church regularly for years or perhaps Annual Conference. Over-an-over again, we listen to the same old reports, hear that the Church is dying, and our spirit becomes sleepy and dull and lifeless. But one day it happens! Suddenly, one sunday, we experience a breakthrough. By some miracle we are visited by an angel of the lord who whispers to our soul a message of hope, a message of faith: it’s going to be alright. God is the God of history; his kingdom will come! Suddenly our lifeless old spirit is transformed into a powerhouse of outlandish faith and hope. Suddenly our sleepy old spirit is interrupted by the wildest imaginable dreams of what the lord has prepared for those who live in harmony with God’s will. And suddenly, we can hear ourselves saying from every fibre of our being, “let go and let God! . . . It’s going to be alright.
Dean of Cabinet’s Report 2013
Rev. JoAnne Bartelt, d.s. oOf the Blue Water district says, “i have learned so much from the good people that make up the Blue Water district. Hard working, committed and caring is how I would describe the folks who make their homes in the thumb area. I have seen and admired the strong work ethic I witness all around the district. These folks live out the mission of the Church every day of their lives; to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. I am proud to work with a district whose goal is to minister to the least, last and lost folks around us. The Blue Water district is proud of the two free stores, the many community meals served each week, and the Hispanic Latino ministry that is emerging in the upper part of the thumb. The Blue Water district has much to be proud of, but we are always conscious of how much more we can and must do. Thanks be to God for the Blue Water district where God’s spirit flows.” A certain pastor was the victim of a prolonged illness. During the period, the parish secretary regularly posted an update of the pastor’s condition on the Church’s lawn sign. “pastor critical” was the first message. “pastor off critical list” read the second. And so on until, one day, when the pastor’s recovery seemed almost complete, persons walking past the Church were startled by the announcement, “God is good – pastor better!” In terms of our spiritual health, no matter how good we may think we are at knowing what to do with our lives, no matter how good we may think we are at knowing how to grow into complete, whole persons, God is better! And “let go and let God” means to trust in that reality; to say without reservation and in total humility, “it’s going to be alright. . . . Thy will be done.” Dr. Tara Sutton, d.s. Of the crossroads district says: “Christ-centered, healthy leaders, intentional diversity, collaborative relationships, congregations vital to their communities describe the five core strategic values of the crossroads district. We envision a transformed district of connected spiritual leaders and Churches fully reflecting the kingdom of God. Our focus is to pray, coach, provide hospitality, develop signature ministries and become a spotlight district as we make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” You may have come here today feeling spiritually drained. You may be feeling like the deep sea diver who was walking around the ocean floor in his heavy diving suit. Above him was the mother ship to which he was connected by an air-hose: his lifeline. After being on the ocean floor for some time, he suddenly heard an anguished cry coming over his intercom: “come up at once! The ship is sinking!” Even if you’ve come here today feeling like you’re at the bottom of the sea and the ship is sinking, the lifeline will not disconnect. God will give you a new outlook, at new perspective, a new point of view, a new attitude, a new spirit of outlandish faith and hope – if only you will begin to trust him with all your being. The Marquette d.s. Elbert Dulworth shares:
Dean of Cabinet’s Report 2013
“from Cheboygan across the straits of mackinaw and over to ironwood on the Michigan-Wisconsin state line, from north of Mohawk-Ahmeek south to Menominee, and surrounded by three of five of the great lakes, the beauty of the Marquette district of the Detroit Conference of the United Methodist Church is appropriately described when so many speak of ‘God’s country.’ more importantly, the people of the Marquette district are alive and active in mission and ministry. In remote communities, where families struggle to make ends meet and have less access to resources of larger communities, we have congregations serving peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to children through the summer and others offering after-school programs to them throughout the year. In another congregation, we have more children in Sunday school than adults in worship. Marquette district Churches in larger, university towns have opened wide their doors to the homeless of their communities with a warm place to sleep, showers, and warm meals. In another Church, the pastor meets for a monthly lunch, provided by the Church, with youth from the high school across the street. Whether it is a trip to North Dakota to serve among the people of the spirit lake nation or long-time financial support of the Haiti hot lunch program, the people of the Marquette district are committed to mission and ministry with all of God’s people. Camp Michigamme continues to be at the heart of training principled, Christian leaders for the district, the Church, and the world. As the camp song says, ‘here we dedicate our lives in service to a needy world today!’ so, too, do we as a district commit our lives to serving with those most in need throughout our world.” When Jesus said, “blest are the poor in spirit,” he used a phrase which connotes absolute, total destitution: total poverty, and he used that figure to teach us that everything in life is ultimately dependent on God who is the source of all life. The person who is “blest,” Jesus was saying, is the person who recognizes how poor he or she is apart from God. The person who is “blest” is the person who recognizes how empty life is apart from God. The person who is “blest” is the person who recognizes how futile life is when lived apart from the will of God. The person who is “blest” is the person who, in complete humility, gives his or her life over to God in the spirit of utter trust and dependency. Our Saginaw bay d.s. Dr. Jeffrey Maxwell tells us: “the Saginaw bay district is a district on the go. We are a group of United Methodists who have been changed by Jesus and want to put our hearts on the line for the cause of Christ. Our desire is to find new and fresh ways to continue and extend the ministry of Jesus in the world. Whether you consider the Glennie UMC, part of the three point charge of the glennie, harrisville and lincoln charge, who has moved from their old Church building into a newly renovated building or the newly formed grace UMC of bay city, we are seeking to connect with our communities for the sake of the gospel. We are not content with waiting for people to come to us; we are seeking to go to them. At the district level, this redirection is stated in our recently re-crafted purpose statement. It reads “the Saginaw bay district will purposefully utilize its resources to help strengthen the foundational elements of its local Churches in support of the UMC vision. Focus areas are knowledge of the discipline, leadership development, Christian education and
Dean of Cabinet’s Report 2013
providing “to go ministries.” These to-go ministries are VBS to go, prop center, worship visuals, and leadership training to go. Another tool we use to help our Churches be mission focused is called the measureable fruit form. Granted not all elements of ministry are measureable but there are measureable fruits that help us to track whether we are changing hearts and lives. The measureable fruit form tracks five aspects of ministry: people who worship; join by profession of faith; are in faith formation groups (small groups); are involved in hands-on mission; and give financially to mission. Of course these metrics are not the end themselves but are means to an end – which is changed lives that change the world. Our goal on the Saginaw bay district is to do more of what works well, to do better at what needs to be improved, to stop doing things that don’t work, and to do things differently by incorporating new ideas. The bottom-line is to connect disconnected people to God on a Christ-centered journey. Got any new ideas? Give us a call: 989-793-8838.” The point of view of the sleepy, dull, lifeless, empty spirit is “I am the master of my fate! I am the captain of my soul!” The attitude of the transformed, reawakened, powerhouse spirit of outlandish faith and hope is I am utterly dependent on God . . . I will let go and let God!” Everything is going to be alright. It’s not enough to know this intellectually. We’ve been hearing this, most of us perhaps, since we were little children. But we must ask ourselves, “have we really heard this in any deep sense? Are we hearing it now in any deep sense of commitment to do God’s will?” Someone has said that the body of the Church is structured from four kinds of bones. There are the wishbones – those who spend all their time wishing someone else would do the work. There are the jawbones – those who do all the talking, but little else. There are the knucklebones – those who knock everything being done by others. And then there are the backbones – those who are deeply involved in doing what needs to be done. Our Detroit Annual Conference United by Christ and served by our six districts is getting things done. D.S. Melanie Carey reports: “Renaissance is the word that best describes the Detroit Renaissance district. Whether it is said in English, Korean or Spanish, the languages spoken in the Churches in our district, Renaissance is happening through God’s holy spirit! With the metro Detroit area still recovering from the 2009 economic downturn and all the challenges facing the city of Detroit today, the United Methodist Church through the 81 Churches, 96 clergy and approximately 30,000 laity of the Detroit Renaissance district is focused on being God’s hands bringing Renaissance to metro Detroit. Hands 4 Detroit, held on October 6, 2012 welcomed over 1000 volunteers who worked at 20 different work sites across the city of Detroit, cleaning, planting, clearing lots and even building a soccer field. Everyone had a great time and in partnership with gleaners food bank we collected and packed over 24,000 pounds of food –enough to feed over 18,000 people a meal. All this was done in just one day. Most importantly relationships with our community were strength-
Dean of Cabinet’s Report 2013
ened and fostered and new people came to the UMC because we got out of our sanctuaries and came to them! We can’t wait for hands 4 Detroit 2013 on saturday october 5th and we are planning for over 2000 volunteers! Join us! Another way that we see God’s Renaissance happening on our district is through the birth of new Churches. On July 1st 2013, the Renaissance District will be helping to give birth to downriver UMC—a new congregation born through the vital merger process of Allen Park Trinity, Lincoln Park First, Lincoln Park Dix and Taylor West Mound. Downriver UMC joins Redford Aldersgate and Detroit El Buen Pastor which launched new ministries and congregations in 2012 and Detroit Scott memorial which completed and dedicated its new sanctuary in Detroit on Christmas day 2012.” The dean of the Duke University chapel has written a book on “burnout,” particularly among the clergy. He interviewed scores of clergy who had “called it quits” because, in their own minds, they had “burned out.” They complained of being “overburned by their work . . . Stressed out . . . Crushed by the demands of the job.” The author commented: After talking with many of those who claimed to have “burned out,” and with counselors who had tried to help them, I decided that sometimes we feel burned out, not because we have too much to do, but because we have too much which is meaningless and unimportant to do. Life’s greatest burden is not in having too much to do (some of the happiest people I know are the busiest) but in having nothing worthwhile to do. Energy is a renewable resource. Good work appears to produce more energy to do more good work. People burn out, from what I observe, not because they have too much to do but because they become exhausted by constant engagement with the trivial and the inconsequential. So the issue before us cannot be whether or not we shall be burdened, but what shall we be burdened with! I have the great privilege of being the Ann Arbor d.s. From the oak grove United Methodist Church in the north to the Morenci United Methodist Church in the south to the Hudson United Methodist Church to the west to the South Rockwood United Methodist Church to the east, the Ann Arbor district is on the move. Reaching out through missions both locally and globally, the Churches of the Ann Arbor district are giving financially, spiritually and with onsite hard work. Locally parishes are alive and well, and there is significant spiritual and numerical growth taking place. Well, now you know there are struggles, challenges and disappointments but no hopelessness. This year our United Methodist women have been active and inspiring. Our board of missions is engaged and giving. Our council on ministry, district committee on ordained ministry, Liberian and Haiti task forces are alive and do God’s work. This year we are working on the renewal of our United Methodist men and youth ministries. In the fall a new district-wide Missional three year campaign will being focused on an infant and maternal health initiative in Liberia. The Wesley Foundation at the University of Michigan is vibrant and changing lives, Judson Collins camp continues to provide an outstanding Christian camping experience and we are pleased to have the Chelsea retirement community on our district. We are making disciples for Jesus Christ thru spiritual and numerical growth discovering what God has for us to do and providing new spaces for new faces in our inclusion and various missions and ministries. 294
Dean of Cabinet’s Report 2013
Well friends the issue before us now is not if we shall be the backbones but how to become deeply involved in what needs to be done. If we can be courageous one more time than we are fearful. If we can be trusting one more time than we are anxious. If we can be cooperative one more time than we are competitive. If we can be loving one more time than we are hateful. If we can be forgiving one more time than we are vindictive. We begin to resolve the issue by echoing Mary’s expression, “let it be to me according to your word.” Let it be God’s will that shapes our attitude toward the life of our Annual Conference. Let it be our clear understanding of why Christ said the meek shall inherit the earth that shapes our perspective on what we ought to do in our individual lives, our Churches, our Annual Conference. Meekness – the clear voice of love – is the only disposition of mind and heart and soul that can make us the backbone of the community of faith. And being bold in our meekness will get us there. It’s going to be alright. Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our hearts like unto thine! Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make our love like unto thine! Could it be that this very day at this Annual Conference, by some miracle, we are about to be visited by an angel of the lord with an outlandish message of faith and hope – suddenly transforming our sleepy spirit into a powerhouse of the love of Christ? Do you believe we can take the missions and ministry of six districts and in harmony United and convicted move our beloved Detroit Annual Conference forward to make disciples for Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. Do you believe that there is hope for spiritual and numerical growth within the Detroit Annual Conference. Do you believe with all your heart, mind and soul that God will bless us, Jesus will convict us and the holy spirit will be with us. Then it’s going to be alright!