… you shall take your tambourines, and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.

(Jer 31:4)

The Lord is risen indeed! In the defeat of death, Christ restores hope and joy. The resurrection promise is not reserved for life after death but is realized in the present through Jesus’ promise of life abundant: wholeness in body, mind, and spirit.

As Christians, we are called to guide others toward that same life abundant. We minister to the sick and poor, lift up the less fortunate, and seek justice for the powerless. To support that mission, the Church calls people to various types of service. In turn, the Board of Pensions supports those who respond to this call by engaging in a ministry of wholeness.

The Benefits Plan, the Assistance Program, education programs, and Presbyterian CREDO all work to support the dimensions of well-being: spiritual, health, financial, and vocational. When these dimensions are in balance, church workers are freer to focus their energies on kingdom work.

But there’s more to our ministry than providing plans and programs that support wholeness. Members need to participate in their own well-being, especially those who are still in active service. Call to Health encourages self-care. All plan members who are enrolled in the Medical Plan are encouraged to take part.

In addition to preventive healthcare visits, members earn points by taking on interactive challenges. The challenges change frequently. Recent ones include planting a garden, taming stress with healthy eating, prioritizing debt, and practicing forgiveness. Members who achieve a certain number of points earn lower medical deductibles. If they achieve even more, they get a gift card.

Call to Health is working. We are seeing dramatic increases in preventive care and screenings, and that means early detection and better management of chronic conditions. Members track their progress on calltohealth.org and many share their results publicly.

As an organization, Board employees “walked to General Assembly in Portland” by counting our steps. Once GA was over, we then walked back to Philadelphia! With the encouragement of Call to Health, I’ve been working out more and have dropped 10 pounds!

Minding our well-being, recognizing ourselves as the person God has created, is a way of standing as a witness to the world. God desires wholeness for each of us, and Christ has shown us the way to abundant life. We need only follow.

Grace and peace,


The Reverend Frank Clark Spencer
President

Welcome to Board Connections, a newsletter from The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This publication highlights recent Board news and important updates and information. We hope you find this newsletter useful, and we welcome your feedback at any time.

Save More in 2017: The RSP Can Help

Give your retirement finances some help. Start saving — or save more — in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP).

Saving just a small amount regularly can be a manageable, effective way to improve your financial outlook. If you don’t currently save in the RSP, contact your employer to learn how to start. If you already save in the RSP, consider saving just a small amount more.

And, if you’re expecting a tax refund this year, consider saving part or all of it: Read Fidelity’s article: 10 smart uses for your tax refund.

For information about the RSP, read There’s No Time Like Today To Save for Tomorrow, call Fidelity at 800-343-0860 (mention plan #57887), or call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and speak with a service representative.

Well-Being Retreat 2017: Refresh and Renew!

… empowered by the Spirit, we, the Church, live in caring community with one another in all that we are, all that we have, and all that we do. The Church, as the Body of Christ, is rightly committed to a ministry of wholeness and compassionate care. (A Theology of Benefits)

Well-Being Retreat 2017 (August 21-23) offers an opportunity for all Benefits Plan members to focus on wholeness and well-being, as they refresh and renew in the tranquil Sierra Nevada setting of Zephyr Point — “where the fabric is thin between heaven and earth.” Click on the video link below to learn more about this beautiful retreat center.

Breathe deeply and experience the peace of God with a meditative walk along a half-mile of Lake Tahoe’s breathtaking shoreline. Enjoy fellowship, personal enrichment, and professional growth in one of many workshops designed to increase your spiritual, health, financial, and vocational well-being. Make lasting personal connections and discover restoration in creation.

The Well-Being Retreat page on pensions.org will be updated as program content and guest speakers are confirmed, and online registration for Well-Being Retreat 2017 will be available on or about May 15.

World No Tobacco Day: Make the Break!

If you use tobacco, World No Tobacco Day, May 31, is your chance to join people worldwide in breaking the tobacco habit. Tobacco use is the single most preventable cause of death globally and responsible for 10 percent of adult deaths worldwide.

Help is available to plan members and covered spouses* who smoke or chew tobacco:

  • Enroll in a webinar-based tobacco cessation program through Ignite Your Life Coaching. (Go to calltohealth.org, click on Topics, then Coaching, then Breathe Easy.)
  • Or, choose one-on-one counseling sessions, by phone, with an Ignite Your Life coach. Call 888-213-7953 to learn more and schedule your first session.

If you finish Breathe Easy or your one-on-one sessions by November 10, 2017, you will earn 300 Call to Health points. Enroll today!

And if you’ve never used tobacco or you did and have quit, good for you! You’ve taken an important step toward better health and well-being. Take one more step by completing Call to Health by November 10, 2017, and lower your 2018 deductibles!

*Call to Health is available to members and their covered spouses enrolled in the active Medical Plan (the Highmark PPO or EPO); it is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.

Rising healthcare costs are a concern for everyone. This article is part of a series that can help you to understand and limit your costs while obtaining quality care.

Know Your Benefits!

As an active Medical Plan member, if you don’t know what the plan covers — and what it doesn’t — you can be surprised by out-of-pocket costs. Do you know your benefits?

  • If your doctor performs an EKG during a preventive exam, is the cost fully covered by the plan — and so included in your $0 copay — or is it subject to a deductible? (It is subject to a deductible.)
  • What about a blood test to check your cholesterol? (Yes; the plan covers one free cholesterol check annually.)
  • Do office copays count toward your annual medical deductible? (No; these do not count toward your deductible.)

You and your doctor should make care decisions together, but it’s important to understand your benefits — and your share of the costs. The Guide to Your Healthcare Benefits 2017 details what’s covered and lists certain exclusions. Your copays, deductibles, and maximum out-of-pocket costs are in the Appendix to the healthcare guide.

Knowing your benefits can help you watch your costs — and earn Call to Health points. Complete a Know Your Benefits challenge at calltohealth.org* and you’ll earn 50 points.

If you have questions about your coverage, check the healthcare guide or call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) before receiving treatment.

*Call to Health is available to members and their covered spouses enrolled in the active Medical Plan (the Highmark PPO or EPO); it is not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.

Are You Missing Messages from the Board?

Throughout the year, the Board shares a lot of important benefits-related information with you. Make sure you don’t miss any of it by logging on to Benefits Connect and checking that your contact information is up to date.

Employers can provide contact information for their employer representative, RSP representative, and billing representative. Members, retirees, and survivors can change their contact information on Benefits Connect by logging on and clicking on About Me.

Highlighted E-Learning

What Is the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)? gives you a basic introduction to the RSP.

Seminars

Find upcoming seminars and locations

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If you have questions, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and speak with a service representative.