How much better to get wisdom than gold! To get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.

Prov 16:16

You can’t miss it, even if you’re not on social media and you don’t have children at home: This is back-to-school season. It’s a good reminder for all of us that we have a responsibility to renew our minds. Seeking to discern God’s will is an ongoing process, and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) encourages and supports lifelong learning.

Here at the Board, we support lifelong learning through Board University and Presbyterian CREDO. Our educational offerings promote spiritual, health, financial, and vocational well-being. There is something for everyone, including pastors and employees, congregations and employers, and mid councils.

To support those who are nearing the end of active ministry, we introduced a third CREDO conference this year. Ministers ages 56 through 70 who have served in congregational ministry for at least 10 years and are currently serving a congregation are eligible. With the addition of this conference, CREDO now serves ministers across the span of active ministry — from recently ordained to midcareer to late career.

At the other end of the age spectrum, we added First Call, First Steps to Board University this year. This seminar gives inquirers and ordination candidates at our seminaries the tools to navigate the call process. If you’ve read Living by the Gospel, you know that benefits are important in sustaining ministerial leadership. Please take a minute to look at the data in Living by the Gospel, a guide to structuring calls that was authorized by the 223rd General Assembly (2018).

We’ve also launched the Third Act Seminar & Luncheon for all retired members of the Benefits Plan and their surviving spouses. This year, the focus of the seminar is God calling us into new experiences, new ways of understanding ministry, and new and changing relationships.

Finally, this was the fourth year for Well-Being Retreat, offered in partnership with the Presbyterian Foundation and its subsidiary, New Covenant Trust Company. All plan members are invited to attend, retired or not, as well as spouses and surviving spouses. The retreat is an opportunity for renewal and fellowship.

You’ll find even more if you visit Board University on There are e-learning opportunities, tax resources, and other educational offerings.

It’s the time of year for it.

Grace and peace,

The Reverend Frank Clark Spencer

Welcome to Board Connections, a newsletter from The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). If you have any feedback or would like to subscribe to this newsletter, please let us know.

Annual enrollment starts next month

Annual enrollment — your chance to elect, or make changes to, your benefits coverage for 2019 — is October 29 through November 16. Get ready by reviewing how and when you’ve used healthcare during the past year so you’ll be prepared to make decisions and elect benefits in October. Then, log onto Benefits Connect beginning October 29 to make sure you will have the coverage that fits your needs for 2019.

Education for all

The Board of Pensions encourages and supports lifelong learning to promote spiritual, health, financial, and vocational well-being. With comprehensive offerings, Board University educates for these areas of wholeness through

  • Presbyterian CREDO, weeklong conferences for ministers at different phases of ministry;
  • Well-Being Retreat, a unique opportunity for active and retired plan members, spouses, and surviving spouses to explore wholeness;
  • seminars to help members navigate finances and planning for retirement through the stages of their lives; and
  • e-learning offerings, a convenient way to learn more about plans, programs, and resources, on demand.

Visit Board University to learn more about these and other educational offerings.

Retirement readiness starts now

Will you be financially prepared when it’s time to retire? If you participate in the Retirement Savings Plan of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (RSP), here are some steps you can take now to prepare:

  • Create or update your retirement plan. Visit the Planning & Guidance Center at Fidelity NetBenefits, where you can create your plan, review your progress, revise the plan as needed, access helpful tools, and learn about next steps to stay on track.
  • Use Fidelity's other online resources. You'll also find valuable information, investment tools, and calculators at Fidelity NetBenefits to help you manage your retirement plan.
  • Rebalance your portfolio. Keep an eye on your account, and update your investments to more closely match your age and goals. As you near retirement age, rebalancing your portfolio can help protect against market risk and volatility. Now through October 14, you can even earn Call to Health points for rebalancing your RSP account.
  • Get answers. If you have questions about managing your account, Fidelity customer service associates are available to help — Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET — at 800-343-0860 (reference plan # 57887).

If your employer doesn't offer the RSP, ask them to contact the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) for more information. All employees who work for a PC(USA)-affiliated employer are eligible to participate in the RSP if their employer offers the plan.

Get help with work, life, and everything in between

Need to locate before- or after-school care this fall? The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) can help. The work/life resources available through include articles on choosing a provider, child care checklists, locators, and more.

The EAP also can help with all kinds of challenges, from managing stress to addressing legal and financial issues to finding pet care resources.

Earn your reduced deductible now

Only two months left to answer the Call to Health and earn reduced medical deductibles in 2019.* Members who earn 2,000 points by November 16 also will receive a $100 Amazon gift card. Covered spouses who reach 1,000 points receive a gift card, too.

Log on to today and check out new challenges, including

  • Arm Yourself Against the Flu;
  • Rebalance Your RSP Account; and
  • Practice Mindful Eating at Home.

*Call to Health is available to members and their 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.

Seminarians: Last call for healthcare enrollment

Inquirers and candidates for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have until September 15 to elect healthcare coverage in either the preferred provider organization (PPO) or the exclusive provider organization (EPO). This is the same healthcare coverage offered to ministers and employees, at significant cost savings for seminarians.

Read more about eligibility and costs, and be sure to submit your application by September 15.

Review your Employer Agreement on Benefits Connect

Employers and congregations: Log on to Benefits Connect to review, update, and submit Employer Agreements for 2019, due October 12. See Selecting 2019 Benefits for details.

If you have questions or need assistance, call the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET,
or email the Board at