Center for Clergy Excellence
The mission of the Center for Clergy Excellence is to serve clergy and their families so that they may equip congregations to make disciples of Christ for the transformation of the world.
I love children’s Christmas pageants! One of my favorites is “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” with the innkeeper overwhelmed by Joseph’s plight. We know he was supposed to say, “There’s no room in the inn.” But he couldn’t do it. He saw poor miserable Mary on top of that donkey, and he blurted out, “You can have my room!”
O that we might be overcome as well to welcome Jesus and those he loves into our house and our hearts once more this holy season.
We are now accepting applications for the 2017 College Pastoral Internship Program!
2017 College Pastoral Internship Program!
This Pastoral Internship Project for College Students was designed to encourage a diverse group of gifted young candidates to enter pastoral service in the Texas Annual Conference, and to equip local congregations to identify and encourage persons with appropriate gifts and graces and a clear sense of call to commit to pastoral ministry, the Center for Clergy Excellence offers a pastoral internship for college students.
Interns are sent to serve local churches for several weeks each summer. Interns receive a stipend for their work and connect with one another at orientation and reflection retreat gatherings. Host churches will agree to provide the interns with housing (if needed), mentoring, and a full range of exposure to all facets of pastoral ministry.
At the end of each summer, pastoral interns return to college not only with local church experience, but with relationships designed to sustain them throughout lifelong careers in ministry.
In addition, we are seeking Host Churches in which our summer interns will serve. If you are a Pastor with the desire to serve as a mentor to an intern interested in exploring the ministry as a vocation, we would love for you to complete an application for your congregation to be a Host Church!!
More information is available by visiting http://www.txcumc.org/internshipproject.
Renew is a gift in the form of an amazing retreat opportunity offered to married clergy couples through The Soderquist Center. The only cost to the participants is travel to and from the location. Check out the schedule for the coming year. Read about the retreat.
Learn more at Renew. Contact Ivana Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or to make reservations. Dates for 2016-2017.
Clergy Benefits Academy
‘Be Inspired’ for Clergy and their spouses sponsored by the General Board of Pensions, February 6 – 8, 2017 at the Pensacola, Florida. Learn More. Watch for future dates for 2017, too!
The TAC will reimburse the registration fee and hotel (2 nights) cost for any clergy and their spouses who did not attend the TAC Clergy Benefits Academy in September 2014. The TAC encourages pastors take advantage of this opportunity once every 5 to 10 years in order to stay current with the Benefits and Pension resources from the GBOPHB.
Transportation to the event is on your own. Please make all your own Registration and Hotel Reservation arrangements. After the event, please send a copy of your Registration and Hotel receipts and a copy of your Continuing Education Certificate to Barbara Kilby, Benefits Office, Texas Annual Conference, 5215 Main St. Houston, TX 77002 for reimbursement.
2017 Save the Dates:
Deacons Retreat, March 2 - 3, 2017 - Camp Allen
Elders’ Retreat, March 6 - 8, 2017 - Lakeview.
Extension Minister Breakfast Meeting, April 20, 2017 - St. Paul’s UMC, Houston
Texas Annual Conference, May 28 - 31, 2017 – The Woodlands UMC
Clergy Gathering - September 18-19, 2017 – Lakeview
Please Note: Access all Benefits Information on the TAC website at http://www.txcumc.org/benefits
2017 Salary Sheets
Please work with your church and your District Office to complete and certify your 2017 salary sheet by December 31, 2016. This will greatly facilitate the data entry process of your 2017 Clergy Group Health and Pension Benefits information.
No Benefits Drafts in January
Please remind your church that the TAC Benefits Office does not process any Benefits drafts in January due to inputting new 2017 salary sheet and enrollment information. The first Group Health draft will be on February 1, 2017 and the first Pension draft will be on February 15, 2017. The February drafts will include both January and February Group Health and Pension contribution amounts.
All Group Health Benefits Plan employee participants with enrolled dependents need to complete the Boon-Chapman 2017 Annual Additional Insurance Form provided in your OE packet or at the link above and return it to Boon-Chapman at the email address or fax number on the form by January 1, 2017. Dependent claims exceeding $1,000 will be denied until this form is received each year, completed in full. Avoid unnecessary potential delay in processing your dependent claims and submit this form by January 1, 2017!
Wellness Program Changes
- Due to new government regulations which limit the frequency, type and maximum amount of incentives payable under a Wellness Program, the following changes will take effect January 1, 2017: The Wellness Program Annual Maintenance Incentive for maintaining a BMI of 25 or less increases from $750 to $1,000 (cannot be earned sooner than 6 months from the previous annual maintenance incentive).
- The total Wellness Program weight loss and annual maintenance incentives that can be earned in a calendar year is limited to $2,000. This does not include quarterly incentives earned under the Walking Program.
- The “A-la-carte Fitness Rebate” has been suspended.
- The Lenten Weight Loss Incentive has been terminated.
2016 Maintenance Incentive due
Please note – the 2016 Maintenance Incentive Form with attached Physician’s form, is due to Ted Carlson by December 31, 2016. Remember… this is an incentive that can be submitted each year by clergy and spouses in the Group Health Benefits Plan that have attend a Day of Wellness, for maintaining a BMI of 25. Forms for 2016 will not be accepted in 2017. A new 2017 Maintenance form will be online in January. Cannot be earned sooner than 6 months from the previous annual maintenance incentive.
Walking Program Changes
Exciting new upgrades to Virgin Pulse program! Watch your emails as VP rolls out a new 2.0 platform on January 4, 2016. New incentive levels, new ways to earn ‘points’, new ways to stay engaged with your health goals!
Joining the Walking Program for the first time? – go to Join Virgin Pulse. All Active Clergy and Spouses in the Group Health Plan are eligible for this program. You do not have to attend a Day of Wellness to enroll. Cost is $9.99 plus shipping. Having problems with your pedometer? Call Virgin Pulse at 1-800-830-4312.
Helpfully Wellness hints from one of our EAP partners – this month…
FYI… a new area of the newsletter for events/items that clergy need to be aware of!
Youth and Young adult events – check out the Roots Young Adult Pilgrimage, Texas Youth Academy, & Ignite conference youth retreats. Learn more.
Joining the Walking Program for the first time? – go to Join Virgin Pulse. All Active Clergy and Spouses in the Group Health Plan are eligible for this program. You do not have to attend a Day of Wellness to enroll. Cost is $9.99 shipping. Having problems with your pedometer? Call Virgin Pulse at 1-800-830-4312.
2016 A-la-carte Fitness Rebate
All persons in the Group Health, Clergy, Conference Lay Employees & Spouses are eligible. Each person must submit a separate form. Only one form per person for purchases from January 1 – September 30, 2016. Rebate pays 50% of expenses up to a maximum rebate of $300. Check out the 2016 A-la-carte Fitness Rebate Policy. Print out the Rebate Form and attach your receipts. New this year – if you pay for your gym membership for a year in one payment, you can submit it and get half back – no more prorating. So negotiate with your gym, you may get a better deal.
Here are a couple of websites you may find helpful if you have not seen them before.
The Congregational Resource Guide - search for resources based on your congregation’s current needs – youth ministry, staffing, worship, etc.
Faith & Leadership - contains articles related to innovative ministries and also reflections on the current liturgical season.
December Clergy Birthday List
Please take the time to pray for and connect with your brothers and sisters in Christ!