CCEF Disbands, Distributes Cash Balance of $13,000
The Conference Clergy Emergency Fund Committee has released this statement about their vote to disband the fund and distribute remaining balances. For more information, contact committee chair Rev. Michael Powell at email@example.com.
The Conference Clergy Emergency Fund, which was established during the depths of the Great Depression, has been a practical expression of collegiality and benevolent ministry during time of need for over 80 years. The operating procedures of the CCEF date back to a simpler time, when no other “death benefits” were provided. Individual members made contributions upon notification of a death, and a check of an amount which varied over time was immediately sent to the spouse or closest family member of the deceased, along with a letter of condolence.
In the intervening years the General Board of Pensions and Health Benefits (GBOPHB) has established “Death Benefits” that exceed what we were able to offer. Still, the CCEF continued to operate, believing that the personal expression of collegiality, along with the immediacy of the check offered, was an important ministry worth preserving.
However, we also encountered increasingly stringent IRS regulations, which led to many hours of discussions about how to fulfill our ministry. We approached both the Oregon Idaho Conference United Methodist Retirement Fund Board and the Conference Board of Pensions and Health Care Benefits about ways to continue our ministry in some form through their organizations. Neither was willing to carry on our ministry in its existing form but each offered to receive our funds and use them to help clergy in situations of emergency.In November of 2015 the CCEF committee reluctantly decided it was time to disband, and we offered those who were no more than four contributions in arrears four options for disbursing the balance on hand, which we felt honored the spirit in which the money was given. The four options were:
- Donate all, or a portion of our balance to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) to be used where the need is greatest.
- Donate all, or a portion of our balance to the Imagine No Malaria Campaign.
- Donate all, or a portion our balance as a gift to be added to an emergency fund jointly administered by the Conference Board of Pensions and Health Care Benefits and the General Board of Pensions and Health Care Benefits. This fund is known as the “Farmers Fund.” It is available for a one time emergency need.
- Donate all, or a portion of our balance to the Oregon Idaho Conference United Methodist Retirement Fund Board to be used for emergency purposes.
- Option #1 (UMCOR) received 24% = $3,120
- Option #2 (Imagine No Malaria) received 12% = $1,560
- Option #3 (“Farmer's Fund”) received 21% = $2,730
- Option #4 (Oregon Idaho Conference Retirement Fund) received 43% = $5,590.
Conference Clergy Emergency Fund Committee Members: Michael Powell, Chair; Bonnie Garcia, Treasurer; Carla & Dale Harris, Co-Secretaries; Karen Shimer, Member at Large.