Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee holds retreat

By Deb Oskin

The Church of the Brethren’s Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee held a retreat on Nov. 14 and 15.

Committee members Deb Oskin (secular compensation practitioner and chair), Art Fourman (laity), Bob McMinn (laity and secretary), Angela Finet (clergy), Andy Hamilton (representative of the Council of District Executives), and Nancy Sollenberger Heishman (director of the Office of Ministry) spent two half days in retreat discussing the results of the five-year review and planning for what’s next.

Please pray… For the work of the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee to aid and support ministers across the Church of the Brethren.

Celebrating the approval by the 2022 Annual Conference of every single recommendation brought by the committee, follow up included offering 16 separate training events from July through November. More than 99 participants received a thorough introduction to the new documents and the new Pastoral Compensation Calculator sponsored by Eder Financial Services.

During its retreat, the committee discussed possible changes to the calculator, developing a version of the Integrated Annual Ministry Agreement for interim pastors, and progress toward fixing the legal issues with the Housing Equity fund.

The committee also did some planning for Annual Conference 2023, where a revision of the Continuing Education paper with new focus areas will be coming to the delegates for approval.

The committee’s focus moving forward will be a review of the 2002 Sabbath Rest paper. This review has already started via a survey about sabbath rest experiences, sent to all ministers by the Office of Ministry.

The Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee exists to care about the pastors in the Church of the Brethren, but we feel we are a well-kept secret. This was demonstrated by the following exchange at the end of our retreat:

Angela: “I was just sitting here thinking that most pastors don’t realize–I’m sure they don’t because I didn’t–there’s this group that is meeting.”

Deb: “We tell them every year how much we care about them and I don’t think they get it.”

Angela: “Yeah, but to sit here and be like, wow, these people are spending days thinking about the pastors, is overwhelming.”

Nancy: “Our whole reason for existing is to care about pastors, and we’re happy to give our time and energy and love.”

— Deb Oskin chairs the Pastoral Compensation and Benefits Advisory Committee. Find the new documents guiding pastoral compensation in the Church of the Brethren, as approved by the 2022 Annual Conference, at www.brethren.org/ministryoffice.

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