With pension plan contributions and health insurance costs rising, many Christian Reformed churches, especially smaller congregations with limited resources, may find it difficult to fulfill their financial commitment to their pastors.
Anticipating such a scenario, Classis Red Mesa is focusing its financial grant program on pension and health insurance assistance. It funds the grant program with interest earned from money invested after the sale of a large real-estate holding.
Classis Red Mesa comprises more than a dozen congregations, primarily in Navajo and Zuni communities in northwestern New Mexico and northeastern Arizona, served by a mix of Anglo and Native American leaders.
In the past, “we’ve had pastors who fell through the cracks” in the denominational pension program, noted Classis treasurer Dan McLaughlin.
To make sure that doesn’t happen again, and to encourage potential pastoral candidates, the classis is making sure salaries, pensions, and health insurance programs are fully funded, especially in light of recent increases in pension and insurance costs.
“We’ve received several applications for grants already, and two other churches are still applying,” McLaughlin said.
Churches can also apply for grants for other purposes, including facility repairs, but those applications receive a lower priority at this time.