The greatest growth of the United Methodist Church is in Africa, Eastern Europe and the Philippines, yet pension funds for clergy in those areas are minimal or nonexistent. To continue with support of these Central Conference pastors and their surviving spouses, the 2010 Annual Conference Session Missions Offering will be donated to help support the Central Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI).
CCPI is a denominational campaign to raise $25 million to fully fund pensions for retired clergy and surviving spouses who have served in conferences outside the United States. Over $19 million has been raised to assist these clergy and surviving spouses. Lay and clergy members of the North Georgia Conference have contributed $372,808 as of March 31, 2010 with total gifts and pledges promised totaling over $1.2 million.
"North Georgians have been incredibly generous to the CCPI,” stated Jamie Jenkins, executive assistant to Bishop Watson.
“At last year’s annual conference session, we collected a significant amount for CCPI during the mission offering. The need is still great, so we would like to build upon what we have already done. It is our hope that the Annual Conference Mission Offering will help provide a comfortable living for all the retired clergy in the Central Conferences," added Jenkins.
There are presently about 1,100 retired clergy and about 1,300 surviving spouses in the central conferences outside the United States. After a lifetime of service to the church, many of these faithful servants must now live well below the poverty level. A relatively small amount of pension support makes a tremendous difference in these persons' lives.
To support CCPI by contributing to the 2010 Annual Conference Missions Offering, please hold a special CCPI offering in your church prior to June 16. Monies collected for this special offering will be presented Thursday, June 17 during the annual conference session.
For more information on CCPI, please visit http://www.ccpi-umc.org.