Observing 100 Years of Service to the Episcopal Church
More than 100 years ago, the Right Reverend William Lawrence of Massachusetts set out to create a pension fund that would enable Episcopal clergy to retire with dignity. Working with influential friends and financiers across the country, Bishop Lawrence collected $8.5 million and launched The Church Pension Fund (CPF). On March 1, 1917, CPF made its first pension payment, which went to the Right Reverend Edward William Osborne of Springfield, IL.
One hundred years later, CPF continues to provide clergy with the highest possible level of financial security in retirement consistent with exemplary financial stewardship and with the evolving needs of the Church. It also serves thousands of lay employees, and, through its affiliates, offers comprehensive employee benefits, property and casualty insurance, and publishing materials.
It is a privilege to serve the Church in the many ways we do. We are truly thankful. We will be spending our centennial year as we spend every year—listening to our clients, reflecting on our past, and planning for the future.
We are commemorating our 100 years of service to the Church throughout the year, including in the following ways:
- This spring, we planted a tree in the Bishop’s Garden at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York City, where legislation to create CPF was passed by an act of General Convention in 1913.
- This summer, our employees will engage in various acts of community service, and the CPF Board of Trustees will convene with former members of the CPF Board and CPF’s Executive Leadership Team to share thoughts about the past, present, and future of the organization.
- This fall, we will begin hosting a series of interactive panel discussions around the country on topics of interest to the Church and to CPF.
- This winter, the Most Reverend Michael B. Curry will offer a special celebration of the Holy Eucharist at the Church of the Incarnation in our neighboring parish in Manhattan where Bishop Lawrence preached his first sermon about the need for clergy pensions.
Our 100th anniversary will be a period of reflection, planning, and progress. We have laid a strong foundation, and we continue to evolve to serve the Church as it changes. We look forward to collaborating with many of you as we pursue our work in our new century. As part of our centennial we have developed a special video that highlights our commitment to those we serve. You can view it here.
In this issue of Perspective we cover a number of topics, including: an update on our investment activities, a summary of our responses to various General Convention requests, a summary of our 2016 Denominational Health Plan annual report, and a conversation with Mark Dazzo, the new publisher of Church Publishing Incorporated. I hope you enjoy reading it.
What we have learned about the Church these past 100 years has informed our work, and we keep learning. We look forward to putting this knowledge to work over the next 100 years and thank you for your continued confidence and support.
Mary Kate Wold
CEO and President