CPG: Keeping Up with the Times
Our vision at the Church Pension Group (CPG) is to help our clients achieve the highest possible level of financial security in retirement that is consistent with exemplary financial stewardship on our part and with the evolving needs of the Church. It is a commitment that applies equally to clergy and lay employees, one that requires us to study relevant trends and evaluate whether any changes are necessary and financially feasible.
Among the stories in this issue of Perspective, you will find a summary of recent research we conducted on lay employee retirement readiness; highlights of eligibility rules for our clergy pension plans so deacons can determine their eligibility; new tools to help our clients navigate the evolving healthcare system; an update on the clergy housing allowance; and a spotlight on Bivocational: Returning to the Roots of Ministry, a book written by Mark D. W. Edington, Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe.
It is my hope that this issue of Perspective will spark conversation in your church, diocese, or other institution about the many ways—both new and longstanding—that CPG can help. The Church is changing, and so are we. We look forward to continuing to serve you.
Mary Kate Wold
CEO and President
Articles in This Issue
Are You Ready? Lay Employees and RetirementMany bodies around the Church have collaborated to ensure that lay employees are able to save for retirement, and the focus is working.
Untangling HealthcareHow can members of The Episcopal Church Medical Trust more easily navigate the healthcare system and better their long-term health?
Our Clergy Pension Plans—for Deacons TooCPG’s recent pension plan revisions include new eligibility criteria that could benefit compensated deacons.
You Spoke, We Listened: CPG Around the ChurchOur leaders stay attuned to the evolving needs of the Church, such as when we leapt into action to welcome Cuba back into the fold.
Author’s Corner: Bishop Mark D. W. EdingtonBishop Mark D. W. Edington explores the impact of having more bivocational ordained professionals in Church leadership positions.
Spring Clean-up Can Prevent Insurance Claims
Everyone can benefit from a good spring cleaning. What does spring cleaning mean for churches? Removing any outside debris that may have gathered over the winter, and doing a series of checks to make sure that your facilities are properly maintained and secure. Read more in The Good Steward, our newsletter from The Church Insurance Companies.
Clergy Housing Allowance Upheld
After a nearly decade-long battle, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit upheld the clergy housing allowance in March. The court found that the U.S. Tax Code’s exclusion of a cash housing allowance from a cleric’s taxable income is not unconstitutional, as the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) and other organizations had sought to prove.
Nancy Sanborn, CPG’s Executive Vice President, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary, commented that this is a very positive decision for clergy, but cautioned that it’s not over until it’s over: “FFRF has a limited period of time to ask the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals for a rehearing, and it may also appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court. However, the Supreme Court is able to consider only a small portion of the cases that are appealed.”
New CPG CFO
In April, CPG announced the appointment of Ellen Taggart as Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer, and Treasurer. Replacing Dan Kasle, who retired after nearly two decades, she will be responsible for directing corporate financial management, overseeing our enterprise-wide project management program, managing the corporate risk management process, and overseeing information technology.
Prior to this appointment, Ellen served as Senior Vice President, Strategic Planning and Project Management of CPG. Before CPG, she was a Senior Vice President of Finance and CFO at Dun & Bradstreet, where she worked for 17 years with businesses across the United States, Europe, Latin America, and the Asia-Pacific region.
“I am very pleased to announce Ellen’s appointment as CFO,” CPG’s CEO and President Mary Kate Wold said. “She has been an important member of our leadership team, having led our strategic planning and project management initiatives for many years. Ellen’s appointment builds on her financial management strengths and ensures a seamless transition for this role.”
Mary Kate added, “I also want to thank Dan for 17 years of outstanding service. He has been instrumental in facilitating financial discipline throughout the organization in support of our vision to provide the highest possible level of financial security to our participants. Dan has been a tremendous colleague and friend, and we wish him the very best in his retirement.”
Expanding Church Relations
CPG depends on strong relationships around the Church to be effective. Over the past four years, the Reverend Canon Anne Mallonee, Executive Vice President and Chief Ecclesiastical Officer, has participated in celebrations and conversations of special importance to the people we serve. Each event has been an opportunity for us to learn and to connect more deeply and has helped us identify the need to strengthen ties even further. We are excited about the potential to continue to build our relationship with the Church by having the Reverend Clayton Crawley step into a new role as Executive Vice President and Chief Church Relations Officer, in which he will partner with Anne in this important work.
For the past two decades, Clayton has led the technology team at CPG while also continuing to serve as a supply priest in congregations around New York City. “With 20 years of experience at CPG and 25 years of ordained ministry behind him, Clayton knows the Episcopal Church and knows our business inside and out,” CPG’s CEO and President Mary Kate Wold explained.
Before leaving California to join CPG in 1999, Clayton was the Associate Rector of All Saints Episcopal Church in Palo Alto and the founder of an internet consulting and multimedia production company in San Francisco.