By Eileen O’Brien
Issues of equity are receiving consideration in a variety of committee venues. Today, the Church Pension Fund unanimously approved a proposal for a denominational health plan which will give lay and clergy employees greater parity in terms of access to health insurance. Resolution A177 will be considered by the House of Bishops tomorrow and has a strong foundation of support. Resolution A138 also addresses lay and clergy employee parity by putting muscle behind the establishment of a mandatory lay employee pension system, which was resolved in 1991 but not universally enacted across the dioceses.
What does this legislation have to do with youth and young adults in the church? By improving clergy and lay parity in terms of compensation and benefits, the church validates its lay professionals and makes traditional lay employee roles (such as youth and young adult ministries) into viable career paths for qualified and called individuals. Youth ministries in particular suffer from high turnover rates because leadership positions are seen as transitional jobs. This legislation is a start on the path towards developing a better equipped lay leadership for the church.