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Central Conference Pension Initiative Visits Define $25 Million Challenge Goal

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 4, 2010

Central Conference Pension Initiative Visits Define $25 Million Challenge Goal

Nashville: For the Rev. Charles Horace, a retired Liberian pastor, life without a pension was a daily struggle. He recalls weeks in which he would "just live on water" for two or three days.

But through the Liberia pension fund, Horace now receives a quarterly pension benefit made possible by gifts to theCentral Conference Pension Initiative (CCPI). "If I were not a United Methodist pastor, who would have thought about me?" said Horace to an audience of the Grand Bassa District of The United Methodist Church. "Let nothing take you from this caring and loving church."

To provide for the needs of Horace and other retired clergy outside the U.S., the CCPI initially sought to raise a minimum $20 million endowment-$19.2 million has already been pledged or donated. CCPI leadership recently established a challenge goal of $25 million, reflecting the needs discovered through on-site visits to each of the growing 19 Episcopal areas served by this initiative.

"We received almost $6 million in contributions in 2009," said Dan O'Neill, managing director for Central Conference Pensions at the General Board of Pension and Health Benefits. "If we could raise the same amount this year, we will have the funds that will enable us to support current pension initiative activity."

Emergency grants were authorized in 2004 for retired clergy and surviving spouses in all central conferences. When a country's pension plan launches, emergency grant payments cease.

Liberia's CCPI-funded pension program has been in place since 2007, Mozambique's began in 2009 and a third pilot project was launched this year in Angola.

United Methodist members and friends who would like to support the CCPI may make a donation or pledge through their church or online at www.ccpi-umc.org. For further information, contact Colette Nies at cnies@gbophb.org.

Contact: Colette Nies
(847) 866-4296
cnies@gbophb.org

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