Note to clergy moving this month
The Conference Benefits Team and the Conference Secretary’s Office remind all clergy persons changing appointments this month that it is each individual participant’s responsibility to update their mailing address and contact information for the following entities:
* Conference Health Plan – update your address with Blue Cross Blue Shield at http://www.ebenefitsnow.com/. Log in using your user ID and password established at Open Enrollment.
* General Board of Pension and Health Benefits – contact the customer service department at 1-800-851-2201 or log into your OASIS account.
* Amazing Pace Walking Program – log into http://www.ncc.amazingpace.com/ and click on the “Update Your Account” page. Remember to update your District Team as well as update your contact info.
* Online Data Collection System – update your personal information. You may also call Shannon Medlin in the Conference Secretary’s office at 800-849-4433, ext. 222. This is how the conference compiles data for the conference address directory.
Take Advantage of Study Leave at Duke
Take Advantage of Study Leave at Duke. Join clergy and laity for what one frequent participant describes as “a great ministry investment.” Study Leave for Ministry Professionals enables Christians of all traditions to spend a week immersed in learning and renewal through self-directed study, worship, and prayer on the Duke University campus. Enjoy the university libraries, community worship, and lectures; audit courses; and meet privately with Divinity School faculty. Ten sessions will be offered in 2011-2012. Clergy serving churches eligible for Duke Endowment grants can attend for as little as $100, including a meal allowance and accommodations. More info at:
African-American Preaching Summit
This first-ever African-American Preaching Summit on July 13-15 will bring together African-American pastors to explore effective sermon preparation as practiced by outstanding African-American preachers in The United Methodist Church. Clergy will explore various approaches to the art of preaching that fit the unique context of preaching in African-American congregations. Pastors will learn how effective preaching can revitalize their worship services and attract more people to their churches. Pastors will also discover how outstanding preaching can set the foundation for developing effective disciples for Jesus Christ. Lastly, but in no way least, participants will get to hear some of the best and most powerful preaching around! For more information and to register, go to Preaching Summit: http://www.lakejunaluska.com/african-american-preaching/.
IRS Announces Increase in Business Mileage Rate
In Announcement 2011-40 <http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-11-40.pdf>, the IRS announced on June 23, 2011 that the mileage rate for all business miles driven from July 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2011, will be increased to 55.5 cents per mile. This is an increase of 4.5 cents from the 51 cent rate in effect for the first six months of 2011. The IRS normally updates the mileage rates once a year in the fall for the next calendar year but, in recognition of recent gasoline price increases, the IRS made this special adjustment for the final months of 2011. While gasoline is a significant factor in the mileage figure, other items enter into the calculation of mileage rates, such as depreciation and insurance and other fixed and variable costs. The new six-month rate for computing deductible medical or moving expenses will also increase by 4.5 cents to 23.5 cents a mile, up from 19 cents for the first six months of 2011. The rate for providing services for charitable organizations is set by statute, not the IRS, and remains at 14 cents a mile.