MC USA health plan benefits church plantsBy Laurie Oswald Robinson For Mennonite Church USA
When Jerry and Lori Acosta of Mathias, Texas, came to Wichita, Kan., in August to help launch a Hispanic congregation, they did not have health insurance for themselves or their four sons.
But today they are enrolling in The Corinthian Plan — a Mennonite Church USA-sponsored health coverage and life insurance program based on mutual care practices.
As a result, the Acostas will be able to focus on ministry without worrying about medical bills.
“Being part of the plan helps me to be more at ease and at peace, knowing that my family is taken care of in emergencies,” said church planter Jerry Acosta.
Acosta is working with three congregations in Wichita to launch Manos de Cristo (Hands of Christ) on behalf of Western District Conference.
This reassurance and support is precisely what The Corinthian Plan is geared to provide, with its emphasis on mutual care, said Keith Harder, director of the plan for MC USA.
The plan was created in response to a request made by the national delegate assembly in 2007 and began in January 2010.
Today, the plan provides benefits for pastors and staff members in 450 congregations. It also provides benefits for employees of some area conferences and church agencies.
At the end of the plan’s second year, 50 of 450 participating congregations are receiving assistance from the fair-balance fund — a feature that shapes the mutual care aspect of the program.
“Each participating congregation provides $10 per average attendance each year, a facet of the plan inspired by 2 Corinthians 8, which encourages believers to generously support one another in times of need,” Harder said.
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