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The Preachers' Aid Society
The Preachers' Aid Society of Central Pennsylvania serving the Susquehanna Conference of the United Methodist Church [Serving the needs of Pastors and their families since 1869]
THE PREACHERS' AID SOCIETY
P.O. BOX 24
WILLIAMSPORT, PA 17703
THE PREACHERS' AID SOCIETY
Is a duly organized and incorporated nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing aid to the pastors, (active and retired), their spouses, widows, widowers, and children of the Central Pennsylvania area. Since 1969, it has been managed by pastors and laypersons who are elected to the Board of Managers from within the bounds of the Conference.
Emergencies, crises, and tragedies strike parsonage families just as they do everyone else. The Preachers' Aid Society stands ready to provide financial assistance when help is needed.
POLICY STATEMENT ON RELIEF
(Available from the Preacher's Aid Society)
The following persons who have a ministerial connection to The Susquehanna Conference shall be eligible for relief: ordained elders and deacons, associate members, local and student pastors, certified lay ministers, their spouses, widows, orphans, and dependent children under 21 years of age residing with them. All recipients of relief must be members of The United Methodist Church.
Relief shall be for special needs, for support, maintenance, welfare, and health of the pastoral family, including items not covered by insurance, added expenses incurred through an auto accident, or some other emergency.
Granting of relief shall be discretionary with The Preachers' Aid Society and The Society reserves the right to refuse any and all relief or requests for relief.
EMERGENCY NEED APPLICATION PROCEDURES
The Preachers' Aid Society is your friend in this time of need. To receive assistance:
First - contact the District Superintendent of the District in which you presently serve or reside. They have a form to fill out requesting basic information about the need.
Second - The need is cleared by the Cabinet to insure that there is no other source of assistance available to respond to the specific request.
Third - with The Cabinet's approval, the request is forwarded to the Committee on Assistance of the Board of Managers of The Preachers' Aid Society who will review the need and authorize payment within a few days.
All requests are held in the strictest of confidence and are known only to the members of The Cabinet and the few members of the Board of Managers who comprise the Committee on Assistance.
It is very unusual for a request to be denied, once it has received Cabinet approval. At the present time, there is no limit on the amount of need to be met by The Society. An average of twenty thousand dollars is currently disbursed annually, and this amount is increasing each year.
SEMINARY DEBT PROGRAM
In 2015 The Society began a program to assist clergy under appointment in the annual conference with debt incurred in their seminary education. Assistance was first given in the Spring of 2016; funds were disbursed directly to lenders, and, thanks to a special grant added to Society funds designated for this purpose, a substantial reduction was experienced by applicants.
The Society intends to continue to address this issue as funds are available. Inquiries may be made to Dr. John Piper-
The Preachers' Aid Society is funded by membership contributions, gifts, and money from investments. The Board of Managers appoints a Committee on Investments with the power to buy, sell, trade, and manage the investment portfolio belonging to The Society under guidelines set forth by the Board of Managers and in line with the Social Principles of The United Methodist Church. Our investment portfolio is presently with Merrill Lynch through The Schramm Kiessling Group in Williamsport, PA.
The Committee on Investments reports to the regular meetings of The Board of Managers, and to the membership at the annual meeting, on the investment of funds and the account balance following the disbursement of fund aid, and is answerable to The Board of Managers.
HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY
The Preachers' Aid Society was organized March 8, 1869, following a special act of the Legislature of Pennsylvania. Organization followed the detachment of The Central Pennsylvania Conference from The East Baltimore Conference of The Methodist Episcopal Church.
The Preachers' Aid Society is the link between Lycoming College and The United Methodist Church. The Constitution of The Society originally provided for education of the children of itinerant ministers. No cash dividends have ever been received by The Society from the College. However, deductions from the tuition charges have been allowed to the children of ministers.
Because of government restrictions on the granting of funds to church-related groups, on May 7, 1970, The Society transferred all of its Lycoming College Stock to the Board of Directors Of Lycoming College subject to the following conditions: (1) In the search for a president or other administrative officer, the Board of Trustees shall seek persons who reflect spiritual standards representative of the Ecumenical Christian Community, and who has the educational qualifications that will support the pledge of the Trustee Board made Oct. 21, 2007; (2) Selection of members of the Trustee Board of Lycoming College shall be based upon the same criteria as mentioned above, thus maintaining the wholesome leadership of the college and its traditional commitment to Christian values; (3) That Lycoming College will continue to provide a program for the training of students for the ministry and to provide assistance to children of Ministers of The United Methodist Church.
The Board of Managers of the Preachers' Aid Society is comprised of the following officers: President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, Assistant Secretary, and Assistant Treasurer, plus six clergy members and six lay persons from within the bounds of The Susquehanna Conference who demonstrate a sincere interest in The Society, and is a current contributor to The PAS.
The Board of Managers meets twice annually (spring and fall) along with a General Meeting at the site of the Annual Conference session. The Board has two working entities: A Committee on Assistance and a Committee on Investments, which are answerable to The Board of Managers and make updated reports of income and disbursements at each meeting.
The President of Lycoming College also makes a report to the General Meeting to confirm that Lycoming College is adhering to the conditions set forth in the May 7, 1970 agreement. The entire Central Pennsylvania area has been enriched by the graduates of this school because of their training in a Christian environment.
Any clergy member of The Susquehanna Conference of The United Methodist Church, or any adult lay person who is a member of a United Methodist Church within the bounds of The Conference is eligible for membership in The Preachers' Aid Society. Eligible persons become members of The Society upon payment of the annual contribution which is fixed by The Society each year at the Annual Meeting held at the seat of Annual Conference. As a member, you are encouraged to attend this Annual Meeting. Currently, the annual membership contribution is $15 per person.
United Methodist Churches, Sunday School Classes, Men's, Women's, or other groups or organizations within these Churches, are also encouraged to become members of The Society by making a donation of the membership contribution or a larger amount.
Gifts or bequests from individuals or groups are also encouraged. The Society suggests that in making a bequest, the individual should contact their own legal counsel so the proper information can be included in their wills.
For more information on The Society, or to submit a membership contribution, gift, or bequest, you may write to:
The Preachers' Aid Society
P.O. Box 24
Williamsport, PA 17703
or visit the booth at Annual Conference.
The Board of Managers of the Preachers' Aid Society encourages each and every one to give prayerful consideration to their support of The Society. The record of the assistance given by The Society for over one hundred and forty years should be sufficient reason for supporting this very worthwhile ministry to our pastors and their families.
"Thank You!" to those who have so faithfully supported The Society over these many years.