Health Benefits Update


Please remember about paperwork/forms that need to be completed before the December 1, 2019 deadline. 

Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) Plan
  • If you are electing to participate in the Conference Flexible Spending (FSA) plan, you must complete the Flexible Benefit Election Form for 2020. Just indicating an amount on your Clergy Compensation Report for 2020 is only part of the process. In order to finish the process, you must complete the Election Form, and sending to Treasury Services. The 2020 Flexible medical maximum is $2,750; the dependent care maximum is $ 5,000. The IRS released this increase on November 6, 2019. If you elected $2,700 for 2020 and you wish to increase your election, you will be allowed to complete an amended Flexible Benefit Election form. Here is the link to the form on the conference website:
  • The December 1 deadline for the Flexible Spending accounts (FSA) will guarantee funds and flexible benefit cards being available on January 1, 2020. (Forms received after this date, funds are not guaranteed for use on January 1.)
 Health Plan
  • If you wish to make a change in your health plan, i.e. Basic Plus to Basic; Basic to HSA, HSA to Basic, then you must complete the Healthgram Open Enrollment Form for 2020.  
  • If you elect the HSA plan, the conference health benefit plan will contribute $500 – clergy/employee only; $1,000 – clergy/spouse or clergy/child or children and $1,500 – clergy/family into your account. You would be eligible to make personal contributions via salary reductions into your account. You must obtain an HSA through a third party for the seed funds to be deposited. For individual only - $3,550; For family plans: $7,100 (These amounts less the seed funds.) 
  • If you want to add/terminate dependents, then you must complete the Healthgram Open Enrollment Form for 2020. Here is the link to the open enrollment form:
  • If you are not making any changes, you do not need to complete the enrollment form. 
  • In 2019, the conference added HealthPerx, telehealth, as a benefit for our clergy and their families. If you are not feeling well and are traveling or have an in-the-night illness or simply just want to avoid urgent care or the emergency room, HealthPerx will allow you to speak with a board-certified doctor in the state where you are located. The doctor could prescribe you a prescription that you could fill at a local pharmacy, or the doctor could refer you to the nearest ER or urgent care center. This best part is that this service is at no cost to you!  Copayments/deductibles, etc. do apply if referred to ER/urgent care or the local pharmacy. Here is the link, specific to our group, for you to register:          
  • The December 1 deadline for the Healthgram Open Enrollment Form will provide enough time for new subscriber ID cards to be received for health coverage changes. (No guarantee you will have ID cards for forms submitted after the deadline.)  
Group Term Life Insurance
As you are aware, the Conference has adopted a new group term life insurance plan through The Guardian. With the new group term life, the basic $10,000 term life coverage will continue, so the enrollment form will become your designation of beneficiary form. You have received email communication with the enrollment forms and information from the district offices. The deadline to submit the enrollment paperwork is December 1, 2019. The enrollment form is to be submitted to with questions being directed to 704.618.1015.
United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP)
If you are increasing, decreasing, changing or eliminating your Personal Contributions to the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan for Retirement, please complete the Contribution Election for the United Methodist Personal Investment Plan (UMPIP). You must send this information to Wespath, NOT Treasury Services. The Annual Conference does not report this information to Wespath. The Contribution Election is the only way that Wespath knows that you made a change for 2020. As of this writing, the IRS has not released the maximum contributions that can be made into a 403(b) plan. Here is the link to the current form on the conference website:
The deadline for submitting the Contribution Election to Wespath is as soon as possible with a January 1 effective date. 

Resources for Vital Congregations



Lewis Center for Church Leadership

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Books

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Serve Your Neighbor

GBHEM Leadership Resources


Living Faithfully: Human Sexuality and the United Methodist Church

Englewood Book Review

Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations

Ted Talks: The Golden Circle

Ted Talks: The Power of Vulnerability

Ted Talks: The Price of Invulnerability

Design Thinking

Meditations on the Ministry of All Christians


Be A Disciple

A Disciple’s Path; A Guide for United Methodist

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Adult Christian Studies from the Wesley Ministry Network

Traveling Together: A Guide for Disciple Forming Congregations


Living As United Methodist Christians

Methodist Doctrine: The Essentials

Reclaiming our Wesleyan Tradition: John Wesley’s Sermons for Today

John Wesley Sermons: Anthology


Get Their Name

Evangelism & Theology in the Wesleyan Spirit

Canoeing the Mountains

Fresh Expressions

Fresh Expressions: Dinner Church

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: Reach New Disciples

Lewis Center for Church Leadership: 50 Ways to Reach People

Community: The Structure of Belonging


Institute for Emerging Issues

Congregations 4 Children


The Royce and Jane Reynolds Ministry Fund Grants

The Duke Endowment


The Appalachian District Church Vitality Team has been prayerfully seeking ways to help support you and the ministries of your local congregation during this COVID-19 pandemic. Together they have diligently researched and connected with others throughout the conference and our denomination to identify resources and offer them to you. We hope they will be helpful to you and bless you greatly in leading your churches and communities through this unprecedented time. We are very grateful to the District Vitality Team and other contributors for their great work on this resource.
This faithful team has created three documents, two of which you are receiving today. They include:

  • Family Home Worship – designed to help families establish a regular worship space within their homes as well as a time where they can worship together.
  • Tech Strategies – to help guide you in selecting effective tools and resources within your budget to best communicate in the digital world.

We believe these resources will be of great benefit to you. Also know that the District Vitality Team is available to answer any questions you might have in regards to the documents attached. If you have questions, you may email Rev. Howard Fleming at


  • Resources
Follow Jesus. Make Disciples. Transform the World.