As the 75-year history of pensions work shows, the Church of the Nazarene never rests on its laurels. A strong desire to care for its servants motivates it to continue to improve the retirement and benefit plans it provides. Furthermore, it recognizes that social and economic conditions are never static. The church has a responsibility to respond to changing conditions and to adjust to current needs.
A new Commission to Study Church-Related Pension Plans (1989-93) was established by the 1989 General Assembly. Its purpose was to study church related pension plans and to bring recommendations to the 1993 General Assembly "with the goal of harmonizing and equalizing where feasible all pension plans that come under the authority of the General Board."1 Following in the tradition of their predecessors, the members of this commission dedicated themselves to doing their best with God's help to bring a report for the good of the church and its servants.
After serving the pensions and benefits work for nearly 38 years, Dean Wessels announced his intention to retire. In a statement to all ministers in the April 1993 issue of P&B News Notes he said,
My retirement time is approaching. . . . It has been a blessing to serve with many gifted, gracious, and Godly leaders over the years. It is through such individuals that God has chosen to guide His church, and it works! Also, I am most indebted to the many who have prayed faithfully for and inspired me in this ministry. . . .
And now for Pensions and Benefits USA, it is time for "change," "new," and "improved." And for me, the days of transition to retirement are unfolding. It is a bittersweet time. It is a time impossible to understand fully until one experiences it personally. Most of all, it is a time once again to reaffirm the great faithfulness of God. He has lead each step thus far. There is no fear of following where He continues to lead.2
With another commission report calling for new decisions and with another transition in leadership, tomorrow will bring a new chapter in the history of the work of pensions and benefits. The church can be confident that wherever God leads, the future is bright. And of course, our best retirement benefits are still "out of this world!"
© Copyright 1993 by the Board of Pensions and Benefits USA, Church of the Nazarene