Moolah on the Mainlines

Worried about your denomination's pension fund? John Dart of Christian Century has an informative roundup of how mainline Protestant Churches are withstanding the financial turmoil.

Excerpt: Barbara A. Boigegrain, general secretary of the United Methodist Church's General Board of Pension and Health Benefits, wrote in an October letter that though some investors may "we continue to be confident that our investment practices are sound and your retirement plans are being well managed."

The UMC pension fund ranks among the top 100 pension funds in the U.S., according to Crain's Pensions & Investments.

Similar reassurances came from offices of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Episcopal Church (whose fund for pensions, life insurance and health insurance has nearly $8.9 billion in assets).

Still, as Dart notes, both the Episcopal Church and the Presbyterian Church (USA) are facing financial straits this year.