Church Worker Wellness

Work is more than a job for LCMS workers. It’s a life-long vocation. LCMS workers are always giving, which can make it hard for them to focus on their own quality of life. But doing so is essential to their calling, not only so they can Be Well, but so they can Serve Well. Because the healthier LCMS workers are, the better they can serve.

Contact Joyce Bruha or Paul Pettit for more information about CPS, Be Well…Serve Well, or Vitality Wellness.

Church workers who are in need of confidential counseling referrals, please contact President Richard Snow or Bob Ziegler.

Concordia Plans Resources for Church Workers

Concordia Plans provides a wide variety of resources specifically designed to meet the physical, financial and emotional health needs of church workers. Visit their Caring for You page.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod has developed a page with a number of resources on Church Worker Wellness. Visit that page at https://www.lcms.org/how-we-serve/mercy/church-worker-wellness .

Health & Wellness Resources and Vitality Program

The Nebraska District endeavors to provide church workers with the information they need to make the most of Concordia Plan Services, and their Be Well…Serve Well and Vitality Wellness programs. For more information on those programs, please contact Joyce Bruha at joyceb@ndlcms.org or 402-643-2961, extension 1011.

Through the Concordia Health Plan church workers have access to wellness programs designed to help conquer health challenges and lead a healthier lifestyle. Visit My Physical Wellness. Not sure which program is right for you? Use the Health Connector tool to help find the best solution for what you need right now.

Financial Wellness & Retirement Planning

Concordia Plan Services also has a YouTube channel with a variety of tutorial videos related to healthcare services, retirement planning, and the other services they provide. You can access that channel by clicking here.

An archive of Financial Wellness webinars is available from Concordia Plan Services at this link.

Concordia Plan Services and Vitality Wellness

 Information on Concordia Plan Services and the Vitality Wellness Program can be found on the CPS website.

Soldiers of the Cross temporary financial assistance

Temporary financial assistance for LCMS-rostered ordained or commissioned ministers; Surviving spouses of retired LCMS-rostered ordained or commissioned ministers; Non-rostered (lay) LCMS district, church, school or RSO employees; Church workers from partner churches who are residing in the U.S. 

Eligibility: LCMS-rostered ordained or commissioned ministers; Surviving spouses of retired LCMS-rostered ordained or commissioned ministers; Non-rostered (lay) LCMS district, church, school or RSO employees; Church workers from partner churches who are residing in the U.S.

Criteria: Soldiers of the Cross (SOC) is the grant program through which the LCMS may respond to a financial crisis that arises unexpectedly in a church worker’s life. SOC grants are for a situation in which the short-term financial help requested will demonstrably help to alleviate the immediate crisis. Funds provide only short-term assistance, usually to cover a period of 30–90 days. The following are examples, but do not limit the application of aid to other situations: Health or medical crisis; Counseling; Financial incapacity of a church congregation or organization to pay her workers; Transition relating to employment or family crisis; Legal situation; Traumatic event

Procedures:

1. All Soldiers of the Cross grant applicants must complete the District Endorsement Request Form (click here to fill out the Nebraska District’s grant request form) and it will automatically be submitted to their district for review and a determination for subsequent submission to LCMS Disaster Response.

All district-reviewed-and-endorsed Soldiers of the Cross grant requests are subsequently submitted to LCMS Disaster Response by the district’s designated respondent paulp@ndlcms.org, unless the applicant elects not to have the District submit the application on their behalf.

2. Soldiers of the Cross grant requests can be submitted directly (click here for the link to Synod’s grant request form) to LCMS Soldiers of the Cross or LCMS Disaster Response without a District Endorsement Letter, but they will first be referred back to the Nebraska District for review and endorsement.

Counseling for Pastors and Church Workers

Concordia Plans members can access resources to help care for their mental health, helping them and those they love be healthier and happier. They also offer resources specifically for pastors. Visit My Mental Health for more information.

Regardless of whether you are a Concordia Plan Services member or enrolled in the Concordia Health Plan, you have access to mental health resources as a member of the LCMS community. Learn more at the Concordia Plan Services Mental Health Resources page.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to help members and dependents cope with stress, depression, marital difficulties, and a variety of other work, family, and life issues. All EAP services are free and confidential to covered members of the CHP and can be accessed 24/7 at cignabehavioral.com or 866-726-5267.

Church workers in need of refreshment are encouraged to consider retreats and counseling offered through our ministry partners. Regardless of whether you are a Concordia Plan Services member or enrolled in the Concordia Health Plan, you have access to mental health resources as a member of the LCMS community. Learn more at the Concordia Plan Services Mental Health Resources page.

GracePoint Institute for Relational Health

GracePoint’s vision is to promote mental, spiritual, emotional, and ultimately relational health and healing in those who seek to utilize our counseling services. They provide therapists who are among the most trained, in both theology and mental health, the incarnational embodiment of our values, and above all, who provide our clients with a safe context in which to experience the Grace of their everlasting Father.

Pastoral Support Network

Regardless of whether you are a Concordia Plan Services member or enrolled in the Concordia Health Plan, you have access to mental health resources as a member of the LCMS community. Learn more at the Concordia Plan Services Mental Health Resources page.

The Employee Assistance Program (EAP) is designed to help members and dependents cope with stress, depression, marital difficulties, and a variety of other work, family, and life issues. All EAP services are free and confidential to covered members of the CHP and can be accessed 24/7 at cignabehavioral.com or 866-726-5267.

The PSN, or Pastoral Support Network, is an EAP specifically designed for ordained pastors and those that live in a pastor’s home. The Pastoral Support Network is free and confidential to all ordained ministers and those that live in an ordained pastor’s home (regardless of enrollment in the Concordia Plans) and can be reached at 888-712-1805.

Sabbaticals and Retreats: Shephard's Canyon Retreat Ministries

Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat Ministries

Shepherd’s Canyon Retreat is a specialized counseling ministry for wounded professional church workers and their spouses (singles are welcome too).

Sabbaticals and Retreats: Grace Place Wellness Ministries

Grace Place Wellness Ministries

Grace Place Wellness Ministries believes that if workers are not joyful, vigorous and balanced in their own body, mind and spirit, they cannot effectively and abundantly serve the people placed in their care. Healthy leaders lead healthy congregations and healthy congregations encourage and support healthy leaders. When Pastor and people are together experiencing life in the body of Christ the way the Lord has intended it (see Ephesians 4), God is glorified and congregations fulfill their calling to share the saving love of Jesus. Grace Place ministries also has special offerings and resources for ministry wives.

Sabbaticals and Retreats: Doxology

Doxology: The Lutheran Center for Spiritual Care and Counsel

DOXOLOGY offers an innovative program of advanced study retreats to strengthen pastors for the task of faithfully shepherding the souls entrusted to their care.

Ministry Sabbatical Resources

Ministry Sabbatical Resources

Through Ministry Sabbatical Resources, Rev. Timothy Fangmeier (who formerly worked with the Wheat Ridge Ministries Ministry Sabbatical Grants program) and Rev. Arthur Umbach are available to assist ministry leaders and churches in the formation of sabbatical guidelines, plans and funding issues. As coaches, they provide guidance around planning a sabbatical that fosters a true sense of renewal and health.