From the Worldwide Faith News archives


Date 05 May 1996 13:04:59


95150                     CLARIFICATIONS 
                      by Jerry L. Van Marter 
     A story in the April 28 issue of "News Briefs" (#95119) about the 
Internal Revenue Service's questioning of ministers;  "self-employed" 
status contains a statement by the Rev. William F. Henning Jr. that needs 
     Henning is quoted as saying, "Our whole pension system is predicated 
on the self-employment principle."  Henning says, and Board of Pensions 
president John Detterick concurs, that it is Presbyterian polity, not the 
pension system, that is predicated on ministers being considered 
     "In our system of government," Henning explains, "ministers are 
members of their presbytery, not the congregations they serve.  The system 
allows for ministers to be paid by their congregations -- primarily to 
avoid added layers of bureaucracy -- though technically a minister is not 
an  employee' of the congregation." 
     Detterick adds, "The self-employment issue is a polity issue, not a 
pension plan issue." 
                              # # # 
     Two former colleagues of Maggie Kuhn, upon reading her obituaries in 
"The New York Times" and "News Briefs," wrote to clarify Maggie's place of 
employment during her 25 years with the Presbyterian Church. 
     According to both Dean H. Lewis, now of Ghost Ranch, and Richard W. 
Firth, Sr., of Southern Pines, N.C., most of Kuhn's 25 years on 
Presbyterian national staff were spent in Philadelphia (not New York) on 
the staff of the Department of Social Education and Action/Office of Church 
and Society, which was a unit of the Board of Christian Education. 

For more information contact Presbyterian News Service
  Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Louisville, KY 40202
  phone 502-569-5504            fax 502-569-8073  
  E-mail   Web page: 


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