This winter, you will start to see the Board of Pensions going by a new name. They’re changing their name to Portico Benefit Services. This change follows recommendations heard over several years from plan members, advisers, church leaders and its own employees.

“We believe a new name will help people better understand what we do as this church’s provider of health, retirement, disability and survivor benefits and related services,” said Jeff Thiemann, the organization’s new president and CEO as of October 1. He added, “Though our name is changing, our connection to this church remains strong.”

Why Portico Benefit Services? A portico is a covered space where people gather. A portico is also an entry point to something larger, like the portico of Solomon’s temple where Jesus gathered his disciples, taught and ministered, as in John 10:22-28.

Another of the many references to porticoes in the Bible, John 5:2-9 directly connects to the organization’s focus on well-being. Jesus made the man well and tells him what steps he can take to stay well. As a ministry of the ELCA, they exist to serve, to help people live well.

“For us, a portico symbolizes the partnership we share. We design benefits that support you in times of need. They also empower you to steward your many gifts — specifically your physical, emotional and financial well-being. We do this to help you lead a whole, healthy life, better able to serve, for the sake of the world,” said Thiemann.

Access to ELCA benefits will not be interrupted during this transition. Expect to see the new name appear gradually in communications over the next year, as they use up existing benefits materials.

© 2017 Greater Milwaukee Synod

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