Welcome to The Corporation for Relief of the Widows and Children of the Clergy for the Protestant Episcopal Church in Maryland
Our members receive a broad range of benefits all designed to benefit spouses, partners and dependent children.
To join The Corporation, please download the application, print your responses and mail it to our mailing address:
4 E. University Parkway
Baltimore, MD 21218
Vested membership is granted after five years of continued canonical residence in any of the three dioceses, and may be continued if one moves to another diocese. Members who establish canonical residence in another diocese before five years are ineligible to remain members.
If your beneficiary is not a spouse, you will need to obtain approval from the Board of Managers. The Corporation is governed by a nine-member Board of Managers who are elected at the annual spring meeting.
The Corporation has been serving clergy and survivors since 1784. Our assets currently total over $40 million to benefit clergy and their spouses and children. Our investments and your membership go towards the benefits below:
- Need-based gratuities granted for emergency expenses and living expenses
- Annuity to beneficiaries (spouses and partners) of $1,500 annually
- A $10,000 death benefit to assist with covering final expenses
- Complimentary dinner for the named member at the annual spring meeting and discounted tickets for dinner guests
This is where you can update your and your beneficiary’s contact information.
Don’t feel like you have to fill the whole form out if you only have a few things to change/update.
Board & Staff
The Diocese of Easton
The Rev. Kevin Cross
The Rev. Charles Osberger
The Rev. Darcy Williams
The Diocese of Maryland
The Rev. Lisa Bornt
The Rev. Joe Hart
The Rev. Derek Miller
The Diocese of Washington
The Rev. Meredith Heffner
The Rev. Glenna Huber
The Rev. David Wacaster
The Rev. M. Joanna White, Executive Director
The Rev. Jan Hamill, Chaplain
Nancy Smith, Financial Secretary
Rachel Erdman, Administrative Assistant
The Rev. Charles Osberger, President
The Rev. David Wacaster, Vice President
The Rev. Derek Miller, Secretary/Treasurer
To pay your annual dues, back dues or other fees, please use the payment portal linked below
to pay conveniently and securely with your credit card or checking account.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who can become a member?
Q: How do I sign up?
A: You need to fill out the Member Information/Beneficiary Designation form, which you can find online or request from our office. You will also need to pay your first year’s dues ($50), either from the payment portal on our website or by check.
Q: Why do you need Social Security numbers?
Q: What does it mean my membership is "backdated" to the last Annual Meeting?
Q: Why can't I pay my dues all at once?
Q: What happens if I miss a payment?
Q: Can I get my dues back if I leave a Corporation diocese before I'm vested?
A: No. According to our bylaws, Article V, Sections 5 & 6: “Any member may resign at any time and shall thereby forfeit any and all benefits provided by the Corporation…A member who leaves having been a member less than five (5) full years shall be considered to have resigned.”
Q: What if I pass away before I finish paying dues? Will my beneficiary receive anything?
A: Yes. If you die before paying the entire $750 in dues, your beneficiary is still eligible for all annuities, gratuities, and the death benefit. If you die and are not yet vested, but still canonically resident in one of the Corporation dioceses, your beneficiary still receives benefits upon your death.
Q: What if I become permanently mentally or physically incapacitated? Does my beneficiary need to wait until I die to ask for help from The Corporation?
A: Under the bylaw change passed at the 2022 Annual Meeting, designated beneficiaries may apply for gratuities if the member has become incapacitated, for instance if they are suffering from advancing Alzheimer disease. According to the bylaws, the definition of “incapacitated” is “the long-term and presumably permanent lack of sufficient physical or mental ability to manage one’s personal care, property, or finances. In its discretion, the Board of Managers may require evidence of incapacity in the form of a written statement from the member’s physician.”
Please note, this only applies to gratuity requests. The beneficiary will not receive the death benefit or an annuity until the death of the member.
Q: Who counts as a beneficiary?
A: Please consult this handy flowchart to determine who can be your beneficiary
Q: What if I get divorced? Who becomes my beneficiary?
A: As long as the divorce decree does not prevent it, a member who gets divorced may change beneficiaries to the new spouse even though first spouse survives. You will need to submit a new Beneficiary Designation Form to make the change.
Q: What is a "next-of-kin benefit"?
A: In the event that you do not have a beneficiary, you may still designate someone to receive a one-time death benefit of $10,000 to cover burial or other end-of-life expenses. This person must be next-of-kin, and will not be considered a beneficiary, nor will they receive a gratuity or annuity. According to the bylaws, article 5, section 7 (amended 2020):
The order of precedence for determining a member’s next of kin shall be as follows: independent adult children, parents, siblings, grandparents, nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, cousins. If the member subsequently marries, enters into a domestic partnership, or has a dependent child, whether by birth or adoption, the member’s spouse and/or dependent child shall receive the death benefit[.]
Q: How do I update The Corporation with new contact or other information?
A: You can either email us, call us, or fill out the form in the ‘Update Information’ tab. Please let us know of any changes to your contact information (including email and cell). It is especially important to have emergency contact information. Remember, if we can’t get in touch with you, we won’t be able to keep you updated with information or disburse funds for your beneficiary when they are needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What benefits do I receive when my spouse/partner/parent passes away?
Q: What is a gratuity?
A: A gratuity is money given for demonstrated need, in order to cover emergency, medical, or other living expenses. There are two kinds of gratuities: Regular and Emergency.
Q: What is a regular gratuity? How do I apply for one?
A: Regular gratuities are funds you can apply for ahead of when they are needed—generally, regular gratuities are meant to cover shortfalls in your income and/or for large expenses you expect to pay in the year.
The Board of Managers meets in March to review and approve regular gratuity requests, so applications should be in before then. When you receive your annuity check in January, there is a Confidential Financial Report (CFR) form you can fill out and send to us, along with your latest tax return (if applicable), and other paperwork documenting income and expected expenses.
If the Board approves your gratuity request, you will receive a check for half the amount in March; At the October board meeting, regular gratuities are reviewed and updated; the second part of the awarded amount is sent after that meeting.
Q: How do emergency gratuities work?
Q: What sorts of expenses do gratuities cover?
A: Beneficiaries of all ages have requested gratuities for such things as medical bills (prescriptions, procedures, dental work, etc.); household upkeep (flooring replacement, roofing, fumigation, appliances, etc.); and other needs (i.e., education for minor children up to undergraduate school, car repairs, assisted living, and pre-planning funeral expenses). If you are unsure whether your request “qualifies” for a gratuity, please contact us.
Q: Can I decline the death benefit or annuity?
A: Yes. Please request a Declining Benefits form so that we have it on record. If you later change your mind, you may begin receiving benefits again by contacting us.
Q: What if I remarry?
A: Congratulations! You are still a beneficiary and eligible for annuities and to apply for gratuities. Please let us know, though—we want to share in your joy (and record your new emergency contact information)!
Q: What is the Chaplain’s role in The Corporation?
A: The Chaplain is our front-line in pastoral care for you, particularly when you first become a beneficiary after the loss of your loved one. Our current Chaplain is the Rev. Canon January E. Hamill; generally, she will be the one who offers initial condolences from The Corporation. She also sends booklets to help guide you through the grieving process and is available to be in contact with you by phone, mail, online, or (if possible) in person. The Rev. Hamill uses the annual prayer cycle (which lists each of our beneficiaries) to pray for you each week and sends note to check in when your name comes up. If you have a pastoral concern, please get in touch by calling the office or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How do I update my contact information?
A: Beneficiaries can also use the form under the ‘Update My Information’ tab on the website. You can also call or email us or send your updates by post. It is particularly important to give us your emergency contact information (including email and cell number).
To contact us, you can use any of the information below. We ask that all members email or call us if their contact information changes, or if they are in need of pastoral counsel or financial assistance. Please notify us immediately upon the death of a member or beneficiary and include information about the date, next of kin and any service details. Thank you for your membership with The Corporation for the Relief of the Widows and Children of the Clergy for the Protestant Episcopal Church in Maryland.