Despite the current economy, which continues to struggle since the 2008-09 economic downturn, GuideStone has had one of its greatest investment years ever, receiving favorable recognition from industry firms like Lipper and fi360, Hawkins said.
For example, fi360 recently ranked GuideStone Funds eighth out of 224 fund families. The fi360 Fiduciary Score evaluates investments on nine different criteria to determine if the investment meets a minimum fiduciary standard of care. Fund families also must contain at least five distinct funds with a three-year history to be considered in the report.
Additionally, Hawkins reported on GuideStone's ongoing activities to ensure compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Hawkins emphasized that GuideStone already meets many of the health care act's requirements, including no lifetime or annual caps on insurance coverage. GuideStone has never canceled anyone's insurance coverage, except for non-payment of premiums, Hawkins said.
Turning to GuideStone's new property and casualty insurance, Hawkins noted that the organization is licensed to provide coverage in 49 states and expects to be licensed in all 50 states in the near future. "So many churches trust GuideStone for retirement and insurance coverage, making the property and casualty coverage a natural fit for many churches," Hawkins said.
In addition to GuideStone's financial products and services, Hawkins noted the continued success of Mission:Dignity, a ministry providing ongoing financial support for retired Southern Baptist ministers and their widows who are in need.
Through Mission:Dignity, GuideStone Financial Resources assists approximately 2,000 retired Southern Baptist ministers and widows who have critical financial needs. Most of these served small congregations in decades past with little, if any, contributions toward a retirement plan.
Sixty percent of Mission:Dignity recipients are widows. One out of every four recipients is a pastor's widow age 85 or older. Qualified recipients are eligible for grants of $200 to $530 each month.
The Mission:Dignity program is funded by gifts from individuals, Sunday School classes and churches across the Southern Baptist Convention. Gifts of any size are welcome and 100 percent of contributions are paid out in grants, with nothing taken out for administrative expenses. Guidestone, which receives no Cooperative Program gifts, has raised $60 million over the last decade for this initiative.
Hawkins invited messengers to encourage their churches to join GuideStone in celebrating Mission:Dignity Sunday, scheduled for June 26.
Roy Hayhurst is editorial services manager for GuideStone Financial Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. For a full report on GuideStone's investment performance, visit www.GuideStone.org and click on the "News Room" link at the bottom of the page. Through Mission:Dignity Sunday -- June 26 on the SBC calendar -- churches can learn more about this ministry. To order free bulletin inserts and a DVD for use in worship services, Sunday School departments or mission-oriented organizations, visit www.MissionDignitySBC.org/ORDER or call 1-888-98-GUIDE (1-888-984-8433).
Copyright (c) 2011 Southern Baptist Convention, Baptist Press www.BPNews.net