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Practical ideas to care for your God-given gifts

Toolkit offers practical ideas to care for yourself and others, particularly in ways that reflect your faith and values. Published every other month, this free newsletter is a quick read – only two pages – on current news and trends with important but simple applications for your life today.

Volume 43, Number 6 - November/December 2016

Good sermons, warm welcome

Good preaching is more important than anything else when people look for a new church, according to a Pew Research Center study released in August … Among U.S. adults hoping to find a new congregation, 83 percent said the quality of sermons is a factor … That was followed closely (79 percent) by feeling welcomed by clergy and lay leaders, 74 percent who said the style of services is important and 70 percent who said location was a factor … Forty-eight percent said they considered switching denominations when they searched for a new church, while 49 percent said they only considered churches within the denomination with which they already identify.

Give the dog a carrot

Dogs don’t digest foods the way humans do, which explains why chocolate is such a hazard for our canine friends … Even licking an icing bowl can cause digestive problems for dogs and could even lead to abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and death, according to WebMD … The culprit in chocolate is theobromine, a central nervous system stimulant … In fact, many foods humans enjoy create potential problems for dogs, including pantry items such as baking powder, baking soda or nutmeg … Healthy “people food” snacks for your dog include carrot sticks, green beans or slices of apples, oranges, bananas or watermelon.

Your big moments

Getting married, having children, taking on a new job, or simply buying a new home or car all mean financial changes in life – and sometimes it all happens fast ... For whatever life brings, get a little help from a trusted representative and take some worry off your shoulders ... When you get ready today, you can feel more confident about tomorrow ... Take a moment to visit to watch our new video and find out more.

Not a banner biz year

2015 wasn’t a super year for global businesses … Fortune magazine, in its Global 500 issue, noted that cumulative sales of the biggest companies on the planet declined by 11.5 percent from 2014 … Much of that was blamed on China’s economic slowdown and a slumping oil industry … Three U.S.-based companies made the top 10 of the Global 500 – Wal-Mart Stores, at #1, Exxon Mobil at #6 and Apple at #9 … Chinese companies State Grid, China National Petroleum and Sinopec Group placed second through fourth … Rounding out the top 10 were Royal Dutch Shell, the Netherlands, #5; Volkswagen, Germany, #7; Toyota Motor, Japan, #8; and BP, Britain, #10.

Sending food to the landfill

The average family of four in the U.S. wastes about $1,500 per year on food it throws away, according to Consumer Reports … In fact, 40 percent of the food produced in this country ends up in the trash … Households toss almost half of the wasted food, with another big chunk thrown away by supermarkets, restaurants and governmental units … In fact, 28 percent of the world’s agricultural land is used to produce food that never gets eaten … The author of Waste Free Kitchen Handbook, Dana Gunders, advises tracking what you throw away and why, then adjusting your shopping and cooking habits accordingly.

Amish top 300,000

The estimated population of the Amish in North America is 308,030 in 2016, up 2.6 percent from a year earlier, reports the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown (Pennsylvania) College … Almost two-thirds of the North American Amish live in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana … The college’s Amish Population Profile 2016 shows Ohio with 72,495 Amish residents, Pennsylvania with 70,890 and Indiana with 51,660 … In the last five years, Ohio’s Amish population has increased by 19.1 percent; Pennsylvania’s, by 15.7 percent; and Indiana’s, by 12.7 percent … The study includes all Amish groups that use horse and buggy transportation, excluding car-driving groups.

Printers construct buildings

The science behind using 3D printing to build homes and other types of structures continues to advance … A Beijing architecture firm recently finished a mansion that it 3D printed and manufactured that it says can withstand an 8.0 earthquake, reported … And the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory connected a natural-gas-powered hybrid electric vehicle to a building that stores solar energy … Both the car and the building were built with 3D printing … If the sun isn’t providing enough power, the car’s engine recharges the building … The building can function entirely off the electrical grid.

New retirement plan for small employers

Everence recently introduced a new savings plan, a SIMPLE IRA product especially for small employers … A SIMPLE IRA allows employees to devote part of their salary to the plan to save for retirement … The Everence plan includes socially responsible options for employees’ investments … Choices are offered from a variety of no-load mutual funds from multiple fund families … Participants design their own portfolios or choose a present portfolio designed to fit their life stage and risk tolerance … Visit for more information.

Highest- and lowest-paid professions

What do anesthesiologists and fast-food cooks have in common? … They’re No. 1 in the rankings of highest-paid and lowest-paid professions in the U.S., respectively, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics … Anesthesiologists average $258,100, while fast-food cooks average $19,610 … Like anesthesiologists, the rest of the top five on the highest-paid list are also in the medical field – surgeons, followed by oral surgeons, obstetricians/gynecologists and orthodontists … On the lowest-paid list, fast-food cooks are followed by food preparation/serving workers, shampooers, dishwashers and restaurant or coffee shop hosts/hostesses ... To see national salary information and projected job growth rates for your job and other jobs, visit

Uneasy about the economy

Americans are concerned about the economy and their own financial future – in fact, more concerned than they have been in a while, reports LIMRA, a research organization for insurance and financial services companies … Today’s consumers are more concerned about their financial well-being than at any point in the last six years, the organization reported … The major factors in what LIMRA calls its financial concern barometer are savings goals, health care, living expenses and estate matters … consumers’ concern level increased for all four factors in 2016 … More than 50 percent of consumers said “the overall state of the U.S. economy” is the biggest factor driving their anxieties … Talk to your Everence advisor if you have concerns about your financial future.


November/December 2016 issue

Advisory services offered through Everence Trust Company and Investment Advisors, a division of ProEquities Inc., Registered Investment Advisors. Securities offered through ProEquities Inc., a registered broker-dealer, member FINRA and SIPC. Investments are not NCUA or otherwise federally insured, may involve loss of principal, and have no credit union guarantee. Everence entities are independent from ProEquities Inc. All products are not available in all states.