Supporting Each Other – A Pastor’s Story

Rev. Charles Heup, Good Shepherd, Plymouth, Wis., discovered he had Cystic Fibrosis (CF) when he was in college. Now 59, he has been controlling the disease through daily treatment and a new, highly specialized and expensive medication. His lungs operate at less than 40 percent of their capacity, but the treatment and medication keep him functioning normally, a blessing to this pastor, husband, and father.

Heup’s congregation offers its called workers WELS VEBA health care coverage.

Heup says, “Every time my doctor says we need something, we submit it to WELS VEBA and VEBA has covered everything that we’ve needed to do, including the new medication.

“You can think of it as insurance, but because we’re all members of a group policy and we’re all WELS congregations and WELS members who are buying this policy, I look at it as a way of brothers and sisters helping each other.

“I look at it not so much as an insurance policy, as much as it is a way for us to show our concern and compassion and support for each other.”

Through WELS VEBA, the health care costs of covered workers are shared across all of the participating calling bodies throughout the synod. WELS VEBA does not charge premiums based on an individual’s medical care needs. This way, congregations and other WELS/ELS calling bodies will not be charged more if a pastor or teacher becomes ill.

As a called worker, Heup knows the Lord may call him to serve somewhere else yet in his ministry. He also realizes that he requires uninterrupted medical care. Heup says, “Knowing I could go to another congregation with that coverage intact, I don’t have to worry about that; it doesn’t even factor into my decision. So I can focus on the question all called workers should focus on when they get a call, ‘where can I serve the Lord with the talents he has given me.’”


The WELS VEBA Plan utilizes numerous industry-leading service providers to administer benefits for our members. Click to view our partners and their contact information.


Visit the Contact Us page for information and to find out how to talk to a WELS Benefit Plans representative.