Veterans of the Cross
Among church work families, stories of making pennies stretch are both legendary and endless. A surprising number of "veterans of the cross" — retired pastors, teachers and their spouses — live in poverty.
LCMS church workers who retired prior to 1965 often receive pensions so small that even with Social Security, it is impossible to make ends meet. Those with health or other problems often have financial needs greater than the old pension can provide.
There are a number of retirees whose employers did not participate in the Synod’s retirement benefits programs. These former employees receive no Synod pension. Some have no family to assist them.
Through the Veterans of the Cross program, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Concordia Plan Services provide small, periodic stipends for impoverished, aged pastors, teachers and their families to help pay for necessities like gas, electricity and food.