The first comprehensive research study of Episcopal Church lay employees, an historically overlooked group, is being undertaken by the Church Pension Group (CPG). The study was authorized by the 75th General Convention through Resolution A125. The resolution asked for the study as part of the church's effort to "make the Episcopal Church a fair and just workplace." A lay employee census was recently sent to every Episcopal congregation in the U.S. Episcopal dioceses and institutions will also be surveyed. The census deals with lay employee demographics such as age, gender, and marital status; where and how lay employees serve; number of hours worked; and compensation and benefits, according to a news release from CPG. A lay employee survey will follow. That survey, which will be sent to all lay employees, looks at such data as family status, household income, overall financial situation, working conditions, previous work experience, and much more. Data gathered from the lay employee census and lay employee survey, as well as our study of lay employees in Episcopal overseas dioceses, will support the work of the Task Force on Employment Policies and Practices in the Episcopal Church. It will also support the Episcopal Churchâs Office for Ministry Development in its leadership role in regard to the feasibility study on lay employee pension benefits described in Resolution A125. "This study will be very important to the work of the Office for Ministry Development as it fulfills its mandate from General Convention," said the Rev. Melford (Bud) Holland, Office for Ministry Development coordinator. It is important that as many voices as possible be heard, and recipients are encouraged to complete and return the census forms as soon as possible, the news release said. CPG is providing two ways to do so: by completing the paper forms, or via a secure website. To complete the census form online, go here; and sign on using the personal log-in and password data included with each census mailing. (There is also a link to the secure website on the CPG website home page under "CPG Highlights.") For assistance with or more information about the lay employee census and survey, please contact Andrea Van Zile by phone at (800) 223-6602 x 9474 or by email at A125@cpg.org.