BY BILL POTTER
How often do we walk into the sanctuary of FUMC and marvel at the exquisite stained glass master pieces that adorn its windows? But, do we ever think about those who came before us who endowed such an enduring legacy for us to behold. We have benefited from those devout members before us who wanted to establish a permanency to the ministry of our church.
We all know the value of our annual stewardship to the wellbeing of our church on a current, continuing basis. But, to sustain FUMC on a long-term basis we each need to think what we can do to provide and sustain a legacy.
Each of us needs to plant the seed of what the value of an endowment can do to extend our ministry and missions. Current stewardship pledges and donations are the life blood of our church. However, if endowments were established that covered operational costs, think what current pledges could do to fund missions and needs!
FUMC’s Planned Giving initiative is to help establish a stewardship ministry that will make our members aware of avenues to perpetuate their commitment to the long-term survivability of FUMC and to be a part of that legacy. Endowments can provide the opportunity for you to establish tangible expressions of faith toward the future of FUMC.
One thoughtful church member reasoned, “Those persons who preceded me in this church left a rich heritage. What will I leave as a heritage for future generations?” Is it possible that a part of that answer might be found in a carefully thought-out and designed funding plan that will address the future as well as present needs and opportunities of the church?
An endowment fund is a good way for you to say:
- I believe in the future of this church
- I want to go the extra mile in providing services and programs that formerly were only dreams
- I want to be guided in my stewardship by the belief that all we have is a trust from God
- I want to be a good steward of the church
- I want to build a sense of permanence in what I do
- I want to create a heritage that future generations can celebrate as joyfully as we celebrate our rich heritage today
An elderly member was discussing her stewardship philosophy with a planned giving counselor. “My church has always been an important part of my life, and I want to always be a part of my church.” One of the ways she accomplished this during her lifetime was through her generous and faithful contributions from her current income, but she gave her stewardship conviction permanence as she established an endowment with the remainder of a life income gift. “Now,” she said with a great deal of satisfaction, “I will be a part of this church every year even after I am no longer here to make my contributions.”
As part of the Planned Giving initiative FUMC will be providing specific guidance on the many ways that this type of stewardship can be accomplished. If you have questions or want more information, contact Rev. Brady Whitton.