As we turn the page on the calendar and enter into the year 2010, we think about our plans for the new year. As a church, we are also making our plans for ministry to our community and to the world. A church budget of $808,572.00 has been prepared by the Finance Committee and approved by the Administrative Council. Now, as church members, we are asked to support the ministries of the church through our prayers, our presence, our gifts, our service and our witness.
In their planning, many local churches look out no further than one year. Yet, if there was ever an organization that ought to make long term plans and commitments and to think, talk and plan in terms of permanency, it is the church. If we truly believe that the church is of God and will be preserved to the end of time, then our planning and giving should reflect this commitment.
One way to provide for the future is through the creation of an endowment fund. An endowment fund is generated by gifts or bequests of money or property donated to an institution, usually with the stipulation that they be invested, and that the principal amount of the donation remain intact in perpetuity, with earnings or interest made available and used to support the work of the institution. The establishment of an endowment fund makes the bold statement to the church and to others that the church is here to stay – that it is both planning and funding for the future.
An endowment fund is a good way for the church to say:
¨ We believe in the future of this church
¨ We want to be guided in our stewardship by the belief that all we have is a trust from God.
¨ We want to build a sense of permanence in what we do.
¨ We want to be good stewards as a “church family” even as we expect each member to be a good steward.
¨ We want to “go the extra mile” in providing services and programs that, due to budget constraints, were only dreams.
¨ We want to create a heritage that future generations can celebrate as joyfully as we celebrate our rich heritage today.
Grace Church has created an endowment fund. The leaders and members of this church have said “We believe in the future of this church. We want to be good stewards of all that God has given us and we want to provide and expand services and programs not only in 2010, but for years and years to come.”
Grace Church has always been looking ahead, planning for the future, while solidifying its mission and expanding its ministries. Have you included Grace Church as a part of your long-term plans and giving? Does your planned giving reflect your commitment for Grace Church to be preserved to the end of time?
If you would like more information on the Enduring Grace Fund or would like to give a gift to the Fund, you may contact Gary Ankabrandt, Chair of the Enduring Grace Committee – 717-243-7128 or firstname.lastname@example.org or talk to one of the pastors. If you have already created an estate plan that includes Carlisle Grace United Methodist Church as a beneficiary, we would love to hear from you so that we can express our sincere thanks for your personal planning and commitment towards the permanency of the church.