When you think about the future, do you automatically picture Saints James and Andrew (SsJA) as the same thriving community of faith it is today? Does it continue on after you are gone? If our yearly pledge of support ends when we die, what keeps SsJA going apart from new membership? One important way to ensure the future of SsJA is to plan a gift that can be accessed after you are gone. Much like you care for the well being of your children by making them beneficiaries of your estate, you can provide for SsJA by adding us to your estate planning, leaving a legacy of financial support for generations. How great would it be to insure the survival of our outreach ministries? What would it mean to not only ensure the future of your children but also of your beloved church family?
What is legacy giving? In a nutshell, planned or legacy giving is a donor's intention to contribute a major gift to an organization, beyond their lifetime. So, unlike an annual gift (an outright gift made for current use), a planned gift is for the future. Essentially, you can make arrangements for planned gifts in the present but they are actually doled out at a later date. Additionally, the major gifts contributed by you can be made as a part of your financial or estate plans.
So by definition, planned giving is not limited by your current wealth. Unlike the value of what you contribute on a recurring basis, planned giving enables you to contribute gifts that you wouldn’t ordinarily be able to make. The gifts donated end up being larger and aren’t dependent on one’s regular income. That’s why most planned gifts take the form of a beneficiary designation, life insurance, equity, or real estate holdings (among others). Thus, even if you consistently contributed small gifts, your planned gifts can be of a much higher value.
Planned gifts offer the donor the satisfaction of giving a legacy of philanthropic support to an organization close to their heart. Planned gifts are not always realized immediately; therefore, your gift can help ensure the future health of the organization. Oftentimes it is not possible to give an organization a large direct gift. Planned gifts allow the opportunity to support your charitable organization in a meaningful way without giving a large outright gift. Planned gifts can also offer substantial tax savings, reduce income tax and avoid capital gains tax. Giving a planned gift allows part of your estate to avoid the expensive and sometimes arduous probate process.
Through planned giving, you can leave a legacy behind after you pass. Whether leaving a bequest as a tribute to a family member or creating a legacy for your faith community to continue its good work, you can make a lasting impact on a cause that’s important to you.
At James and Andrew, we can offer you several ways to make a planned gift. We have welcomed Princy Stotz to the Stewardship Team as our Legacy Giving Advisor; she is knowledgeable about planned giving options and so can answer questions and make your planning even easier. The team has also been busy creating a new informational brochure for your use when you are ready to start planning for the future. We hope you will take a look at our brochure and call on Princy to explain in more detail the exciting ways we have available to keep The Episcopal Church of Saints James and Andrew in the lives of our families and friends for many years to come.
Diane Kurkulonis, Stewardship Chair
Princy Stotz, Con Trowbridge, Erica Burns, Elizabeth Keitel, Stewardship Team
“Every generous act of giving, with every perfect gift, is from above…” James 1:17, NRSV
Dear Friends of Saints James and Andrew,
Every message about our pledge campaign begins with Gratitude, and I am pleased to continue the message you have received from our clergy recently as we focus on our annual pledge campaign. Our theme this year, Every Perfect Gift, highlights all the ways in which we have been blessed by God and how that inspires us to give back to our neighbors, our church, and the world. In my message to you, I want to focus on our gifts of Treasure, the financial gifts that we make to our community to support our mission.
This year has been so different from other years in terms of what has been asked of us as individuals and as a community. I want you to know, because I have heard your stories and walked along side you this year, that I know some of us are struggling with finances, with isolation, with uncertainty. Over and over again, I learn that it is the God we encounter at our church and Jesus who we follow by recognizing him in each other, that keep us together, that provide the consistency in a shifting world.
Every dollar that we raise has a face behind it, a story, a purpose, a mission! We use our financial gifts to serve God, to care for each other, and to show our love for our neighbors. What greater gift can there be? I am grateful for how each of you supports our ministry in our community.
If you are ever in doubt about the impact of your giving, look around you. Whether you have seen your church family on a screen this year or in pews as we have been allowed, every person you see is part of the story of your giving. As you consider making your gift or your intention to give this year, I ask that you also consider how you have been impacted, and how you will impact this church and our neighbors. What is the story of your gift, how will it unfold? How will your blessing be a blessing to others? This is the spirit behind our theme of Every Perfect Gift.
This year I invite you to make your perfect gift, reflective of the gifts you have received from our Creator.
With gratitude for each of you,
Di Kurkulonis, Stewardship Chair
Con Trowbridge, Erica Burns, Elizabeth Keitel, Stewardship Team
Thank you for returning the online pledge form by Sunday, November 7, 2021. If you prefer to submit a card, you can pick one up at the Church Office.
Dear Friends of Saints James and Andrew,
Every pledge campaign begins with gratitude, and that is how we want to begin our message to you this year. We are inspired by your generosity – by the grand acts that you have accomplished this year, by the single acts of love and kindness, and by the unseen work you have done in service to God and our church community. We cannot say it enough--thank you.
Our pledge campaign this year focuses on our gifts; not just on the things we wrap with paper and bows, and not the things we put in envelopes or give from our bank accounts, but all of the gifts that we give throughout the year. It is traditional to talk about offering the gifts of time, talent, and treasure, and easy to do so without really focusing on the strength each offers our community. We are grateful and aware of the ways in which you have given all three, and today we want to focus on your time.
Time, they say, is the greatest gift, because it is a gift that we can’t replace. When we give our treasure or our talent, they come from renewable streams, to some extent. But time, once given, can’t be taken back, reclaimed. This is why we are inspired by the ways that you give of your time to this community. You give generously by being present with the community in worship- whether it be virtual or in-person; by volunteering at our feeding ministries and pantry; by engaging in the important work of creation care, anti-racism, and advocating for God’s dream for this world. Whether these gifts of time are measured in hours spent running a ministry, participating in our programs, volunteering in the community, or in minutes spent on zoom calls, this community is generous with its time!
In this season where we uphold our gifts, we hold you up in light, love, and leadership. Over the coming weeks you will be hearing more about our parishes’ gifts from clergy and lay leaders. Know that each of you is a gift, to each other and to a world in need of our loving, liberating, and life-giving God.
Rev. Heather and Rev. Molly