Why Plan Your Giving?
Today, we’re blessed to have Cindy Halverson with us. She’s our ELCA Director of Planned Giving for Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. (Some of you recall meeting Pastor Larry Westfield, who served in that capacity for a number of years.)
What does a Director of Planned Giving have to offer? First, inspiration and encouragement! Whatever our financial status, all we have and own, is a gift from God. What we do with those gifts is our response of gratitude to God, our Provider.
The second thing is that she can help us imagine doing the most good with our gifts and resources while we live and when we die. (One of Billy Graham’s clever statements was “I have never yet seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul!”) That takes some planning! It helps to have information on tax-smart giving, estate planning, wills or trusts, and so forth. Since Cindy is not selling any products or services, she’s a great, free, resource for ideas and suggestions!
The third thing she can do is to help us think of what are we passionate about? And what kind of legacy do we wish to leave behind with our giving? Do you have a special appreciation for the Outdoor Ministries of our ELCA? Would you like to help one of our Seminaries train new pastors or church musicians? Are you drawn to the work of our Missionaries around the world? Or the ELCA Hunger Appeal? Have you ever heard of Lutheran Volunteer Corp? Or do you know we have Campus Ministries at UWM, Marquette, and Madison that have to find funding? (And you may have other wonderful non-church related charities you care about too!). Cindy can help you sort through how to designate a gift to any such cause.
The fourth thing she can do is remind us that even if we’ve made a will, there’s an easy way to add St. John’s or Crossways Camps or other recipient into your plans without starting from scratch! A ‘codicil’ is a simple way to amend your will.
We also thank you for remembering that St. John’s Mission Endowment Fund exists to receive current and future gifts (including stocks, mutual funds, IRA required distributions, life insurance, even property). You can designate how you wish for your gift to be used for new and expanded ministry at St. John’s or the ELCA, for capital improvements, for mission/ministry beyond the congregation (above what the operating budget can support.) The Fund currently stands at about $29,000. As earnings grow, disbursements, grants, and new ministries can too!
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-380-2572 for further conversation!