"Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” - 1 Peter 4:10
Directing Gifts for God’s Mission
The St. John’s Lutheran Church Endowment (The Endowment) was established in 2001 to advance, in perpetuity, God's mission and the vision of our congregation, to Gather, Disciple, Manage, and Invite.
The Endowment supports our work to fulfill God’s mission in the world. It exemplifies our God-given calling to manage His gifts with wise stewardship and faithfulness not only for the current generation, but for future ones as well.
Members and friends of St. John’s are invited to make an intentional and lasting difference in furthering the Lord’s work through enduring gifts.
Enduring Gifts Express Our Gratitude
The Endowment gives us a means, as Christian stewards, to demonstrate and express in a tangible way our gratitude for God’s gifts and blessings in our lives. Through The Endowment we come to understand that living is giving. Enduring gifts are demonstrations of our faith and Christian love over and above our normal and regular support of ongoing congregational mission and ministry. The Endowment will primarily be used to fund needs and missions over and above our normal ministry. Enduring gifts put our assets in perpetual action for the Lord.
How the Endowment Works
The Endowment is a tax-exempt repository for receiving and managing outright gifts of cash, property, insurance or securities as well as bequests in wills, estates, or trusts
specifically identified for the St. John’s Lutheran Church Endowment. It is administered by The Endowment Committee, a standing committee of the Congregation. The names of the current Endowment Committee members are posted on the church bulletin board.
Currently, gifts to The Endowment are placed in the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF), in a separate account. The LCEF is a conservative investment vehicle that also assists in the overall mission and ministry of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. The
Endowment is already growing as a result of the loving and generous gifts from interested members and friends of the congregation.
Once the principal (corpus) reaches $100,000, the monies may be invested in other prudent investment vehicles per the policy of The Endowment Committee. Only earnings, not the corpus, may be expended for new ministry and mission. Funds may not be used to meet the congregation’s annual budget.
Requests for extraordinary ministry and mission grants from The Endowment are received, reviewed, and prioritized annually by the Committee. Such requests may come from the Pastors, professional church workers, the Church Council, or individual members of St. John’s Lutheran Church.
The recommended program(s), based on funds available, is/are submitted annually to Church Council and the Congregation for approval to ensure that they are within the scope of overall ministry and mission of St. John’s.
How to Make an Enduring Gift
All gifts to The Endowment must be clearly designated for “St. John’s Lutheran Church Endowment” in order that our financial staff knows your intent and how to handle them, and to also make sure there are no legal issues regarding the conveyance of your gift. The Endowment accepts only undesignated gifts.
Gifts come in many forms. A number of members and friends gift The Endowment via a regular “dollar-a-day,” monthly or annual contribution. Another option is to gift a large amount of cash, life insurance, appreciated stock, mutual fund shares, or real estate as a one-time gift.
Depending on your circumstances, you can enhance your economic security and reduce income tax burdens on your heirs by putting plans in place that can 1) ensure your financial viability as long as you live and 2) allow you to gift The Endowment to the extent you desire. Your own estate planner may assist you in making enduring gifts that offer these advantages and security. Free confidential estate planning assistance by a qualified financial planner can also be arranged if you are interested in making an estate gift to The Endowment.
If you have any questions, please contact a pastor or any member of The Endowment Committee for assistance.
Examples of Enduring Gifts that Offer Tax Advantages
- Outright Gift: Write a check to the St. John’s Lutheran Church Endowment
- Bequest: Include a gift provision to The Endowment in your will or living trust
- Beneficiary Designation: Name The Endowment as the beneficiary of your life insurance, annuity, IRA, etc. You retain control of the asset during your lifetime
- Life Insurance: Give a paid-up policy that you no longer need to The Endowment, or give ownership of a policy along with funds to pay the premiums
- Investment Gift: Transfer ownership of an appreciated investment such as stock, mutual fund shares, or real estate to The Endowment
- Charitable Gift Annuity: Transfer cash or other asset to The Endowment which will make pre-determined payments to you or a surviving beneficiary for life
- Charitable Remainder Trust: Gift a highly appreciated asset to a trust which makes payments to you for life with any remaining assets going to The Endowment.