Transforming Lives Through Christ

September 2017

Dear Friends,

We are thankful for your support of Grace Lutheran Church as we continue to faithfully pursue our purpose: “Transforming Lives Through Christ.” We know you support Grace in numerous ways throughout the year. The time, skills, experience and faith you share in ministry here help make Grace an outstanding community of believers. You know that God’s mission flourishes when every member of Grace generously participates.

We are excited to write to you about the tremendous opportunities that will abound as Grace looks to the future with a new long range plan. This plan will call each of us to grow in faith, to support others at Grace and to respond to the needs of our neighbors more generously.  Grace will increase our focus on Cross + Generational and cross+cultural ministries. When adopted by the Council, it will challenge us to grow in our regular giving to Grace.

The mission that lies ahead for Grace – intentional actions that will have us reaching out to Henderson County in creative ways, providing outstanding ministries to nurture the faith of members and working more closely with local charitable agencies – will need additional giving to the General Fund.  To continue providing and growing the high quality ministries for which Grace is known and we all value will call for an increase in pledged giving to the General Fund of more than $100,000 in 2018.

An increase of this size is substantial – no doubt about it. We encourage every member of Grace to join us in prayerfully making a pledge in proportion to the abundance of God’s blessings in our lives. Through the combined generous giving of 240 or more pledges, God will provide the resources necessary for the ministry God calls us to do. Making a pledge is always an act of faith – trusting that God will provide for our needs after we give to the church. Funding our ministry is an opportunity for us to act in faith and grow in our generosity.

Your pledges to the Capital Fund are also important. This fund not only pays for keeping our facility in tip-top shape but also enables us to pay the mortgage.  Generous giving and growing the number of pledges above the 143 Capital Fund pledges in 2017 will enable us to pay down our mortgage quicker.

Commitment Sunday, the day we encourage every member of Grace to make a financial pledge for 2018 is Sept. 24. Pledges will be received and dedicated at the altar during worship.

A different way of thinking about your giving is to increase your weekly pledge amount by the cost of eating out once a week. It may not seem like much, but together these small increases (nominally $8 for a sub or burger) multiplied by 240 or more General Fund pledges will provide the generous support to propel Grace toward accomplishing the plan we believe God has given us.

You can fulfill your pledge to Grace in a variety of ways. Here are several that we invite you to consider.

+ Use offering envelopes by writing a check or putting cash in an envelope for each week’s offering during worship. You can mail your envelope to the church if you miss worship.

+ Sign up for Simply Giving to have your offering electronically transferred to Grace from your checking account. Even when you are traveling, your regular offering will be given. We have enclosed a Simply Giving form. Look for Stewardship Team members during Fellowship Time on Sundays and Oasis on Wednesdays before Commitment Sunday if you have questions or need help completing the form.

+ For members who are ages 70 ½ and older who have IRA accounts, your Required Minimum Distribution (or a portion of it) can be made directly to a charitable organization such as Grace Lutheran Church. There are provisions for this and there can be tax benefits. Consult your financial planner or contact our church treasurer, Terry Andersen, for details.

+ Gifts of appreciated property or stocks made to Grace Lutheran Church may also offer income tax benefits to donors. Consult your tax planner or contact our church treasurer, Terry Andersen.

Paul wrote these words to Timothy, a leader in the early church:

“They are to do good. To be rich in good works, generous and ready to share, thus storing up for themselves the treasure of a good foundation for the future, so that they can take hold of the life that really is life.” – 1 Timothy 6:18-19

We encourage you to pray about what your faithful and generous pledge to support God’s work through Grace will be in 2018. Together with the Council, staff, and members serving in the financial ministries of Grace, we have made our financial commitment to Grace for 2018. Join us on September 24 by making your pledge to fund God’s growing work at Grace.

Thank you in advance for living generously as we faithfully serve Christ in ministry together.

 

In Christ,

Rick Rehn, Stewardship Leader

Greg Williams, Senior PastoStewardship Leader

P.S.: Your pledge card and return envelope are enclosed. Please complete the card and return it to the church on Sept. 24 during worship. You may also mail it to the church. No matter what you decide to pledge, please return your pledge card so the Stewardship Team will know they don’t need to follow up with you. Thank you!