Stewardship 2021: Generosity
A Letter from Pen
As we draw near to the close of this year, I am certain that none of us could have anticipated all that has happened over the past eight months. Our world and our lives have been upended and so much about the future is still uncertain.
And yet, we worship a God who has promised to provide for us in peaks and in valleys. And we are members of a church–a part of Christ’s body–that has been sent into the world to proclaim good news of resurrection hope, and to embody what that hope looks like when it is lived.
I am writing to you to ask that you participate in the mission and the ministry of our church through a commitment of your financial resources. Next year, more than ever, the witness of our church is critical as we:
- continue to offer our congregation (and the thousands of others we reach through our television broadcast) an experience of worship;
- build on a 20-year school partnership with Westerly Hills Academy, narrowing focus to the children and families on the westside to increase connections and deepen impact;
- focus our attention on the faith formation of our children, youth, and their parents;
- enhance pathways of care for our members who need to feel the love of Christian community in this long season of social isolation.
I ask that you prayerfully consider what God might be leading you to share from the resources God has entrusted to your care. This year, our stewardship theme is generosity. As we mark 200 years of ministry for Christ in the heart of Charlotte next year, I am mindful of the many generations of our members who have been generous toward our church. I invite you to continue that history as we respond generously toward the God who showers us with abundance.
You may make a pledge to the 2021 budget here on the church website, or through Realm. You may also mail the pledge card you received recently. For our planning and budgeting purposes, we kindly ask that you let us know your intention by Sunday, October 25.
I am grateful for your support, the role that you play in our family of faith, and I pray that God might use our collective witness to bring honor, and hope, and healing, and peace to our city, nation, and world that God loves…so much so that God sent his son to save.
In faith, hope, and love –
The Reverend Pen Peery
How Much Should We Give?
Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the Lord’s; it is holy to the Lord. – Leviticus 27:30
The Bible suggests that we return to God is one-tenth of the abundance that comes to us. Called tithing, that gift of one-tenth is a tradition of long-standing in our faith.
Of course, we realize that some have been so richly blessed that they may choose to give more. Others, at various times in their lives, may find it necessary to give less. But our desire should be to come as close as we are able to that traditional gift to God. Because imagine what First Presbyterian could accomplish—the children we could nurture, the hungry we could feed, the connections to the Holy Spirit we could foster—if more of us made that commitment.
Viewed in that way, it is easy to see how our gifts would, indeed, be holy to the Lord.
All of our gifts are tax deductible, of course. But as the end of each year approaches, many of us make additional charitable donations as a way to provide meaningful support to the church. Ways to give at year-end include:
- Gifts of Cash: If you itemize, you can lower your income taxes by simply writing a check on or before December 31 each year. If your envelope is postmarked by December 31, your gift qualifies as a current-year deduction.
- Qualified IRA Distribution: People over age 70½ can give up to $100,000 each year directly from their IRA to a charity and avoid paying income taxes on the money.
- Real Estate: Gifts of real estate must be coordinated with the church ahead of time since there are specific requirements to be considered. For example, any gift over $5,000 requires the donor to obtain an independent appraisal for tax purposes.
- Gifts of Stock: If you own stock, it is often more beneficial to contribute stock than to contribute cash because of a twofold tax savings. First, you can avoid paying capital gains tax on the increase in stock value, and you receive an income tax deduction. If you plan to give stock as part of your contribution, please contact Jan Gaddis (704.927.0235).
For more information on any of these year-end gift options, please contact Finance Manager Jan Gaddis (704.927.0235).