The Grace United Methodist Church Foundation was established out of the need to think towards the church’s future. Our purpose is to endow and support the lasting impact of the church’s ministry and mission by encouraging members to remember Grace United Methodist Church Foundation in their estate plans (wills, trusts, etc.).
2022 was a year of transition out of many COVID protocols and back to “semi-normal” operations for Grace Church. As you are aware, Grace lost Paul Grysh, a staff member of 30 years, leaving behind his wife and family. Many members contributed to the Church’s fund for the Grysh family. The Foundation has a pastoral care endowment that was created through the wishes of one of our member’s estate plans. The donor wanted to provide support for people in immediate need but also enable people to grow and develop in faith. This endowment contributed to the Church’s fund for the Grysh family.
Reliable and well-maintained facilities and grounds are critical to the Grace Church ministries. The Raise the Roof campaign addresses a number of critical facilities maintenance projects. As an incentive to meet the Raise the Roof goal, the Foundation committed to match 50% of new pledges in 2022 and 2023 to this project. Undesignated memorials and accumulated memorial earnings will be used in this commitment. In addition to facility maintenance, the church also has technology needs to provide streaming of services as well as maintain aging computers and equipment. Undesignated memorials and the accumulated earnings have also been used for these needs. There were erosion problems in the upper parking lot landscaping and the Foundation’s Landscaping fund provided the financial support for these projects.
The post-COVID culture has brought new challenges and opportunities for the church’s ministries. The leadership and staff attended the Leadership Institute 2022 at the Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City, Missouri, in-person or online. The conference resources pastors, lay leaders, church staff, and volunteers with practical tips and tools designed to build leadership development and growth. Several members of Grace Church made donations through their wills or trusts to establish continuing education funds to promote the continued education and development of Grace leadership, staff and lay persons involved in church ministries.
In 2022, it was decided to make the Fall Festival a separate event and add new initiatives to enhance the outreach and serve more of the local community. The event was well attended by the families of Grace as well as families from the local community. The Foundation’s endowments for children and youth ministries provided the additional financial support for the new initiatives.
The Foundation supported the academic and spiritual development of our youth in the congregation by providing scholarships to North Central College. One of our youths received a scholarship from the NCC scholarship endowment to attend North Central College. The United Methodist Higher Education Foundation’s Dollars for Scholars program and North Central College both match our scholarship, tripling the amount for the student.
Through an endowment for international ministries, the Foundation was able to donate to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine. This was accomplished through the United Methodist committee on relief (UMCOR). UMCOR assists United Methodists and churches to become involved globally in direct ministry for humanitarian relief. UMCOR comes alongside those who suffer from natural or human-caused disasters – famine, hurricane, war, flood, fire, or other events. The Foundation provides resources to Grace Church because of our many donors for whom we are grateful. These donors looked to the future of Grace Church and included the Foundation in their wills, trusts, or made outright donations. The above examples show the impact and importance of legacy gifts on the current and ongoing ministries of Grace Church. If you would like additional information or wish to discuss, confidentially, the best way for you to make a gift, please feel free to contact me, or Pastors Cindy Marino, Eric Blachford, or Mark Himel.
The Foundation sponsored the second annual Wills vs Trusts: Which is better for me? seminar in October. The seminar is presented by an estate planning attorney. The seminar focuses on the importance of having an estate plan and differences between having a will vs a trust. The feedback from the attendees was positive and they found it informative and helpful. The Foundation is planning to add an additional seminar on, “How to make planned/legacy gift” in 2023.
If you have already named the Grace Foundation in your financial planning, please let the Foundation know by contacting me. We would like to thank you!
Scott Oats, Grace United Methodist Church Foundation Board of Directors, President Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone 630-386-6011
Foundation Board Members Scott Oats, President and Secretary John Abe, Vice President Scott Skooglund, Treasurer Ron Laub Gina Gramarosso Tim Ford Susan Patton Missy Hoekstra-Hecht