The Grace United Methodist Church Foundation was established to focus on the church’s future. The Foundation receives, manages, and distributes financial and other resources to be used for programs and projects which enhance or supplement the work and vision of Grace Church. It also fosters an awareness of opportunities for giving through wills, trusts, retirement accounts, life insurance, etc.
We are grateful that the generous donations from past and present members, families, and friends of Grace have given the Foundation many opportunities to support the church’s ministries in 2023. The following is a summary of the Foundation’s major initiatives and accomplishments in 2023.
Reliable and well-maintained facilities and grounds are critical to the Grace Church ministries. The Raise the Roof campaign addresses numerous 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. Memorials are used to fund this commitment. A number of large trees on the church grounds were potentially dangerous and needed attention. The Board and trustees decided to use the Foundation’s Landscaping Fund to hire a professional company to do the work. The church replaced the AED defibrillators and memorials were used to purchase the new units.
Education remains an important part of the Foundation’s support for further developing the leaders of our church including pastors, staff, lay leaders, and youth. In 2023, our education endowments supported church leadership, music ministry, and youth ministry.
This year certain leaders and staff attended the Leadership Institute 2023 at the Church of the Resurrection in Kansas City. The institute equips, encourages, and inspires ministry leaders. Churches from all over the country attend and share ideas. The Institute provides tips and tools designed to build leadership development and growth.
The director of the bell choirs attended the Handbell Musicians of America National Seminar in Texas. At this seminar, she brainstormed with other directors and met composers of many of the pieces played at Grace and attended many classes and concerts.
The Foundation provided a $1,000 scholarship to one of our youths attending North Central College, a United Methodist affiliated institute, to support their academic and spiritual growth. This scholarship was matched by the United Methodist Higher Education Foundation and North Central College.
Continuing Educational endowments have been established through legacy gifts from Ruth Gish and family members honoring Rev. George Gish, and Dorothy Kline. These endowments provide a stream of income used for continuing education of the church’s leadership. There are also NCC scholarship endowments established by Anna Stephenson and Robert Lehman.
The church’s website is a vital method for communicating with the congregation and the community. People searching for a church or considering visiting Grace will visit the website first. A new website was created in 2023 and paid for through the Kline Christian Initiative fund.
The Foundation supported many events and initiatives for the Children and Family and Youth ministries including Fall Festival, Trunk or Treat, Sunday Fun Days, Kinder Tot Summer Days, Pizza, Play, and Praise night, Faith, Food, and Fun day, and Vacation Bible School. The Holloway Children’s and Youth endowments were used for these events.
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.
On February 25, the Foundation will sponsor a seminar “Benefits of Trusts and Other Ways to Make a Legacy Gift.” An estate attorney will lead this seminar in a small, friendly environment. Mark your calendar. More information is available in Grace Notes and the weekly enews.
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, President
Foundation Board Members:
Scott Oats, President and Secretary
John Abe, Vice President
Scott Skooglund, Treasurer