First UMC Foundation: What a Blessing for our Church
I have been blessed in many and varied ways by every one of the six churches I have served over the past 32 years, including our church. In fact, you have heard me say on several occasions that our church is in a really good place.
Here are just a few reasons we have for celebration: We are growing in numbers with many new faces in our ranks, our missional impact is significant and far- reaching in our community, and (thanks be to God) due to an amazing and unexpected “gift” last summer our mortgage for the G2G building and renovations will be paid in full by the end of 2017.
We have another blessing for which to be thankful, and it is one we may not think about often enough or, perhaps, are not even aware of. It is the Brevard First United Methodist Church Foundation. As an endowment, our church foundation came out of a great vision for the future of our church back in 1986. The primary purpose was to provide the financial means to compliment the mission of the church
and “to promote long-term stewardship planning and funding for the ministries of the Church.”
What does this mean? Well, for one thing, the Foundation is totally separate from the normal operations of our church that are funded by the annual “General Fund” (which is raised through the tithing and regular giving of members and constituents). Rather, the intent of the Foundation is to provide for the missional and capital needs that would be considered “outside” the normal operating funds of the annual budget.
How has the Foundation fulfilled its mission and been a blessing for our church? Take missions and outreach, for example. Over the years the Foundation, through gifts and grants, has provided a total of $128,610 toward missions both in our church and out in the community! More recently, much of the Foundation’s focus has been on funding a number of pressing capital needs of the church, such as:
- $267,000 to G2G since 2012
- $60,575 for sanctuary ceiling repairs in 2014
- $8,379 to replace the Chapel roof in 2015
- $10,000 just recently to replace the 50 year old
dishwasher in the kitchen
So, how does the Foundation grow for the future?
This happens through the financial support of the congregation by way of “cash gifts, appreciated securities, bonds, bequests, life insurance, real estate, personal property, life income agreements, etc.”
Most of the gifts over the years have come when members included the Foundation in their estate plans. The two churches I served before coming to Brevard have endowment funds very similar to our Foundation. What is important to note is that the establishment of such a fund came out of a vision for the future of our churches. What an excellent way to create a lasting legacy for our children and youth,
and all who come after us in providing the means for thriving missions and ministry for many years to come!
In the love of Christ,