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St. Thomas' Episcopal Church
315 Lindsey Street • Reidsville, N.C.

STEWARDSHIP AND GIVING


Christian stewardship is the grateful and responsible use of God’s gifts.  “Grateful” because we know God loves us and wants us to have what we need to live a joyful and productive life.  All that we are and all that we have are gifts from God.  “Responsible” because we know God wants us to use these gifts to do the work God is calling us to do – to make the world a better place.

Stewardship is the main work of the Church.  It is how we use God’s gifts to us to praise and honor God and care for God’s creation.  It is living life in thanksgiving. 

Stewardship within the church is much more than a six-week fund raising campaign each Fall, it is the work of healing and reconciliation.  We are called to be stewards every day of the year, by the use of our time, talents, and treasure.  We are asked to give what we can, and to give it cheerfully.  The point isn’t the amount of an annual pledge to St. Thomas, but the attitude with which it is made.  Giving freely to God’s work through the work of St. Thomas allows all of us to reap bountifully, both in running our church and in our many important outreach ministries.

Proportionate giving, in which one starts by pledging some percentage of one’s annual income, then increasing that percentage in subsequent years, makes it easy to become a “cheerful” giver.

Refer to this chart for information on proportionate giving:  

Annual Gross Income

2%

3%

4%

5%

10%

12%

10,000

16.66

  25.00

   33.33

   41.66

  83.33

  100.00

15,000

25.00

  37.50

   50.00

   62.50

 125.00

  150.00

20,000

    33.33

  50.00

   66.66

   83.33

 166.66

  200.00

30,000

   50.00

  75.00

  100.00

  125.00

 250.00

  300.00

40,000

   66.66

 100.00

  133.33

  166.66

 333.33

  400.00

50,000

   83.33

 125.00

  166.66

  208.33

 416.66

  500.00

75,000

 125.00

 187.50

  250.00

  312.50

 625.00

  750.00

100,000

 166.66

 250.00

  333.33

  416.66

 833.33

 1000.00

150,000

 250.00

 375.00

  500.00

  625.00

1250.00

 1500.00

PLANNED GIVING

The following information is not intended as legal or tax advice, but as general information on planned giving.  For legal or tax advice, consult your lawyer or tax advisor.

Planned giving, deferred giving, estate giving – all of these are names for a way of managing your financial affairs, planning for the future, and making charitable contributions in a way most favorable, tax-wise.  Nearly all of the good works flowing from St. Thomas are dependent on the availability of funding, now and in the future.  You can be a good steward of God’s bounty by making a planned gift to St. Thomas.  This generosity helps ensure the continued ministry of your church and serves as a testament of your values for future generations.

Gifts can be to St. Thomas or to the St. Thomas Endowment Fund.  If given directly to St. Thomas, the Vestry will determine how the gift will be used.  A gift to the Endowment Fund is invested and income from the Endowment Fund is used as directed in the Fund documents.  Currently, no more than half can be used for operating expenses of the church, at least one-fourth is to be used for Christian Outreach, and at least one-fourth is to be designated for capital needs of the parish.

These are some of the most common types of planned giving:

Making a bequest in your will.

When you leave a bequest to St. Thomas through your will or living trust, you can make a generous gift without reducing your current income.  Charitable bequests are normally deductible in full for estate tax purposes.  You retain the use of the assets during your life.

A bequest may be a simple gift of cash or property.  For example:  “I give and bequeath the sum of $10,000 to the Endowment Fund of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Reidsville, North Carolina;” or, “I give and bequeath my stock in International Widget Company to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Reidsville, North Carolina”

It may involve leaving a percentage of the net estate, such as:  “I devise and bequeath 10% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death, both real and personal and wherever located, to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Reidsville, North Carolina.”

Finally, the bequest may be contingent, as in “If my brother, John Doe, survives me, I devise and bequeath 20% of the remainder and residue of property owned at my death. Should John Doe predecease me, then I devise and bequeath said 20%  to the Endowment Fund of St. Thomas Episcopal Church, Reidsville, North Carolina”

 

Charitable Remainder Trusts.

A charitable remainder trust allows you to give a sum of money to St. Thomas and retain periodic payments.  These trusts make periodic payments to the donor for life or for a term up to 20 years.  Upon termination of the trust, the remaining assets are used for the intended charitable purpose.

There are two types of charitable remainder trusts:

A “unitrust” is good for those who want to participate in market gains and can tolerate some risk.  Income is adjusted annually as a fixed percentage of fair market value of the trust.

An “annuity trust” is attractive to persons who wish to avoid risk.  Income payments are fixed and determined when the gift is made.

Either of these trusts allows the donor to receive cash flow while still making a significant gift to St. Thomas.  If established during your lifetime, there may be some income tax savings.  There is a partial bypass of capital gains tax when funded with appreciated property.

 

Retirement plans or assets.

The disposition of assets held in IRAs and retirement plan accounts (for example, 401(k), 401(a), 403(b) or 457 plan accounts) is governed by beneficiary designations for the accounts.  You can give the assets or a portion of the assets in these accounts to St. Thomas and/or the Endowment Fund.

Using retirement assets to make charitable gifts at death has the advantage that long-deferred, usually significant, income tax on highly appreciated retirement accounts will not be incurred by you, your family, or St. Thomas.  The beneficiary can accept the funds with no income or estate tax.

 

Life Insurance proceeds.

If you have a life insurance policy you no longer need, a gift of it to St. Thomas can be a way to combine charitable objectives with tax advantages to you.  An irrevocable gift of life insurance my be appropriate when the growth of your assets or the reduced needs of your dependents make the policy unnecessary.

Like retirement assets, life insurance proceeds are paid to the beneficiary designated by the policy owner.  To make such a gift, St. Thomas or the St. Thomas Endowment Fund must be named as the beneficiary.  As with retirement accounts, you can choose the amount to paid to the selected beneficiary – either as a set dollar amount, a percentage, or all of the proceeds.  You can also make a current gift of a life insurance policy with a cash value by transferring ownership of the policy to St. Thomas or the Endowment Fund.

You should receive an income tax deduction equal to the cash value when you name St. Thomas or the Endowment Fund as owner of a life insurance policy.  If you continue to make premium payments after you have made the gift, those payments may also be deductible. The amount of the deduction depends on the type of policy contributed and other factors.

For more information about planned giving to St. Thomas, check the web site of the Episcopal Church Foundation, www.giftlegacy.com. 

If you intend to include St. Thomas as part of your planned giving, it would be helpful to send this non-binding letter of intent to assist the church in its planning.

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This page was last updated 03/14/08