NEWS FROM YOUR DIOCESAN FINANCE OFFICE
In This Issue:
Food For Thought
Now Go and Do
Spotlight On: Project Resource on June 9
Spotlight on: ECW Sunday on May 20
Spotlight On: Cooper Episcopal Consortium
Resource of the Month
Until Next Time
Living into our learnings from our Discerning Our Common Call process about the importance of communications between our Bishop and his staff, committees and commissions of our Diocese and our congregations, we hope to bring you actionable ideas on a periodic basis, and invite your feedback, questions and topics for future newsletters.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Luke 4:18-19)
At the heart of our reflections in our Bishop’s Forums over the past month has been a call to the transformational justice ministry of Jubilee, grounded in these words of the prophet Isaiah as read by Jesus in the synagogue at Nazareth. How are you following Jesus out into your communities to help fulfill this scripture?
NOW GO AND DO: Engage in an evening of transcendence and transformation through the inspirational music and story of the Harlem Opera Theater AND benefit our own Diocesan Jubilee Ministries!
PROJECT RESOURCE WORKSHOP JUNE 9TH – REGISTER NOW!
What: comprehensive training in Project Resource’s spiritual, practical, effective stewardship tools to grow giving in your congregation!
When: Saturday June 9, 2018, 9:30am – 3:00pm
Where: All Saints Church; 16 All Saints Rd, Princeton, NJ
- Assess your congregation’s current approach to all aspects of financial stewardship
- Name where you want to go
- Develop strategies for moving forward
- Be paired with a stewardship coach
- Leave with at least one idea you can use – and more to bring back to your congregation
- Address all three kinds of giving:
- Annual (stewardship pledges)
- Major (large gifts, capital campaigns, roof replacement drive)
- Planned (will inclusions, endowment expansion, legacy societies
For more information: contact ProjectResource@dioceseofnj.org
Register Here: https://tinyurl.com/ProjResource20180609
You may have seen this in other diocesan communications, but Finance & Budget wants to do its part to help out, too. As a reminder, our last Diocesan Convention designated the third Sunday in May (May 20th this year) as Episcopal Church Women (ECW) Day in the diocese. Watch for more information about the ECW and a special ingathering request for that day.
THE COOPER EPISCOPAL CONSORTIUM – RESOURCING MISSION REGIONALLY
On May 10th (Ascension Day) the Cooper Episcopal Consortium, a regional collaboration of six congregations, will celebrate more than a year of pooling their spiritual resources, human resources and facilities resources to give their various ministries new life and energy. Bishop Stokes will join their steering committee meeting along with his wife Susan, who will help them explore new ways of approaching lifelong Christian formation together. Following the meeting, their congregations will join in a Festival Mass with Bishop Stokes as celebrant and preacher. Please join us in congratulating St. Bartholomew’s (Cherry Hill), Holy Trinity (Collingswood), St. Mary’s (Haddon Heights), Grace Church (Haddonfield), St. John’s (Maple Shade), and Grace Church (Merchantville) as they celebrate over a year of finding new and innovative, non-financial ways to resource their capacity for mission and ministry!
IS YOUR REGION NEXT? Who are your neighbors? What might you do better together? Your diocesan staff is ready, willing and able to facilitate the same kind of regional initiative in your area. Here are just a few proven initiatives around which you and your neighboring congregations might gather to engage us for workshops tailored to your needs and then continue sharing with each other as a community of practice:
Lifelong Christian Formation
Way of St. Paul
Community Health & Wellness (in partnership with Aetna Better Health resources)
And that’s just the beginning.
In March’s Treasurer’s Corner section, we addressed the topic of CHARITABLE GIFT ANNUITIES. [For a refresher, click on this link for March’s Resources for Mission newsletter.]
We concluded the primer with a promise to provide some examples. So, here we go.
Increasing retirement income with gift annuities
Julia, age 75, owns stock worth $20,000 that she purchased 10 years ago for $10,000. The stock pays her a dividend of $300 per year. Julia would like to increase her income during her lifetime from this investment and provide a legacy gift to her congregation upon her death.
To make this happen, Julia can transfer her stock to the Episcopal Church Foundation in exchange for an immediate-pay lifetime gift annuity. Based on her age and fair market value of the stock at the date of gift, Julia can increase her income to $1,160 per year, and also receive, in the year of gift, a charitable deduction for income tax purposes (assuming she can itemize on her income tax return) of just over $9,500.
How two people can benefit
John and Gertrude, married and both age 65, own stock worth $100,000 that they originally purchased for $40,000. The stock pays no dividends. They would like to use the stock to buy a gift annuity to create cash flow during their lifetimes while spreading the income tax consequence (of selling the stock) out over many years. At the death of the second spouse, they would like to support both their congregation and the diocese.
By transferring the stock to the Episcopal Church Foundation, their annual income from the annuity would be $4,200 with a charitable deduction in the year of gift of $33,655.
Of the $4,200, a little over $1,000 per year would be tax free, approximately $1,600 would be treated as capital gain income (for a period of almost 25 years), and the balance would be treated as ordinary income.
Besides immediate payment annuities, you can also enter into a contract for a deferred payment annuity where you pick the age that you would like to receive payments (i.e. I’m 50 years old and would like my payments to start at age 70). Also, two-life annuities do not have to be just between spouses. You can choose to benefit siblings, children or other loved ones.
Have some questions for your specific circumstance? The figures in the above examples come from sources believed to be accurate. But, for your situation, we recommend (strongly) contacting the experts at the Episcopal Church Foundation. Either call 1-800-697-2858 or email them at giving@EpiscopalFoundation.org.
Did you know that April was Financial Literacy Month? Well, it’s not too late! Step up your game in managing your endowment with helpful information from the experts at the Episcopal Church Foundation here: http://www.ecfvp.org/newsletters/view/18
Here are a few interesting things we came across since our last issue.
Estate tax law changes may render some will provisions obsolete. With the increase in the amount of assets a person can pass on at their death without incurring a federal estate tax obligation (to over $11 million), many wills that provide for the creation of “Unified Credit Shelter Trusts” at the death of the first spouse may no longer be necessary. Everyone should take the time to review their will, and, if necessary, schedule time with their attorney to discuss your distribution plan and make changes, if needed.
Time to check the fire extinguishers. Rechargeable fire extinguishers should be serviced once each year to make sure they are fully charged and operating properly. Don’t rely on the indicator needle on the canister pointing to the green zone. The needles can get stuck over time and may give an inaccurate reading. If you have a smaller, inexpensive fire extinguisher, it may be more cost-effective to just buy a new one every two years.
This month we leave you with a quote from Stephen Hawking, who passed away just recently—
Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet.
Proclaiming Christ in the Garden State
We are the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement in the Southern 2/3 of New Jersey.