Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – May 2017

Giving Opportunity Continues in 2017 and Beyond

The “qualified charitable distribution” was made permanent by the U.S. government as of 2016. This means the giving opportunity remains a beneficial option for WELS members in 2017 and beyond. Anyone 70.5 or older can make qualified charitable distributions from their IRA of up to $100,000 per year to their church, synod, and other WELS organizations without counting the distributions as income for federal tax purposes. If a member does not itemize income tax deductions, they might consider giving to their church via this method. Due to the tax savings, they could free up money for personal needs or to expand their giving.

Interested members can learn more from your congregation’s local WELS Christian giving counselor by calling him at 800-827-5482.

You can share this information by copying and pasting this article, or find other articles at our planned giving articles archive on WELS Cloud (login required) and sort by the topic “Qualified Charitable Distribution.”

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – November 2016

Submitting Offerings and Statistics

The end of the calendar year means preparing for submitting to WELS your 2016 Congregation Mission Offerings (CMO) and statistics as well as your 2017 CMO subscription. Here are several items to keep in mind.

  • Please remit any final 2016 offerings by Jan. 9.
  • In early January you will receive coupons for remitting your 2017 offerings.
  • Your congregation’s CMO subscription for 2017 (the amount you pledge to give) is due no later than the first Friday in Feb. – Feb. 3 at noon (Central). Fiscal year congregations may report their 2017 CMO subscription now by using the estimated amount in their budget. The submission process uses a new web form that we hope gives you an improved experience.
  • In early January, congregations will receive a letter and e-mail with instructions for submitting 2016 statistics for the next WELS Statistical Report. The deadline for submitting statistics is also Friday, Feb. 3 at noon (Central). This process uses the web form we introduced last year with some improvements. Please note these data collection changes for the 2016 report, including the fact that the Conference of Presidents has approved the collection of member ages for a second consecutive year.)

Contact us if you have questions by calling 800-827-5482 or e-mailing [email protected]. Thank you, in advance, for your cooperation!

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – July 2016

Congregational Guiding Principles

Set up Scriptural guiding principles for members of your congregation to reflect upon at regular intervals in the ministry planning process. The principles can remind of our high privilege to serve as redeemed children of God under Christ, our Head. Below are the five guiding principles of St. John’s, Wauwatosa, Wis., which you can either adopt or use as a starting point in developing your own:

  1. Jesus Christ is worthy of our best efforts.
  2. God is honored through excellence and deserves nothing less.
  3. To whom much is given, much is required.
  4. True fulfillment comes not through personal gain, but through service and contribution to God.
  5. In the kingdom of God on earth, there are no insignificant people. Everyone can make a difference. Working together, we can make a big difference.

Helpful Hint – Encouraging Word – March 2016

Celebrate Gifts!

“Some of the best publicity [encouragement] for planned giving is . . . actual gifts! Share when gifts are received or endowment distributions made—how much is going to help which ministries. Share joyful testimonials of members who have made gifts. Hold and share coverage of a ‘thank you’ event for those remembering your congregation in their estate plans or with planned gifts. Mention in an after-service announcement the ministry goals that could be achieved through a certain amount of gifts (this may tie in particularly well to certain church year seasons, e.g. End Times). ‘The service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God’ (2 Corinthians 9:12).”

Congregational Planned Giving Program. Waukesha: WELS Ministry of Christian Giving, 2015. Page 9.