The combination of knowledge (information), wisdom (planning), obedience (to Biblical principles), and power (the Holy Spirit’s) is the key to everything, including the stewardship of money. The financial health of all churches rely on financial contributions to sustain and grow its congregation. Below you will find information on Giving, Stewardship, The Legacy Society, Endowment, and Other Ways to Give at Saint Margaret’s.
Giving & Stewardship
Jesus’ message to us about how we use our resources is one of the most challenging elements of the Gospel. The ministry of Stewardship is an invitation to take up this challenge. When we are generous, we acknowledge the abundance in our lives – and our confidence in God’s bounty. And when we give to St. Margaret’s, we claim this community for our own with its rich tradition of hospitality and service and its extraordinary potential.
If we follow the tradition of the “tithe,” our challenge is to give 10 percent of our (pre-tax) earnings to support God’s work. That’s hard to do overnight, but many of us at St. Margaret’s start the journey by giving 2 percent and then try to increase that percentage each year. Nothing about that journey seems easy – unless we start by acknowledging the abundance of gifts and resources we have been given.
Each fall, the Stewardship Committee sponsors a pledge drive, asking parishioners to make a pledge for the following year. These pledges help the Vestry build a budget, as our fiscal year is the same as the calendar year. Pledges can be paid in a single gift or transfer of stock, as a recurring charge to your bank card, as a scheduled direct debit from your bank account, or they can be paid throughout the year by putting cash or checks in the offering plate in special envelopes provided for that purpose.
You can also support St. Margaret’s financially through planned giving. A planned gift might be in the form of a bequest, a trust, or by naming St. Margaret’s as the beneficiary of an insurance policy or a retirement account. These commitments support St. Margaret’s in the long term and are gratefully received.
Here are the answers to some questions that may arise as you consider making an annual gift to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.
Frequently Asked Questions about Stewardship
For more information on Giving & Stewardship, click here.
The Legacy Society
Planned giving is a generous and effective way of ensuring St. Margaret’s future growth. You can make a planned gift to St. Margaret’s in a number of tax-beneficial ways. When you make a bequest or contribution of any size to St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church either in your will or through a trust arrangement, you become a member of St. Margaret’s Legacy Society. St. Margaret’s Legacy Society recognizes all parishioners who have made a provision for the church as part of their estate plan. The amount is always confidential. While you should consult with your attorney or financial advisor for guidance in determining the planned gift approach that is right for you and your family, we suggest the following options:
Gifts by Will
Bequests by will to the church are exempt from federal and most state inheritance taxes. With a gift by will, your total estate value is reduced by the amount of your planned gift, reducing your overall estate tax.
By your will (which you may amend by a codicil) or your revocable trust, you can make St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church the beneficiary of cash, securities, and/or other property. You may designate specific amounts or a percentage of your estate, or you may make St. Margaret’s a residual beneficiary of your estate, that is, a recipient of some part of the balance after payment of specific bequests, expenses, and taxes.
As you review your testamentary plans, here are three language samples for your use.
Specific Amount for General Purposes
“I give, advise, and bequeath to The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in the City of Bellevue, Washington, the sum of $______ to be used at their discretion for the general objectives and purposes of said St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.”
Percentage Amount for a Specific Purpose
“I give, and bequeath to The Rector, Wardens, and Vestry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in the City of Bellevue, Washington, ___% of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, to be used at their discretion for the general maintenance of the physical facilities of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.”
Unrestricted Bequest to St. Margaret’s Endowment
These are only samples for your consideration. Your legal counsel can help you to refine the bequest language to suit your specific wishes for St. Margaret’s. If you do decide to include St. Margaret’s in your will, we would find it very helpful to have a copy of that portion of your will for our records.
“I give, and bequeath to The Rector, Wardens, and the Vestry of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church in the City of Bellevue, Washington, ___% of the rest, residue, and remainder of my estate, to be placed in the St. Margaret’s Endowment Fund, for use at their discretion.”
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Saint Margaret’s Endowment
What is Saint Margaret’s Endowment?
The Endowment is a formal long-term savings account that financially supports our church to do God’s work by paying for special projects to improve out facilities, fund outreach projects, enrich our worship and music programs and other ways the vestry may approve. It has its roots from the late 1900’s when several church families combined to donate $220,000 as seed money. They formally created St. Margaret’s Endowment in 2001, defined and managed by the by-laws and operating procedures they created and the Vestry approved. Endowment spending may not be used for ongoing expenses of operating the church.
Below are some more Frequently Asked Question about Saint Margaret’s Endowment.
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Other Ways to Give
Altar Flowers and Oblations
Many people have special days in the year which they commemorate. Flowers on the altar of St. Margaret’s can fittingly mark the anniversary of a birth, baptism, confirmation, marriage or death, or may be used as an expression of joy of thanksgiving at any time.
If you would like to make an online donation for flowers on a particular Sunday, and/or for Christmas, Easter, or the Thanksgiving Day services, to make your donation, click here.
How does a church celebrate 60 years of faithful service and community? One step at a time. Or better yet, one brick at a time.
Saint Margaret’s is offering you an opportunity to commemorate cherished events in your life with the purchase of individualized pavers that will grace the newly designed entryway outside the front doors of our church. The order form is available here.
In the meantime, what stories might you tell? How will you live in our history? Births, adoptions, baptisms, confirmations, graduations, weddings and even celebrations of lives well lived – make them a permanent feature of this new path into Saint Margaret’s Church.
The initial order has been placed, but we will continue to add to the bricks. Please contact the parish office for more information.