The Wesley Foundation is the vehicle through which people can support Myers Park United Methodist Church through their planned giving (estates, insurance policies, outright gifts of cash and stock, and more. To discuss this aspect of stewardship, reach Executive Director JoAnn Horstman at 704-295-4844 or email@example.com. Her office is on the second floor of the Parish Life Building around the corner from Jubilee Hall. Stop by to talk.
Director of Communications Ken Garfield reflects on the meaning of planned giving:
This is powerful stuff: What we have accumulated in our lives, where we want it to go when death comes, what the church means to us now, how we might help sustain it beyond our years. In the parlance of charities and churches, this is planned giving, remembering an institution when you are gone. But as conversations unfold soon around bequests and beneficiaries and the like, this becomes about much more than stocks and securities.
The real question is, What will your legacy be?
The congregation is focused in a new way on planned giving. It’s the buzz phrase these days in philanthropy, not just soliciting pledges at the end of the latest fund-raiser, but building a foundation of support for generations to come. In one-on-one meetings, talks to classes and small groups, on the website and in church publications, staff and lay leaders will share how the faithful can be a beacon for all times. A short video has even been created to tell the story.
The mechanism for planned giving at Myers Park United Methodist Church is the Wesley Foundation. Founded in 1983, the Wesley Trust, as it was formerly known, was created primarily to preserve the buildings and campus through capital projects. A $5 million gift in 1996 from a church member’s estate allowed the foundation to expand, and support outreach. What a lovely blend, more than $5 million spent or donated over the past decade to repair the church stonework, build a school in Haiti and more. A board of directors made up of staff and laity oversees the money. Only the earnings are spent. The foundation stands at around $9 million.
There are many ways to give: Outright gifts of cash, stocks, securities, real estate and insurance; remembering the church in your estate with the bequest of cash, property or other earnings; naming the church as the beneficiary in an insurance policy or death benefit. The eyes of financial planners light up at the promise of a client wanting to do something like this. Their wisdom can serve as your guide.
We deal with cosmic stuff around here, about our relationship with God, how we live our lives, and what kind of mark we want to leave on this earth after we are gone.
So, what kind of mark do you want to leave on this earth after you are gone?