Get a head start on your year-end tax planning by considering these worthwhile strategies before December 31st.
Let's talk honestly about money and the church
THE MORAVIAN MINISTRIES FOUNDATION helps Moravian individuals, churches, and agencies grow and sustain the ministries that are central to their faith. We do this through investments, gift planning, and stewardship development.
Ending the Year Well
Giving Retirement Assets
We have good news. You can provide for your loved ones and the Moravian ministries you care most about while avoiding unnecessary taxes. Do you have a qualified pension plan, profit sharing plan, 401(k), 403(b) tax sheltered annuity, IRA, or stock option plan? Congress never meant for these plans to be passed on to heirs. These assets are considered "Income in Respect of Decedent or IRD", and someone has to pay the tax on them. By leaving them to someone other than your spouse, you can subject your heirs to significant taxes on their inheritance.
MMFA Welcomes Kara Yates
We are delighted to announce the appointment of Kara Yates as the Moravian Ministries Foundation's new Business and Financial Services Manager. Kara earned her Bachelor's degree from Wake Forest University's Calloway School of Business and Accountancy. She then served as the Assistant Director of Stewardship Operations at Wake Forest. In this role, Kara managed the backroom accounting and donor services functions of Wake's impressive fundraising program. Kara's unique combination of financial management acumen and fundraising operations makes her a perfect fit for the Foundation.
The Missing Peace
Truth be told, I am by nature a pretty selfish person. It’s not that I have a cold heart. I’ve always been able to make friends and consider myself a basically good person. But growing up as the last child in a family split by divorce, I wasn’t really taught how to be nurturing. Instead, I learned early on that the best way to get by in life was to keep to myself, make straight A’s, and not to expect a lot from people.
A Cheerful Giver
Each one must do as he has made up his mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
If I’ve ever known a truly cheerful giver it was the late Helen Sams Peterson who entered the more immediate presence of her Savior in September of 2015. Helen’s whole life was defined by giving. Whether it was giving of herself attentively in conversation, helping financially support a church project, or generously sharing with someone less fortunate, Helen seemed to thrive when she was able to give.
Resources for Congregations
Good Things Take Time
About this time last year, conversations with Jeff Coppage, pastor of Covenant Moravian Church, York Pennsylvania, were really beginning to point in the direction of a capital campaign. We actually started talking in 2014, dreaming about a plan to celebrate the congregation’s renewed interest in mission and outreach. And a very important 50th anniversary would occur in 2015. In 1965, two congregations of modest means, Bethany and Olivet Moravian Churches, joined to form a new congregation, Covenant, a name to reflect their shared commitment.
Learning to Lead
This past Saturday, Laura Watson and I attended the Board of Cooperative Ministries’ “Leadership Focus 2016”. Held at Fairview Moravian in Winston-Salem, this all-day event entitled “Living the Essentials”, attracted Moravian pastors and laypersons from across the Southern Province. After the keynote address by the Rev. Dr. Jill Crainshaw from Wake Forest School of Divinity, we could chose from eleven different workshops focusing on leadership for a variety of areas: music, mission, church communication, governance and much more.
This week we're pleased to share the following from Michael Reeves, one of the authors of Creative Giving.
While the concept of estate planning is a relatively new idea, the principles of managing the assets God provides to us are biblical. Although it is not a biblical statement, the following comment, attributed to Andrew Carnegie, is certainly congruent with these principles: The man who dies rich dies disgraced.
Money and Ministry: Hand in Hand
We talk a great deal about giving and discuss the pros and cons about using the words “stewardship”, “faithful philanthropy”, or “grace, generosity and gratitude” to capture what people do when they are charitable and support their church or the work of Moravian agencies like the camps, missions, and seminary.
The other side of the giving equation focuses on the care and custody of these gifts. This duty has many dimensions, such as:
Go and Do Likewise
There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said, "Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law?
It Is Enough
Millions of Americans are tuning in to the Summer Olympics in Rio to watch our brilliant athletes as they compete, athletes like Kathleen Miller, the swimmer who won silver while living with Crohn’s disease, and Kristin Armstrong, who won gold for the third time just one day before her 43rd birthday.
That Was the Week That Was
OK, how many of you remember that 60s television show? As the “senior” member of the MMFA staff, I remember it well. Paul, who is a little younger than me, probably does; but Laura, at her young age, probably not.
As I look back on last week, it was certainly memorable and very special. Here’s what happened:
Eastern District Synod Reflections
A couple weeks ago I had the privilege of participating in the Eastern District Synod. As is always the case, there was legislation and the like, but this Synod was quite different. The focus was on ministry: not only talking about it, but actually doing it.
To Live is to Give
We thank Jo Beth Boyles, a member of Bethabara Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC, for being our guest blogger this month. Jo Beth writes:
I was asked several months ago to speak on stewardship on behalf of my family. Since that time I have been in prayer asking the Lord to give me the words He would have me to share.
To Give, To Serve, and to Have Faith
Archbishop Fulton Sheen was an American bishop who became known for his preaching and especially his work on television and radio. In fact, in the 1950s into the 1960s, he may have been the most recognizable Catholic in the United States.
Konnoak Hills' Invitation to Serve the Future Age
For almost a year, we've had the pleasure of working with Konnoak Hills Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC. Konnoak Hills was "established in 1950 to serve the fledgling suburb south of Winston-Salem known as Konnoak Hills. Today the church is closer to the heart of the city as Winston-Salem expands toward the borders of Forsyth County. While its location is very different from its semi-rural past, many values of that earlier day remain unchanged.