Planting Seeds for Future Ministry
The past few years have been a time of financial worry and economic crisis. How does the church respond in times such as these? At least one church in our Conference views these challenging times as the right time to do something for the future. Calvary United Methodist Church in Ripley (Little Kanawha District) invited the staff of the United Methodist Foundation of West Virginia to provide information about planned giving and endowment building. The church leadership recognized that many people may desire to make an ultimate gift to benefit the church from their estate plan. They recognized that the best first step in promoting planned gifts would be to create an endowment fund that would provide a vehicle where people could make gifts from their accumulated resources that would provide an income stream for the church forever.
Following the meetings with the Foundation, Calvary United Methodist Church planted a seed. In an act of faith and selflessness, the church created a lasting endowment fund that can be the recipient of future gifts. The leaders of the church decided to leave the income from the Trust untouched until the principal grows large enough to produce a significant annual income for ministry. The Church has planted this seed with the trust that God will lead others to the generosity necessary to allow it to grow.
Do we choose to see the world through eyes of fear, recognizing only scarcity and believing that we do not have enough? Or do we see our world through God’s clear vision, understanding that during challenging times such as this one, our mission is bigger, our call to service is louder, and the need of those around us is more desperate. In times such as this one, do we believe that our God is a generous one, and that He invites us to generosity?