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Telling Our Story

Get Ready for Your Next Big Gift…

Is your church ready to be mentioned in a will by a member of your church or by a member of your community?  A plan needs to be in place before the lawyer calls and tells you that the church has been named as a major beneficiary in a will.  Last week, I received notice that First Congregational UCC in Dubuque was named as a recipient of $120,000 from the estate of a former member who died eight years ago.  His spouse, who was Roman Catholic, died in January of 2013, and they left equal amounts to each of their churches.  They were not wealthy individuals, but they were people who cared deeply about the work of their respective churches.  We are very grateful for the gift.

What will be do with it?  We developed a plan for receiving estate gifts back in 1991 when we formed a Planned Giving Committee in our church.  From this gift, $1,500 will be given to the General Fund of the church to assist with the regular budget in 2013, $1,500 will be given to the Building Fund of the church to assist with current property needs in 2013, and $117,000 will be placed in our First Congregational UCC Endowment Fund that is invested with United Church Funds.  United Church Funds is part of the United Church of Christ and can be reached toll free at 877-806-4989.  Our funds are invested in a moderate, balanced fund.  The Investment Committee of our Trustees at First Congregational UCC has directed the United Church Funds to send us an income of one percent per quarter from our investment.  This means that from an investment of $117,000 we will receive about $4,680 each year for the work of the church.

When we receive that income, we then use it in the following fashion: 50% supports our programming, 25% supports our various missions, and 25% supports the physical needs of the church.  Across the next one hundred years, the program, missions, and property of the church will receive $468,000 because this couple was generous to the church in their will.

We are blessed by this gift and we are blessed that we have a plan in place for receiving this gift, using a small portion of this gift in 2013, investing this gift, and then receiving an income from this gift for generations to come.

–Written by Rev. Dr. Ken Bickel, First Congregational UCC in Dubuque, Iowa