A Message From Ellen 5-10-23
May 10, 2023
Because of the faithful planning and stewardship of many in this congregation, our congregation is able to give away $78,280.00 this year to meet needs in our own community through the FLPC Endowment Fund! Years ago, forward thinking members of our congregation formed an Endowment Fund and invited the congregation to consider funding it through their own estate planning. Many of our members have included FLPC in their estate planning, and as a result, the Endowment Fund has grown from $49,931.08 in 2001 to 1.5 million dollars in January 2023! The purpose of this fund is to “expand and enrich the mission of the Church.” (from the FLPC Endowment Fund Agreement that guides the work of the Endowment Committee)
The Endowment Committee (appointed by The Session each year) received requests for grants from within our congregation and from the community well in excess of what we have to give away. But the Endowment Committee prayerfully and carefully determines which grant applications to fund. They make their recommendations to Session, and once Session approves that list during their regular meeting (May 21st), then we will publicize the awards. The ability for this church to bring Good News to bad news is greatly amplified by the existence of this Endowment Fund. And that is one of my favorite definitions of what it means to be a Christian. Christians are supposed to be those who bring Good News to bad news. Jesus did it again and again. When people were hungry, he fed them. When they were ridden with guilt and shame, he forgave them. When people needed to be healed, he healed them. We are to do the same. That is what makes us a “Good News” people!!
But NONE of the good done through our Endowment Fund would happen unless members of this congregation had taken seriously the challenge to DO GOOD with their estates after their deaths. A few of us can give significant financial gifts during our lives. But ALL of us can tithe our estates. In fact, our estate planning is the last chance we get to witness to our families about what is important to us. So, what will your family know is important to you? Eric and I have both made a plan in our wills to tithe our estates after we die. And in the next week, you will be receiving a Planned Giving Guide from FLPC. Please read through it and consider seriously what you think needs to be done to bring good news to the bad news of the world around us. Plan to do that both now and after your death through your estate planning.
On Sunday, May 21st, our worship will focus on the importance of estate planning as a tool in living out our commitment to Christ. It is easy to procrastinate on this important task. But as I often say, no one gets out of this life alive. Plan now to witness to your values and your faith and so continue your own Christian witness even in death.
See you in worship!
Ellen Fowler Skidmore