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Legacy Ministry

Mission Statement: “The mission of the Legacy Committee is to promote the Christian values of life-long stewardship for the resources, facilities, and ministries of First United Methodist Church. Through education and communication about planned giving, the committee will encourage second mile gifts, as well as life gifts, memorials and bequests, for the purpose of continuing the legacy of Christian love.”

A Message From Our Chair
“Uncertainty” has been the common theme mentioned by corporations, financial planners, and individuals when talking about what has been happening with finances over the past few years.  This uncertainty has caused many to be more cautious about their money; corporations are stockpiling cash and not paying it out as dividends or hiring workers. Individuals are not spending because none of us is certain if we will continue to have a job, or continue to earn the income that we have in the past. Retired individuals are equally nervous, since many times, their incomes depend on the overall state of the economy.

We do know one thing for certain. God is with us, working through us to reach those most in need, often through our church. I believe that the church is one of the safest investments out there! I am confident that funds that we donate to the church today, whether through our annual pledges, through second mile giving, or through bequests and other planned gifts, will be at work bringing in God’s kingdom here on earth, for a long, long time. I believe that this is what is meant by “building our treasure in heaven.”

Over the past two years, the Legacy Committee has been at work encouraging second mile and planned gifts, and trying to manage the church’s investments so that First Church indeed has a Legacy! In this report, you will read about grants that we have been able to make with Legacy Funds, and how having this nest egg that grows has enabled us to further our ministry.

We all owe a debt of gratitude to those who continue to support all of our ministries through their gifts, service, and prayers. We look forward to continuing this ministry of certainty!
Peggy Thompson

Building and Facilities: This fund is for the preservation and upkeep of our facilities. It is the largest fund under the care of the Trustees. All undesignated bequests to the church go to this fund, and  it has also been well-supported by gifts people
have given specifically for the upkeep and care of our buildings.

Scholarships: A variety of scholarship funds have been established at First Church over the years. A
Music Scholarship fund was given in memory of Ardath Wiltse which benefits students from our church. We also have the Bishop fund which supports students from our church who go on to study at Albion College. Scholarship Funds donated by George Young and the Massop Family allow the church to help its seminary students with tuition and book support. The Grettenberger fund was given to support scholarships for mission trips.

Education and Youth: This fund is for the strengthening of our youth and education ministries.

The “As Needed” Fund: The “As Needed” fund is intended for those who want to give our Trustees complete latitude in how to use their gifts. In the past, the staff has used “wish lists” or special fund drives for specific needs, but this fund allows us to cover unexpected expenses that arise as our ministries flourish.

Pastoral Care: The Pastoral Care fund is designed to support the First Church pastoral and health ministries.  It also is used to assist those in need through the Emergency Fund. As the donations increase, we hope this fund will bolster our Health Ministries, Parish Nurse, and Stephen Ministry. In addition, through this fund, we desire to enhance the needed presence to our homebound members and residents of retirement communities.

Music and the Arts: This fund is intended to support the Music & Arts program for which our church is known.

Mission and Outreach: Throughout its history, First Church has been the recipient of many gifts that were designated for our missions and outreach. We hope in the future that this fund will help support new missions teams in their efforts around the U.S. and the World and to enhance our outreach programs.

How can you give to the church? If you have a planned gift or anticipate a gift in the near future and are willing to share that information, please feel free to contact the Business Administrator or other church staff with whom you have a personal relationship. Your plans will be kept confidential to the extent that you prefer.

The Essentials of Having a Will: At your death, a will serves as a road map telling your personal representative how to distribute your assets. Without a will, the laws of the state where your primary residence is determine how assets are divided.  Even if you have established a trust, a pour-over will is essential.

Still Have Questions?
Contact Sharon Sorensen, Legacy Administrator and Treasurer, If you would like information on bequests, wills, or any other planned giving opportunity. All inquiries will be kept in strictest confidence with no obligation. 

First United Methodist Church
227 E Fulton St  -  Grand Rapids, MI 49503
phone 616.451.2879 x113  -  fax 616.451.4893 
sharons@grandrapidsfumc.org