Presbyterians Today

OCT-NOV 2017

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Pr e s by te r i a n s To d ay | OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2017 39 it. However, nearly 61 percent of Americans die without having written a will to direct their assets. Churches with a strong wills emphasis program keep the idea of creating a faith legacy in front of members. "Sometimes when people begin thinking about end-of-life matters such as the type of service they want and whether they want to be buried or cremated, the door opens for a conversation about leaving a bequest to the church," said the Rev. Dr. Louise Westfall. Westfall is pastor at Central Presbyterian Church in Denver. "Having other members share their stories of giving is another way to set the tone and get someone thinking about their legacy." Central Presbyterian hosts a luncheon the first Sunday in May for members of its Covenant Society. The Covenant Society was established in 2003 and includes Central Presbyterian Church sup- porters who have made an endowed gift to the church, or who have made provisions for a gift to the Endowment Fund in their estate plans. Central designates a Sunday in September for wills emphasis. In addition to a sermon on generosity, a testimony from a member who has made a bequest to the church is given during coffee hour. "Our annual stewardship campaign runs six weeks in the fall, but I don't limit myself to just those Sundays to talk about giving. I weave it in throughout the year," said Westfall. Mike Moon of Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church in San Diego echoes the importance of a long-range view. "We work to educate and make people aware of how their generosity impacts the church ministry and mission," said Moon, who chairs the church's endowment commit- tee. "Having a 12-month plan and calendar has helped us keep a year- round focus on giving, and we'll soon be looking 18 months ahead." Last year, Rancho Bernardo joined three of the largest Presbyterian churches in the area to share best practices in planned giving. "Stewardship is more than money," said Keizer. "It's how we use our talents, time and treasure to live out our faith, show thankful- ness for God's amazing grace, care for the environment and ensure that Christ's work in the kingdom continues." Pam Greer-Ullrich is an accredited public relations professional and the director of public relations for the Presbyterian Foundation. J o i n u s i n c e l e b r a t i n g 3 0 0 y e a r s o f r a d i c a l h o s p i t a l i t y t h r o u g h t h e A s s i s t a n c e P r o g r a m o f t h e B o a r d o f P e n s io n s o f t h e P r e s b y t e r i a n C h u r c h ( U . S . A . ) a n d i t s p r e d e ce s s o r f u n d s Compassionate assistance for PC(USA) retired church workers and spouses • Income Supplements • Housing Supplements Other church workers and their families in need • Shared Grants • Emergency Assistance Grants • More All gifts make a difference. Please give online to pensions.org/giveassistance or call 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN), ext. 7300. © 2017 The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

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