So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions
that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
— 2 Thessalonians 2:15
Tradition, a word derived from the Latin trader or traderer, literally means transmitting, hand over, or giving for safekeeping. Fifty-six years ago, on September 30th, a group of leaders at our Church, First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, recognized a need to have a place for safekeeping the longevity of our Church and founded an endowment. The endowment could provide financial stability for the long term. It was 1964. With just $2,500 in initial donations, these leaders formed the First Methodist Church of Fort Worth Foundation, an entity that today has assets sufficient to contribute more than $6,600 a day to our Church (2020 year to date), totaling $2.4 million annually, for facilities maintenance, renovation, expansion ministries, and programs. In the picture, from left to right, are: Dr. Bruster, Barry Hudson, Building Committee Chair, receiving a check of $1.5 million dollars from Foundation President, Hank Paup for Phase I of the NEXT90 Building Expansion.
Your Foundation both “gives” and “safekeeps.” That’s because all funds donated to the Foundation’s endowment remain intact: only income generated through investment of donated funds is released to the Church for its use. Imagine this: because of generous donations that the Foundation has in safekeeping since 1964, our Church has received income exceeding $61.5 million dollars from the Foundation.
Let’s take a look at what happens with Foundation investment income when it goes to the Church. As an example, the Foundation has provided funds that the Church has used for major projects such as:
$2,000,000 Transfer of Funds from Foundation Annual Distributions to NEXT90 Reserve Funds
$ 725,000 Updates to the Sanctuary Audio & Visual Equipment
$ 203,906 Church Security & Landscape Maintenance Support
$ 85, 635 Sanctuary Painting and Plaster Repairs
$ 36,400 Rental ($700/week) for 11:11 Sunday Service at The Center for Transforming Lives
$ 94,317 Foundation Building HVAC/Chillers replacement
It’s quite a list. Today, as it has been during the entire five decades since our Foundation was officially formed, the Foundation commitment to our Church remains unwavering.
Fortunately, every year our Foundation continues to grow. This growth makes a difference in our Church and for our entire community. If you have made a gift to the Foundation or included the Foundation in your estate plans, we say a heartfelt Thank You! And if you are considering making a gift and have questions, please contact me at 817.639.2367 or at email@example.com. Please join us. Let’s continue our Tradition of Support together, always to benefit First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth, Texas.
This article illustrates the inextricable connection of the Foundation and the Church.
Our goal is a clear understanding that the Foundation’s sole focus and the beneficiary is the First United Methodist Church of Fort Worth.
We want to assure transparency in communications and are here to address questions
why the Foundation exists and how it operates in the best interest of our Church.
DID YOU KNOW? Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and CARES (Coronavirus tax Relief and Economic Impact Payments) Act, the IRS has temporarily suspended limits on charitable contributions. Per the IRS website, this means “In most cases, the amount of charitable cash contributions taxpayers can deduct on Schedule A as an itemized deduction is limited to a percentage (usually 60 percent) of the taxpayer’s adjusted gross income (AGI). Qualified contributions are not subject to this limitation. Individuals may deduct qualified contributions of up to 100 percent of their adjusted gross income. A corporation may deduct qualified contributions of up to 25 percent of its taxable income. Contributions that exceed that amount can carry over to the next tax year.”
Take advantage of this one-time suspension by making a cash contribution by December 31, 2020. To learn more about Charitable Contribution Deductions visit the IRS website.
Contact Sid Johnston if you would like to make a charitable contribution to the Foundation by year-end (p: 817-639-2367 or e: firstname.lastname@example.org).