GUEST BLOGGER: Andrew Thelander, Council President
It’s an exciting time to be a part of Trinity Lutheran Church! Our faith community continues to grow as we’ve recently welcomed 20 new members to our congregation. They join us and strengthen our shared mission: Because God first loved us, we live as Jesus in the world, loving God and loving neighbor.
And we are grateful for those who have increased their financial support for our mission through pledges for our comprehensive capital campaign of “New and Renewing – the Next 150 Years.”
So far 148 households have pledged more than $1.792 million, and we expect more pledges will be made. Already, this has surpassed our initial Foundational Goal of $1.5 million which will eventually provide mortgage debt savings of $56,000 annually, in addition to addressing the much-needed deferred maintenance of assets along with tithing 10 percent of all funds raised for the campaign to missions. The next target level we are approaching for our campaign goals includes a Mid-Tier Goal of $2 million and then our Aspirational Goal of $4,045,000 which, if achieved, would entirely pay off the mortgage providing debt savings of $214,000 annually.
Over the past few years, Trinity has been on solid financial footing thanks to your faithful stewardship, hard work, and thoughtful leadership. Yet, as a church community we are not immune to the broader economic challenges and stock market worries facing many families on an annual basis. The church is in the unique position of having its operating budget be funded primarily through the generosity of general giving of individuals and families making an annual commitment to share their financial gifts each year. We continue to see the timing and form of receipt of contribution gifts fluctuating greatly versus previous years, making it difficult to project expected results by the church’s upcoming fiscal year-end on Aug. 31, 2023. Our current Contribution Income continues to be behind this year’s budgeted amount and that of last year. Thus, we are carrying a balance in our Line of Credit of $97,000, compared to a balance of $70,000 last year at this time.
To continue and strengthen our shared ministry and outreach, it’s important that gifts for the comprehensive campaign are in addition to offerings towards the operating budget through general giving. Your annual financial pledge and the capital campaign are interdependent and are hopefully seen as partners, not competitors, of one another. General giving provides the financial foundation that supports the church’s day-to-day operational goals and expenses. It is the driving force behind unrestricted funding to support Trinity’s mission and core values. The purpose of the capital campaign, in contrast, enables Trinity to expand its capacity beyond what its general annual giving is capable of by liberating itself from debt for generations to come, while providing much needed stewardship of our building and drive-in-property, along with transitioning Trinity’s Outreach Missions to become a part of our operating budget.
As individuals and families continue to make the commitment to share their financial gifts with Trinity Lutheran Church, we thank you for your faithful, generous response. We also want to give thanks to the individuals and families who continue to give prayerful discernment to fulfilling their annual giving pledge and participating in the comprehensive campaign. Every dollar is a gift and every amount matters. If you’re not in a financial position to give currently, we always welcome your prayers. If you’re in need of any support or are facing other hardships, we are here for you, and we encourage you to reach out to Pastor Chris and Pastor Peter or any member of Trinity’s staff.
To give online now to support Trinity, or to check the status of your automated giving or current financial pledge, please visit: https://trinitylc.org/giving/
To learn more about making a pledge online or via a paper pledge form to the comprehensive campaign, please visit: https://trinitylc.org/welcome/comprehensive-campaign/
In addition to cash gifts, consider other creative ways to give—including the gift of common stock, qualified charitable distributions, donor-advised funds, trusts, and legacy gift planning. For more information or if you have any questions, you can contact Bob Eiselt at 651-439-7400, ext. 314 or [email protected]; or Eric Trosdahl at 651-439-7400, ext. 311 or [email protected]
On behalf of Trinity, we are grateful for you and our shared ministry and outreach of being a faithful community in the heart of Stillwater.
By Andrew Thelander
Congregational Council President
Disclaimer: The information provided should be used for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax, legal or investment planning advice. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, you should consult with a qualified tax advisor, financial advisor or attorney who can advise on which, if any, of these strategies are suitable for your situation.