A few weeks ago I enjoyed breakfast with a young family from our congregation. After covering an item on our agenda, and visiting together a bit, I could feel them hinting meekly around the edge of another question. It was about giving to the church. They hesitated, but I always appreciate directness on these matters.
“Would it be all right,” they asked, “if we were to pre-pay our pledge in the form of appreciated stock? We would like to gift it to the church. If we can give in this way, we feel that we can more generously support the church.” I looked at this couple. I realized how quickly we forget what previous life stages were like for us.
Back when I had children, as so many do here now, our cash flow was seriously impaired. Everything from high chairs and car seats to college funds and doctor bills accrue. It imparts a sobering idea of what a great financial commitment it is to raise a family. At the same time, who wants to forget the “family of faith” that is the church? The church is an essential partner in raising children and families.
Basically, that is what this young family was telling me over breakfast. We want to give, but we are in a pinch, having been blessed by God with all of these children. As soon as I told them that FCC, Darien would welcome their gift, they asked me if I would be willing to invite the rest of the church to do the same before the end of the year. “If we feel like this,” they said, “then others must also.” Indeed they are probably right, cash flow always being such an issue, and stocks having increased as they have. I answered, yes, I would gladly invite the church.
So their request occasioned my writing this. For years now, we have made it our rule of thumb to donate appreciated securities in paying our pledge. The practice works well in more than one way. It saves on capital gains and income tax while maximizing how much we might give in support of FCC. It is good for the church because givers can sometimes be more generous. Also, the church knows in advance precisely what it has to work with and count on for purposes of planning.
Making a gift of securities to First Congregational Church happens easily. Karen Hansen, our Church Treasurer (655-0491) is poised to confidentially help with this. Whether you have a stock certificate or wish to make an electronic transfer, a simple form authorizes the transaction. It takes only a few minutes to complete.
FCC is now eager to hear from its 243 member households about our pledge plans for 2019. As individual families and as a spiritual community, we have all been blessed by God and we want to give back for God’s purposes. If such an option would simplify your giving to FCC, may we suggest this course of action?
At any rate, as we now approach the edge of holidays, when the full joy of being part of this wonderful spiritual home comes most fully alive for us, how great is it that we have so many opportunities to give back for God’s work here? Thanks for responding to this invitation put out there by Lou Converse and Sallyan Pelletier.