I recently came across the story of the late Francis Urbain. He was a member of Lawrence United Methodist Church. In fact, his great-great-grandparents offered their home as the first site for the then-new congregation. Francis was a lover of old Buicks and his collection has been donated to the Buick Automotive Gallery, a museum in Michigan.

Francis set up several Charitable Gift Annuities (CGAs) over the years. A CGA allows someone to give a lump sum, receive a tax deduction, and receive income back each year (a portion of which may be non-taxable). Over the years Francis collected a lot of income for his daily living. On passing, a CGA is then given to the charity of the giver’s choice. This can be any church, specific ministry, or non-profit.

Bless Francis’ heart, he decided that his CGAs would all be rolled into an endowment, along with other assets from his estate, to be used to fund new churches in our conference. His apple didn’t fall far from his ancestor’s tree. He, like they, wanted his life and legacy to bear fruit creating new places for people to become disciples of Jesus Christ. Francis’ faith and vision will make a difference for generations to come.

Do folks in your church know about a Charitable Gift Annuity? Many of them probably have bank certificates or money they use for regular interest income. A CGA allows them to give now, reap the tax benefit, and still enjoy the fruit of the gift until their death. Many of these persons are already generous with your church’s ministry. Perhaps they would love to support it in the decades ahead, even if they won’t be around to see it. Why not ask?

For information on setting up a Charitable Gift Annuity, or for pamphlets to distribute in your church, contact us at ghowell@umfindiana.org or by phone 317-788-7879. Pamphlets can be ordered directly from our website at no cost to our United Methodist partners.

Would your church like help building stronger stewardship? Our Foundation is here to help. Give us a shout by clicking here or calling 877-391-8811.

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Glenn Howell
Director of Development
United Methodist Foundation of Indiana