Living Forward, Giving Forward

sprout with handOur church family has been a blessing to us throughout our lifetime, an integral part of our spiritual journey.  But when it comes to our estate planning, do we consider our church family in our plans?

Our church believes in being able to serve God and our community in the next few days, months, years, and even decades.  Planned Giving is about making a choice to give toward a better future for those we care about – including our church family.  Planned Giving provides a long-term contribution to strengthen our church family and to make a difference for the future.

There are many different ways to give a gift to the church for the future: wills, charitable trusts, and insurance policies, to name a few.  The most common form of a Planned Gift is through a will.  Now is a good time to review our wills and estates in any event, since too many Americans put off this effort, and sometimes end up failing to provide for those they love.

A simple statement like this can be included in a will: “I give and bequeath the sum of $ ____ (or the percentage of ____) to be used for the general program of the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown in Yorktown Heights, NY, 10598, USA.”  A will is a unique document and must be structured to fit the needs and estate plans of each individual in accordance with the laws of the state in which each of us lives.  Therefore, we should always consult with a lawyer to assist us in drawing up our will.  Drawing up a will helps us provide for the future of the ones we love, and it can also help the future mission of our church.

How can a Planned Gift through a will help our church?  Please read these words from Beryl Harper, whose late husband Jim remembered our church in his will a few years ago:

“I am pleased to deliver the enclosed check as a bequest in Jim Harper’s will to the First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown…
We lived in Yorktown for 27 years and were members (of the church) for almost 20.  Jim particularly enjoyed the camaraderie of singing in the choir with the bass section.  He also served on the Corporate Affairs Commission, now Operations, and was instrumental in installing a wheelchair-accessible bathroom many years ago.  Our daughters both participated in many of the church activities during their school years; two that stand out in my memory are the choirs and the Midnight Run.”

Jim’s gift has helped the mission of our church, and his generosity endures as a tribute to his faith.

Our Session has approved the establishment of an endowment fund, into which we recommend Planned Gifts be directed.  As that endowment fund grows, our church will benefit from the resources the fund generates to further our church mission, but more importantly, future generations will see the benefits as well.

Please contact any member of our Planned Giving Committee (as part of our Stewardship Commission) with any questions.  The final choice is, of course, up to each individual, and when we make a Planned Gift through a will, we must access legal counsel, separate from our Church, to finalize our commitment.  But this is a commitment that will extend well into the future, to support the most enduring endeavor we can imagine, the work of God.

Thank you.

The Planned Giving Committee: Frank Hodgkinson, Tim Lupfer, Emily Monk, Carol Talbot, Carol Thorne Gaetani