“Do not neglect to do good and share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16)
St. John’s Church is extremely grateful for the contributions which its parishioners and friends have made this year and in the past. When we reflect that all we have is evidence of God’s blessings—God’s gift to us—then the deepest and truest response we can make is to give back some of God’s own. As Christian stewards, our response is one of profound gratitude, and flowing from it, generosity. The question is not, “What does the church need?” but rather, “What do we need to give?” Instead of responding to a premise of scarcity, we are moved by the premise of abundance. Effective stewardship is driven by our desire to give, motivated by gratitude, and impelled by faith.
Giving is primarily a spiritual decision, reached after careful and prayerful thought, and reflecting central parts of our spiritual life—about feeling and showing joyful thanksgiving for God’s grace. It is a glad offering of a portion of our wealth to doing God’s work, knowing that we can give generously and not suffer want ourselves. There are several ways to make donations.
Gifts can be made in cash, by check, online, or through securities.
Plate offerings are a time-honored way to give, either in the offering plate during a service, or in one of the several boxes posted in the church and Parish House. This can be done with cash or a check made payable to “St. John’s Church.” Offerings made in honor or memory of a loved one or an event are welcomed.
Pledging is a decision to commit to a goal of giving a portion of our resources and sticking to it. A pledge is disciplined giving, a commitment with a purpose. It can be made by letter or email at any time, and of course through the annual pledge card mailed out in the fall. Those who pledge may receive offering envelopes by which they can give their donation spaced out over the year.
Capital giving is giving that goes to meet capital expenditures that cannot be met through the normal annual parish budget. Major renovations have been made to our church during recent years, and renovations to the Parish House are currently underway.
Planned giving refers to giving decided now but realized later. Typically, it is giving that is specified in a person’s will or through a trust contingent on a specified event. In order to frame the giving in the best way, you should contact the parish office as indicated below. In addition to gifts by cash and check, the planned giving section also discusses ways of giving appreciated securities, annuities, and distributions that can benefit both St. John’s and the donor.
The parish is listed as a 501(c)(3) institution under the US Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please send any donations to:
St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square
1525 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20005
For more information, contact Kim Carlson, Director of Operations, in the Parish Office at (202) 347-8766.
1816 Society/Planned Giving
“Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Luke 12:34)
For nearly 200 years, St. John’s has stood as a beacon of Christian witness in our nation’s capital, and in 2016, we will celebrate our bicentennial. Throughout our history we have been blessed with many generous parishioners who have remembered St. John’s in their wills and estates, helping to ensure its health and vitality. Now it is our turn to help secure the church’s financial health for generations to come.
We ask that you prayerfully consider including St. John’s in your estate planning. During our 200th anniversary, the Planned Giving Committee has created a new organization called the 1816 Society. The purpose of the 1816 Society is two-fold—to celebrate those who have chosen to remember St. John’s in their financial planning and to recruit at least 200 members by our 200th anniversary. To become a member, simply let us know that you have named St. John’s in your estate or life insurance planning.
The Planned Giving program encourages planned gifts in support of the mission and ministry of St. John’s Church. The twin purposes of a formal planned giving program are set forth in The Book of Common Prayer, page 445:
1) To encourage parishioners to protect their families by having a will
2) To encourage Christians to include the church in wills or estate plans.
Planned gifts may be bequests in wills, life-income gifts, or gifts of real estate and life insurance. Planned giving is an important ministry to our congregation and to the church.
As we build the membership, we will recognize those who have made a commitment to St. John’s and its legacy.
If you have already named St. John’s in your estate planning documents or life insurance policies, please let us know by calling the Parish Office at (202) 347-8766 so that we may add you to the 1816 Society. If you would like more information on planned giving opportunities, please contact the Rector in the Parish Office.
Thank you for your consideration as we plan for St. John’s future—a future that, with your help, will be as glorious as its past.
The parish is listed as a 501(c)(3) institution under the US Internal Revenue Code. All gifts are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Seeking advice from your financial consultant is always advisable.
Giving Securities. By making a gift of appreciated securities owned for more than 12 months, you can deduct the entire amount of your gift, which includes the original cost of the securities plus its appreciation. This way, you avoid paying a capital gains tax on its appreciation and the deduction is based on the value of the securities when transferred to the church, as well as deductible up to 30% of your adjusted gross income. Excess deductions can be carried over for up to five years. Cash gifts are deductible up to 50% of your adjusted gross income.
Receiving Income from Your Gift as well as a Tax Deduction. Many of our parishioners have asked how they can make a gift to St. John’s and reserve income for life for one or two people. You can choose between fixed or variable income payments (charitable gift annuity or a charitable remainder trust). Besides receiving income, you will receive a charitable deduction for part of what you give. If you use appreciated securities or other assets, you may reduce your capital gains taxes.
Providing Income to St. John’s Church While Benefiting Your Loved Ones. Many of our parishioners have begun to think about retirement, estate planning, charities that mean a great deal, and the transfer of wealth to their children. You can establish a gift that will provide income to the church for a number of years, with assets passing to your children in later years (charitable lead trust). This way, you reduce your income taxes and future gift taxes and avoid estate taxes on your original gift and its appreciation.
Making Gifts from Your Business. If you are an owner of a closely-held corporation, you can contribute stock in your company to the church and receive a tax deduction for the value of your gift.
Additional information on giving options can be found on the Episcopal Church Foundation’s website at www.episcopalgifts.org.