Give

Passing the Platea message from our Stewardship Committee.

No church can survive without the gifts of its members. Not only financial gifts, but gifts of time and talent are what keep us doing the work of God in the world.  To share your time and talents, please explore the Serve Menu to find ways you can join in the ministries of St. Paul’s.

Your financial gifts help us take care of the earthly needs of the church.  Your gifts take care of mundane things like our mortgage, utilities and salaries.  Knowing that these needs are addressed can help us all to focus on the spiritual needs of the church and its members.

2021 Pledge Campaign

Introducing Tithe.ly

The Stewardship Committee reviewed several products. We decided to use Tithe.ly for many reasons, but primarily because it’s cost effective, convenient, and it’s partnered with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).  As a result of that partnership we receive discounted transaction fees as well as a giving app specifically for the ELCA. As a side benefit, the app also offers a digital copy of Living Lutheran and ELCA News.

Click Here to go to St. Paul's Tithe.ly page

If you’re interested in giving electronically, most banks will perform electronic fund transfers (EFTs) at no additional charge, and many will allow you to send a paper check, if that is what you prefer.  Currently both of these methods are used by our members, at no cost to them or the church.

We encourage you to consider electronic giving, and in particular to look for a fee-free option.  Please contact Keith Bart for St. Paul’s account and routing number information.

If you would like to make a charitable contribution of stock to St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, please use this sample letter (click here) to serve as authorization to transfer the shares.

If you have any questions about this, or if you feel you might need some assistance setting this up with your bank, please contact me at keith.m.bart@gmail.com or 302-345-6107.

Finally, have you ever wondered where your offering goes after it’s collected each Sunday?  Check out this video from the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to find out.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzTnNwtXHV4


Get Your Free Gift from the Synod!

OK, now that I have your attention with “FREE!”, let me give you even more incentive to read this article: it’ll only take five minutes J

The recent global health crisis gave Cindy and me the motivation to revisit our wills and estate plan.  It’s something that everyone should do regularly, and we’re at the ages now where “regularly” means at least once a decade, although COVID-19 makes it a more timely topic for all of us.

While we were thinking about how to make things easier on each other and our children when our time comes, there were several factors to consider: funeral arrangements, disposition of our remains, inheritance issues, a gift to St. Paul’s, and probably some other things that we weren’t aware of. 

Being the analytical type, my thought was “If only there was a checklist or a set of guidelines to work off of, this would be a lot easier.”  Lo and behold, I found out there IS such a document – and it’s free, it’s comprehensive, and it comes from a trusted source, our local Synod.

If you follow this link: https://demdsynod.org/planned-giving/ – it will take you to a webpage with lots of resources pertaining to legacy and estate planning, including contacts and videos and documents.

I’ve stepped through the whole thing and found it was easy to follow and understand.  I started out by watching the video “Resurrection Living and Giving Gathering 2020”, which runs for about one-and-a-half hours total, broken up into five short segments:

  1. Welcome and opening prayer, led by Karen Kretschmann whom we heard in October
  2. Bishop Gohl’s invitation to make funeral and legacy giving preparations
  3. A discussion of wills and associated concepts by attorney Daniel Tregoning
  4. A presentation on Legacy Gift Planning and the ELCA Foundation by Yvonne Jones Lembo
  5. Testimony by Pr. Bob Driver-Bishop regarding a specific case from his time in Dekalb

Next I went through the three planning documents listed below in the order shown.  When I was done I was surprised at how many questions and concerns were resolved by organizing my thoughts and wishes in advance – removing an unnecessary burden from my family after I’m gone.

  • Your Legacy Gift Plan: It STARTS with the HEART Assessment
  • A simple two page, ten line questionnaire that takes less than a half-hour to complete.
  • ELCA Foundation Will and Trust Workbook
  • A more detailed (twenty pages, ten sections) information-gathering tool; this may take an hour or two to complete, but should make the actual creation of your will trivial.
  • SAMPLE Funeral Planning Guide
  • A sample checklist (from Christ Lutheran of Millersville) with a simple format that allows you to make your wishes explicit and eliminate difficult decisions for your loved ones.  There are twenty-two pages, but most of it is suggested Hymns and Gospel readings and multiple-choice options for various aspects of the funeral service itself.

Finally, I called and spoke to Yvonne Jones Lembo, the Regional Gift Planner for the Synod.  She was very helpful and knowledgeable; she spent a half-hour explaining and clarifying things for me.  And she emphasized that all of this is FREE – a gift from the Synod to its members, and a true blessing for us.

I hope this will encourage to you start your own planning – if you have any questions, feel free to contact me (keith.m.bart@gmail.com / 302-345-6107) or Yvonne Jones Lembo (Yvonne.Lembo@elca.org / 215-300-8942).  And don’t forget the church in your planning!

– Keith Bart

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