Leaving a Legacy, Securing the Future

The United States is in the midst of a major demographic shift. In 2013 the older population - persons aged 65 or older - represented 14.1% of the U.S. population. In the next 20 years that percentage is expected to rise to 21% of the population.

The Baby Boom Generation (born 1945 - 1964) is nearing retirement age and accounts for the expected growth in the retired age group. Interestingly, the birth rates for those generations following the Baby Boom Generations were not as robust, and so there will be fewer workers available to replace those retiring Baby Boomers. This presents a challenge to the business sector in the coming years, but it will also effect participation and giving in the church at large.

In addition to the aging of the population and lower birthrates, the pressures of years of minimal economic growth and stagnant wages have depressed the rate of charitable giving. Also, the number of charitable organizations have more than doubled in the last 20 years, and these organizations compete for the charitable dollar.

What these trends mean for the church is that in the years to come there will be fewer people giving. Those who do give will not able to give at the same level of those before them, and they will most likely be giving their charitable gifts to more organizations than just the church.

Your Session and Endowment Ministry team is considering these trends and working to create a plan that will sustain our ministry at the same level it is today for years to come. One part of this plan includes increasing our donor directed endowment from its current level of $500,000 to a goal of $1,000,000. Presently, the income from the endowment adds about $23,000 a year to our annual budget. It is hoped that with an endowment of $1 million, we would be able to help supplement the budget for the lost giving that will occur due to the reasons stated above and provide enough capital to continue growing the endowment through compounding our investments.

In the next few months, you will be receiving some information from the Endowment Ministry Team about how you can participate in a campaign to secure the future and leave a legacy of ministry for those who will come behind us through gifts to the Endowment Fund.

Throughout our 189 years as a church, God has been faithful. I know that God will continue to provide for us as we call people to faith, develop them as disciples, and send them to serve. Thank you to each of you who help make our church vital and our ministry meaningful to our community.

Grace and peace.
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee