Why we give
Christians are called to practice faithful giving as an acknowledgment that everything we have has been given to us by God. Our response to receiving a gift is thanksgiving. We say thank you, God — now use this gift to your glory. When we give our gifts to God, it impacts how we use the rest of that stuff we have. Our whole way of living with our resources changes. We can let go and trust that God will continue to take care of us out of divine abundance.
Giving is an important part of our Sunday worship services. Our response to hearing God’s word is to bring our gifts to the altar—the gifts of bread and wine that will be used in the communion liturgy and the gifts of money that will be used to support the work of God’s kingdom. Through our offerings we participate in the work of God in the world in a tangible, practical way. Gifts to Grace support the work of God’s kingdom in our congregation, in our community and around the world.
Many Grace members find that giving through electronic fund transfer helps them practice faithful stewardship throughout the year. With secure online giving through our Vanco web page, you can make a one-time gift or set up a recurring donation using your debit/credit card or bank account. Another option for managing your e-giving is Vanco’s Give Plus app, available for iPhons and Android.
E-givers are invited to place an e-giving card in the offering plate during worship, as a symbol of their commitment to support Grace’s ministries.
The faithful stewardship of generations before us continues to bless the ministries of Grace Church. You may wish to consider remembering Grace in your estate planning. Gifts made in this way sustain ministries that have blessed your life and help fund new projects beyond the congregation’s annual budget.
Gifts may be in the form of cash, life insurance policies, stocks, bonds, real estate, or personal property.
To learn more about how your will or estate plan might leave a lasting legacy of faith, contact Pastor Dave Lyle, or Jim McClanahan in Grace’s Business Office.
Gifts of assets
Most gifts to churches are gifts made by cash, check, or electronic funds transfer. But there are other ways to support Grace Church which may be financially advantageous to you as well as to the congregation. In addition to outright gifts of cash, you might also consider a gift of stock, other assets or funds from an IRA, all of which may carry tax benefits.
For example, you might consider a gift of appreciated assets. Gifts from IRAs of individuals 70½ or older may also have tax advantages. This can be helpful when taking your annual required minimum distribution.
To learn more about making a gift of assets to Grace Lutheran Church and School, please contact Jim McClanahan in Grace's business office (708-771-1440; ). Contact your personal financial advisor for questions on tax and charitable implications of making a gift.
Supporting ministry beyond our doors
Every year Grace Church gives a tithe of members’ annual contributions to support partner ministries beyond our doors. Some of these ministries have long relationships with Grace Church and Grace members. Some are relatively new. Some are large, well-established institutions, such as Valparaiso University and Lutheran Child and Family Services. Some are smaller organizations with very specific missions, such as Hope for Grieving Children Africa or the Harmony Church Food Pantry. We remember these ministries in our prayers each Sunday and we support them with financial gifts throughout the year.
Our Benevolence Committee, made up of six elected congregation members, oversees the distribution of these funds. From month to month it evaluates requests made by current and potential ministry partners in our community and around the world and hears updates on their work.
The criteria used by committee members to decide where the money should go includes the following questions:
1. Is it a Christian organization?
2. Is the organization a “501(c)3”? (i.e., non-profit, tax-exempt)
3. What Grace members, if any, are currently involved with the organization and in what capacity?
4. What impact will our funding have on the organization, its programs and services?
5. Does Grace already support an organization with a similar focus?
Grace Church currently supports many ministry partners whose work focuses on education, youth ministry, social ministry, hunger, global mission, elder care, pastoral education, refugee services, prison ministry, and more. The Benevolence Committee also administers gifts from the Kingdom Frontiers fund, which are designated for new ministries. The Kingdom Frontiers endowment was established in memory of Otto Geiseman, pastor at Grace from 1922 to 1962. Pastor Geiseman’s era at Grace was a time of significant outreach into the community.
Learn more about ministries supported by Grace Church in our Benevolence Handbook.