Employee Retention Credit

By Pastor Dave Lyle

Last year, Grace received notice that our application for the Employee Retention Credit had been approved. The Employee Retention Credit (ERC) is a tax credit for certain eligible businesses and tax-exempt organizations that had employees and were affected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Grace applied for credits totaling $712,000, of which we have so far received $678,000.    We paid a contingent fee of $102,000 to an outside firm to facilitate and manage our application. 

The Council appointed a committee to propose a plan to best put these funds to work for the sake of Grace’s mission. As these are one-time-only funds, the committee decided it would not be wise to use them for the recurring costs of the current operating budget.  So, attention was given to ideas that would enable us to deal with predictable large one-time expenses and upgrades in maintaining our property or investments that would yield ongoing returns that can be helpful with recurring costs. 

The proposed plan was adopted at the November meeting of the Council.  The first action taken was to tithe a portion of these funds to ministries beyond Grace. 10% ($58,000) has been allocated for benevolence; a portion of these funds have already been distributed to Housing Forward and Lutheran Disaster Response to support ministry to migrants both locally and internationally. 

Second, the Council acted to put these funds to work for the future of Grace’s ministry. So, 54% ($311,000) has been allocated to the Forward in Faith school endowment fund, which will support excellent, Christ-centered education at Grace for years to come and lower the amount of offering revenue needed to support the mission of the school. The remaining 36% ($207,000) has been allocated to our capital maintenance fund. This money will help us tend to the coming needs of our facilities in the future so that current gifts can better support mission and ministry. It is a blessing to have these funds to gift beyond Grace and to invest in God’s future at Grace. 

These monies will help us tend to future needs for ministry. Your continued generosity in supporting current mission and ministry is both needed and appreciated.