Christmas Giving Ideas

by Marc Franson, Stewardship

We all know that Christmas is the time of giving. Don't forget about Holy Comforter in your giving plans! Here are some reminders and helpful hints to consider for your gift giving.

2016 Pledge: To those who have turned in their pledge for 2016, THANK YOU! Your generosity is greatly appreciated. There are still many pledges outstanding. If you have not submitted your 2016 pledge, the Reality is that the Vestry needs to prepare a 2015 budget, so every pledge is needed. And what a great time of year to live out our Spirituality in thanksgiving for what we have and giving back to Christ's Community here at Holy Comforter. In order to be included in the Parish Directory (which will soon be in process) for 2016, you need to have made a pledge to the parish. So if you haven't done this, please do so. Pledge cards are available online or in the parish office or you can call Jeff Wiszowaty at 847-251-6120.

2015 Pledge: Also as year-end approaches, don't forget to keep your 2015 pledge up to date and fully paid by December 31st. To be credited in 2015 (and be eligible for 2015 tax deductions), your gift must be received by year end. And if you are looking for points or miles, you can make your gift by credit card here. But remember if you do it this way, the bank takes a 4% fee, so for the church to receive the full benefit of your gift, you would need to contribute 104% of the desired amount (but that's a few more miles or points too!). If you do internet banking, it is easy to set up the church as a payee through your bank's online payment system. There is usually no cost associated with this.

Giving Appreciated Stock: Consider (as many parishioners do) paying or pre-paying your pledge with appreciated stock. This allows you to obtain a charitable deduction (if you itemize) for the entire fair market value of the stock and avoid paying tax on any gain while the parish receives the full amount. The only one without a gift is Uncle Sam. And it's easy! Call Jeff Wiszowaty at the church office and he will give you the necessary information (or again, there is a form on the parish website) and with one call to your broker you can transfer the stock to the church.

By way of example, if you bought a stock for $1,000 and it is now worth $4,000, if you sold it you would likely pay tax on the $3,000 gain. But if you give the stock to the church, the church gets the entire $4,000 and you get a deduction for full amount, $4,000, and there is no tax on the gain. This is illustrative only and individual situations vary, so your tax advisor should be consulted. If you have appreciated stock, please consider this option for your giving as it may allow you to give more than might ordinarily!

Planned Giving: The start of the church year and the beginning of the calendar year are appropriate times to consider or reconsider your long term giving plans and remembering the church in your will, estate plan or insurance beneficiary. Our beautiful facility and common life have been sustained for us by those who have preceded us and it is worthy to consider what role we can play in preserving this precious community for the future.

So, as Christmas approaches and we become enthralled in the season of giving, as we remember the ultimate gift, the gift of our Lord to us, let us also remember to give -- to each other, to those less fortunate, and to sustain, nurture and grow our community, the church of Christ.