I am thrilled that my first report to you is one with positive news in regards to investment performance. This report is for the second quarter of 2017, which ended on June 30th. The Common Fund outperformed the indices at every investment allocation for the second quarter; to download the Quarterly Account Summary report, please click here.
Let's talk honestly about money and the church
THE MORAVIAN MINISTRIES FOUNDATION helps Moravian individuals, churches, and agencies grow and sustain the ministries that are central to their faith. We do this through investments, gift planning, and stewardship development.
Common Fund: Q2 Report
MMFA Welcomes Chris Spaugh
Following the announcement last November that Paul McLaughlin, President of the Moravian Ministries Foundation in America (MMFA), would be retiring effective June 30, 2017, the Board launched a search effort to identify his successor. The search process went as planned, and the Board is very pleased to announce that Christopher W. Spaugh has accepted the position of President, and will begin with the MMFA on June 1, 2017.
Common Fund: 1st Quarter 2017 Reports
It is always good and more pleasurable to provide you with a positive report on the absolute and relative rates of returns for the Common Fund. This report is for the first quarter of 2017, which ended on March 31.
Understanding Your Annuity or Trust Tax Forms
By now everyone who has created a gift annuity or charitable trust through the Moravian Ministries Foundation has received their tax forms. We are pleased to share information from Kaspick and Company, our investment manager, on how to understand these forms.
Understanding Your Federal Schedule K-1 (Form 1041)
You and your tax advisor may find the following points helpful as you prepare your personal tax returns.
Invest Where You Believe
Let's talk honestly about money and the church.
Forever this has been a naturally complex relationship, because God's grace is freely given and yet doing His work requires so much.
Love. Kindness. Action. And yes, money.
At the Moravian Ministries Foundation, the churches, congregations, and individuals we serve understand this. For them, letting values guide their giving is recognition of a simple, practical truth:
viable ministries need an abundance of resources to thrive.
Resources for Congregations
Raising the Next Generation to be Grateful and Generous
Children are one of God's greatest gifts. We strive to raise them to be compassionate, appreciative, and kindhearted. As a church we promise to love and nurture them in Christ. One of our responsibilities as communities of faith is to teach our children how to recognize God's abundant gifts of grace, to be grateful for what they have been given, and to be generous. Here are a few ideas to help as we develop the next generation of stewards.
1. Help children see that God has given them many blessings. (This also teaches good self-esteem.)
Step Up Generosity in 2017
We recommend to pastors and church leaders that you take the time to "step out" your congregational giving this year. Using a chart like the one in the photo (from Herb Miller's Grow1 Stewardship Program), you can easily see how people are supporting the church as well as challenge members to consider moving up a step. Many congregations share the concern that only a few members are generating most of the church's gifts; at a recent conference we heard from a pastor whose church has 10% of the members giving 45% of its budget.
The Giving Autobiography
What is your earliest memory of giving and of receiving? Mine involves my grandmother; she took me out to lunch every year on my birthday, letting me pick the restaurant (as a kid that was usually McDonald’s or Arby’s), and then we went shopping and I got to pick out whatever I wanted as long as it was under a certain limit. As an adult I can appreciate that her giving was how we all should give….selflessly. She didn’t make me eat where she wanted to eat (most likely the K&W Cafeteria or the Carriage House), and she didn’t give me something she thought I should have; she let me choose.
Starting the Conversation on Impact
I may sound like a worried person when I say this is a turbulent time we live in, but I believe most of you will agree with the truth behind that statement. From the recent disturbing violence in Charlottesville to other protests, murders, and unimaginable events that are hitting the news waves daily around this great land of ours, times are challenging. As our pastor reminded us Sunday, eight people stepped off of the ark in Genesis 8 and we are all descendants of those people. The only race that matters in the image of God is the human race and we all should strive to ad
When Little Things Mean Big Things
Monday was my birthday. It was a bittersweet day as we lost my dear grandmother last week and her funeral was over the weekend. She was an incredible person; in fact, I shared a little about her a few months ago as I reflected on who first taught me what it meant to be generous (you can read that post here). As my cousin put it when our family gathered to share stories about my grandmother with her pastor, she was "incomparable".
Invest in HOW You Believe
Invest Where You Believe is the slogan of the Moravian Ministries Foundation. It is a slogan or mission statement that resonates with me and speaks to my personal belief as a follower of Jesus Christ. I believe that I should push a significant portion of my charitable donations toward Christ and His Kingdom’s work on this earth. That includes our church and various ministries that serve basic human needs but primarily spiritual needs by sharing the Gospel.
You Want to Tithe, Marvin? You've Got to Be Kidding!
There are events and experiences in our lives that bring God into sharper focus and make us more aware of God's gifts and our responses. The defining event for both Marvin and me was the sudden infant death of our daughter, MaryEllen, in 1960. I was made aware of how much of life I had taken for granted.
For Marvin the clearer focus came some time later when he attended a stewardship meeting in our parish. The speaker for the evening was a Lutheran layman who talked about tithing as an act of gratitude, as a response to God.
In Any Way You Can
I recently walked into a Moravian Church in Pennsylvania and saw a table covered with brightly colored knit caps. It was June, so I assumed they weren't meant for people to use to keep their heads warm. I quickly learned they were "chemo caps" knit by a group of women in the congregation who then take them to patients who are hospitalized at the local cancer center. Behind the table was a bulletin board covered in thank-you cards from people who had received a cap; one of the cards read, "This week has been the worst week of my life.
I am three weeks in and I absolutely love my new role as President of the Moravian Ministries Foundation. So far in my tenure I have met a team of talented people, Laura, Kara and our Board of Trustees, who have supported philanthropy at MMFA and who are committed to the work. I have encountered an outgoing president, Paul, who has welcomed me with such willingness to teach me and encourage me as I grow into the leader of this fine organization which he has loved and cherished over the past 20 years.
Journey to Generosity
Two weekends ago I had the pleasure of attending the Episcopal Network for Stewardship’s (TENS) annual conference at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis. TENS has been a valuable resource for me since I started working for the Foundation, and when I took on our stewardship and capital campaign consulting service earlier this year, the time was right for me to attend a TENS program.
Standing With Our Sisters
For almost two years I have had the pleasure of working with the Rev. Patty Garner and Sallie Greenfield as they planned for a capital campaign in the Southern Province to support the work of the Unity Women’s Desk.