For almost a year, we've had the pleasure of working with Konnoak Hills Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, NC. Konnoak Hills was "established in 1950 to serve the fledgling suburb south of Winston-Salem known as Konnoak Hills. Today the church is closer to the heart of the city as Winston-Salem expands toward the borders of Forsyth County. While its location is very different from its semi-rural past, many values of that earlier day remain unchanged. Personal relationships, a concern for neighbors in need, and an open door of welcome continue to be an important part of who the congregation is. While a good number of members still live in the immediate neighborhood, today the church considers its parish to be seven counties wide as members travel from Davidson, Davie, Guilford, Iredell, Rockingham, and Yadkin Counties to participate in the life of the congregation." (from the church website)
What struck Paul and me immediately as we met with members to talk about integrating planned giving into the church's stewardship ministry was their commitment to service. We listened to stories of outreach in the form of a Music Festival, blood drive, Heritage Day for the local elementary school, chicken pie sales (several thousand sold a year), health fairs, and more. There was much joy expressed as folks talked about meals (one member said, "Where two or three are gathered, we eat."), whether in the form of winter fellowship suppers or spaghetti dinners for the neighbors.
It came as no surprise to us, then, to learn that Konnoak Hills' mission statement is: Called by Christ to be a Neighbor. Inspired by His Love to Serve All Ages. The church's website shares, "Jesus taught that greater life is ours when we reach out to our neighbors in self-giving love. We remember his story of the Good Samaritan and our calling to be instruments of grace in a broken and bruised world. We also remember how Jesus touched people in every stage of life; opening his arms to children, calling the young to discipleship, educating adults in the ways of God’s kingdom, comforting the afflicted, upholding the widowed, and blessing the dying. We count ourselves as his disciples and likewise strive to minister to people in every stage of life."
The church is truly living its mission and answering Christ's call; it's a remarkable thing to witness.
We worked with the joint board to develop gift and investment guidelines and to identify new funds they would like members to consider as they include the church in their estate plans. These funds included one for music, one for supporting the church's ministry in the neighborhood (The Good Neighbor Fund), one focusing on mission and evangelism beyond Forsyth County (the Loving Hands Ministry Fund), and one to address the unknown needs and callings God will reveal to the Church in the years ahead. It was exciting to translate the church's mission and ministries, those activities members are so committed to and gifts the congregation is so willing to share, into guidelines which will encourage future gifts to the church.
We were delighted when we quickly heard from a couple who wanted to create a gift which will one day benefit the church. We got to hear their story, learn what's important to them, talk through their financial goals, and help them support the church which has been their support for years, as well as support God's work through that vibrant church. It's a wonderful process.
If we can help you in any way as you discern how you'd like to support the Moravian ministries which are important to you, please give us a call. The conversation is confidential, free, and without obligation.
And, if you're in Winston-Salem and looking for a church that lives outside its walls as it seeks to love its members, neighbors, and the world, then head over to Konnoak Hills. Don't be surprised if you get a meal while you're there!