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Lutheran Church of Honolulu, 1730 Punahou St., Honolulu, HI 96822; ELCA; 808-941-2566

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Gifting - Growing - Serving

Capital Campaign Newsletter #4

Don Person, Campaign ChairMoving Forward Together

Don Person, Campaign Chair

We are nearing the end of our Gifting, Growing, Serving Capital Campaign. The last few weeks of activities have certainly been rich with opportunities to deepen the bonds of fellowship, clarify our mission and needs as a congregation, and grow spiritually.

In the All-Church Bible Study, on Sunday, October 5, we learned about “The Joy of Generosity.” At the Enrichment Gatherings, held during the week of October 26 through November 2, we were able to share information and answer questions about the campaign. During Christian education, our children learned about stewardship and created art work to express their love for God and this church. On November 7 and 8, we gathered in the 24-Hour Prayer Vigil to lift up our own needs and those of others.

Being LCH, we have also included activities that probably would not be found at other churches engaged in a capital funds campaign. Our October 26 concert with the Lund New Chamber Orchestra and the LCH Choir benefited the Capital Campaign and enriched our community with a varied program, including the Hawaii premiere of Händel’s recently discovered Gloria with our own Georgine Stark. The Ministry of Music at LCH thrives!

All of these activities have strengthened our understanding of the mission and vision we have as the Lutheran Church of Honolulu. They make even clearer the void there would be in our community if our church did not occupy the corner of Punahou and Dominis.

It is vitally important for us to witness to the abundant and inclusive love of God, and we must have the facilities to support this witness. It may sound mundane or materialistic, but without proper signage so that people can find our church, or parking lots that complies with all City and County regulations (an essential to our very existence as a church), or bathrooms that say we care about our facilities and the people who use them, we will not be able to fulfill our calling.

The booklet you received recently explains the various projects that make up our Capital Campaign to improve our campus to support our ministries. The campaign has an immediate goal of at least $500,000 and a long-term goal of $1.5 million dollars. I ask that each one of you prayerfully consider these needs and respond generously! The greater the amount raised in this campaign, the sooner we will have the facilities and infrastructure our ministries need and deserve.

When we receive pledges at our Commitment Sunday on November 23, in addition to pledges to the Capital Campaign, we will also be receiving pledges towards the 2004 Annual Budget. I wonder how many of us have stopped to consider just what it costs to maintain the ministry of our congregation. Would you believe $800 each day, $5,400 each week, or $23,000 each month? Those figures are based on a conservative estimate of our operating budget.

As you consider your pledges to the Annual Operating Budget and your special gift to the Capital Campaign Gifting, Growing, Serving, do not feel limited or restricted by charts indicating different levels of giving or your own past giving. I hope that you will join me in making a gift based on your personal relationship with God and a willingness to return some of God's blessing to further the mission of this church.

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Fred Benco, Co-Director of Planned GivingPlanned Giving—Something to Think About

Fred Benco, Co-Director of Planned Giving

Brenda Moore and I, as co-directors of the Planned Giving Team in our Capital Campaign, have an important goal. We are working to create a long-term, consistent, and comprehensive program of planned giving. This program will offer LCH members and friends many different options of gifting for the long term and will assure members and friends that their gifts will be managed wisely.

The Planned Giving Team will focus on the long range gifting possibilities that could greatly benefit LCH. We will be working with members of the congregation and with every other group or ministry that uses our church—everyone from the parents of our preschool children to members of the Alcoholics Anonymous group that meets at LCH—to provide information on the gifting options available to them.

One very straightforward option is for people to contribute to individual projects that speak to their faith and interests. The Planned Giving Team will develop and regularly update a brochure describing current gifting opportunities, such as music book racks for the sanctuary, pew upgrades, or underwriting the cost of a seminary intern or youth leader.

Other options are less obvious or more complicated. There are, in fact, a whole range of possible ways we can support LCH and our Gifting, Growing, Serving Campaign. Have you considered:

  • Outright Gifts of Appreciated Property—A gift of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or other appreciated assets can be beneficial to the church and also to you as the donor for tax purposes.
  • Gifts of Other Assets—Unappreciated assets like automobiles or other vehicles, boats, antiques, collections, coins, and artwork (not created by the donor) can be contributed directly to the church.
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts—A charitable remainder trust enables you to donate assets to LCH while retaining an income from the donation.
  • Life Insurance—Life insurance policies provide a variety of ways to give, including naming the church as a beneficiary, assigning dividends, or giving the policy itself.
  • Real Estate—A home may be deeded to the church and the giver may retain a lifetime right to live in the home. A charitable deduction may be taken for a portion of the gift that would ultimately pass to the church.
  • Wills and Estate Planning—Include LCH in your will or estate plan. This option gives you considerable flexibility in distributing what God has given you during your lifetime. With proper planning, you can provide for yourself and your heirs while reducing your taxes and still make a substantial gift to the church.

To provide information on some of these more complicated options, the we will offer an interesting free program after both services (at 9:15 a.m. and 12:00 noon) on January 18, 2004, that will inform members and friends about gifting opportunities through estate planning and insurance. The presentation will include advice on gifting through wills, testamentary wills, revocable living trusts, gifts of future interests (with favorable tax consequences now), and even some very unusual federal estate tax credits available between now and 2011. The presentation will also include advice on related topics such as powers of attorney, living wills (death with dignity statements).

The Planned Giving Team’s ultimate goal is to facilitate the generosity of members and friends of LCH to increase LCH's endowment fund so that we can serve our congregation and the people of Honolulu in ways that we have not even thought of yet.

Please mark January 18, 2004, on your calendar and accept this invitation to attend one of these though-provoking presentations on Planned Giving at LCH.

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Michael Althauser displays his poster, 'stewardship--everybody helps.'Children’s Stewardship Posters

Inspired by the Capital Campaign, this month the theme of stewardship has been taught as one of the concepts explored as part of the Learning Ministry and Youth Program.

At right, Michael Althauser, shown with his dad, Doug Althauser, proudly displays his poster, “Stewardship—Everybody helps.”

Sophie Cheng displays her poster, 'sharing and giving--stewardship! to achieve our goal.' 
At left, Sophie Cheng, holds up the stewardship poster she and her sister, Crescent, worked on together: “Sharing and Giving—Stewardship! to achieve our goal.”

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All-Church Banquet on November 22

Given our reputation for warm fellowship and good food, no one can doubt that the All-Church Banquet and Children’s Party on November 22 is an evening you will not want to miss! These twin events, held on our church campus, will definitely be a highlight of our Capital Campaign.

Ever since we started working on the campaign this September, Banquet Director Jeanette Hansen and Banquet Coordinator Ingrid Weeks have been planning a delicious meal and fun-filled evening. And Doug Althauser, Children and Youth Director, has been busy putting together an engaging evening for our young people.

The banquet planners have been working with the people of Chef’s Table on a menu of tasty German food that will bring to mind the early years of this congregation. The main dish of Paprikaschnitzel (pork loin) will be complemented by red potatoes, pasta, vegetables, and rolls. They have even planned a surprise dessert.

Along with the delicious food, our own amateur vintner, Roy Helms, will be pouring Chilean Merlot and a White Riesling/Gewurtztraminer blend. These exclusive wines (proudly bearing an LCH label designed by Kathy Crosier) were prepared by Roy at the Diamond Head Winery and bottled with help from David and Karen Barber, Fred Benco, and Bill Potter in early October. As might be expected, they tasted the wines while doing the bottling, and they all praised the vintage and encourage you to try some at the banquet. There may even be a few bottles available in return for donations to the Capital Campaign.

The evening will begin in the LCH courtyard at 5:30 with pupus, and dinner will be served at 6:15. A program with music and other surprises will follow dinner. Keep your eye on upcoming issues of the Heart Beat for announcements and hints about the program.

Sharing our church campus with the banquet will be the Children’s Party, also beginning at 5:30. The Children’s Party will include fun activities for children and care for infants and toddlers. The two events combine into an evening of enjoyment for both children and adults.

The evening is free of charge, but reservations are necessary so that we have enough food and a place for everyone. A member of the Hospitality Committee will be contacting you soon to confirm your attendance.

The All-Church Banquet and Children’s Party are an opportunity for us to come together to celebrate and give thanks to God for our past, present, and future. They also give us a chance to thank one another for the partnership in faith we have had with each other over the years. We look forward to seeing you on November 22.

Banquet coordinator Ingrid Weeks and Banquet Director Jeanette Hanson

Banquet coordinator Ingrid Weeks and Banquet Director Jeanette Hanson.

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Pastor David BarberCommitment Sunday—November 23

Pastor David Barber

Very recently you received a pledge card in the mail for Gifting Growing Serving and for the 2004 Annual Budget. November 23 is Commitment Sunday, and at both worship services we will bring our pledge cards and our offerings forward and place them on the altar as a special act of consecration. If you’re unable to attend worship, or aren’t ready to make your commitment by November 23, commitment visitors will call on you to receive your sealed commitment pledges.

Although we’ve been focusing on our capital campaign, I want to remind you that you will also be making a commitment for our on-going ministry during 2004. This is very important because we can’t risk the ministry that we do at LCH on a daily basis. There will not be a significant increase in our budget for next year, but there will be some growth simply to adjust salaries for inflation and provide for other increases for our work as a congregation.

I believe that we as a congregation are very faithful and able to accomplish much with the resources we receive, and for that you are to be thanked. Your generosity and your healthy understanding of financial stewardship has enabled us to accomplish much together in service and mission for ourselves and for those beyond this faith community. As you consider your pledge for 2004, please be as generous as you can, and please don’t support Gifting Growing Serving at the expense of our current ministry.

I am confident that this congregation will step forward in surprising ways to support both our capital needs and our program of ministry for 2004. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit, God has worked in amazing ways through this congregation, and this will continue as we journey into the future in partnership with God. Isn’t it exciting to be on this journey together in this time and place?

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Commitment Visits

Josie Bidgood

Josie Bidgood, Kelsey Megan Lloyd, and Francisco Barajas have a quick strategy meeting after church to plan the commitment visitation program.

Josie Bidgood, Kelsey Megan Lloyd, and Francisco Barajas have a quick
strategy meeting after church to plan the commitment visitation program.

You have read Pastor Barber’s description of our Commitment Sunday, and I am writing to give you some information about the follow-up Commitment Visits. These visits will be personal calls upon members and friends of the congregation who have not turned in a commitment card by Commitment Sunday, November 23.

The visits will be brief and arranged at a time convenient for the person being called upon. In each one, the visitor will receive the sealed commitment pledges, if they are ready for pick up. If a final decision has not been made, the visit will be an opportunity to discuss Gifting, Growing, Serving and for everyone to become better acquainted.

Throughout the campaign, the emphasis has been on cheerful and willing giving. We all recognize that each of us has been blessed differently by God and that the decision of how much to pledge as part of Gifting, Growing, Serving comes as part of a prayerful conversation between God and the giver. That will be the tone for the commitment visits as well.

The visits will begin November 24 and continue through December 6, in time for our Celebration Sunday on December 7, when we joyfully gather to celebrate the results of the campaign.

I want to extend special thanks to Peggy Anderson, Francisco Barajas, and Kelsey Megan Lloyd, who have all agreed to be visit coordinators. They will each be recruiting three volunteers to help make the visits. If you would like to be a visitor, please speak with one of them or with me.

We look forward to visiting with you and sharing our enthusiasm for Gifting, Growing, Serving.

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