A letter from Pastor Brian
Grace to you and peace, dear friends in Christ,
Hal Donaldson was 23 years old, fresh out of college and found himself in Calcutta, India, where he was ghost writing a book for a couple feeding hungry children. They told him there was someone they wanted him to interview. A friend who was helping them in their endeavor. It was Mother Teresa.
“She was so humble,” Donaldson says. After the interview, Mother Teresa had a question for him: “What are you doing to help the poor?” Says Donaldson: “It wasn’t accusative. She was just asking me a simple and fair question.” He told her the truth. He was young and had just gotten his degree in journalism. He wasn’t focused on helping others. With a smile on her face, Mother Teresa said, “Everyone can do something.”
This story personifies the theme for our 2022 Annual Stewardship and Capital Campaign - Welcome Home! Mother Teresa’s response to Donaldson is at the core of the mission and ministry of Nazareth. Our vision has always been about moving forward in faith and serving together in mission. It is our DNA. Even in the midst of a pandemic, in a divided culture, in the face of fear and anxiety, we have kept moving forward in faith...together!
In over 150 years of mission and ministry the people of Nazareth have faithfully and continually “given out of love for Christ”. Even amid the challenges of the past few years, we have continued to live out our mission to “...make Christ known...”and our vision to “get our hands dirty for the cause of Christ”. Through God's generous blessings and gifts, the members of Nazareth have been able to: continue building and rehabing Habitat for Humanity homes in Waterloo; support 13 missionaries and numerous other local, domestic and global mission partners; invest in worship and evangelical outreach, that has seen our in person, online, livestreamed, and televised worship services extend to reach well over 4,000 now each week.
At a time when many churches are struggling and closing, God has richly blessed Nazareth as we continue to reach next generations through dynamic children’s and student ministries, live and online Christian education, and service opportunities that are perhaps the most extensive and far-reaching in the entire Cedar Valley. All of these vital ministries help us stay aware of our connection to faith, and help us remember the ways that each of us grows together as one community rooted in Christ. Our commitment to evangelism, outreach, feeding the hungry, and caring for our neighbors in need, in the name of Jesus, are ways we see our community sharing God’s life “beyond our walls” and beyond our congregation.
Thank you . . . for all that you give of yourselves, and your gifts of every kind that make our community possible! Thank you for being an important part of this forward moving, living community rooted in Christ. As we look to the ways we are rooted and bearing fruit in Christ, we invite you to grow in faith and generosity by making a stewardship commitment to the ministry of Nazareth for 2022. Over and above your stewardship commitment, you are also invited to make a three year stretch-gift to our capital campaign. Please carefully read the enclosed brochure as it provides you with the details and tools to make your gifts to Welcome Home!
In the Strong Love of Christ, Pastor Brian
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
"For as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints - and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us."
2 Corinthians 8:3-5
"No one should appear
before the Lord empty-handed; all shall give as they are able, according to the blessings of the Lord your God that he has given you."
What does the Bible say about giving?
An appeal with two purposes & two pledges
1. 2022 Annual Stewardship Commitment
The church building is in and of itself a mission, but the reason for the church building is what happens inside. What happens inside the building is funded through our Annual Stewardship financial support. Our expenses are 100% mission - for our congregation, our community, our denomination, and our world - and must be the first priority for giving.
Historically, Nazareth has always invited its members to give out of love for Christ in the area of your faith and we continue to trust the movement of the Holy Spirit in leading your giving decisions. For the coming year, we ask everyone to prayerfully consider a commitment which increases their annual stewardship giving by 2% - 3%, while also considering an additional commitment for the capital campaign.
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as they have decided in their heart, not reluctantly, or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
2. Capital Commitment
Nazareth exists to unite people in the name of Jesus and invite them to join in the work He is doing to bless a broken world.
To that end, in 2019 hundreds of Nazareth members completed a survey alongside the work of a number of committees culminating in 10 recommendations that formed our 2020 Vision Strategic Plan. A congregational mailing was sent out this past August 2021 detailing a Church Council proposal for a special capital appeal to support a number of objectives identified in the 2020 Vision Strategic Plan. Based on the positive feedback for this proposal and a strong congregational vote to conduct a capital appeal,
...we seek to raise $2.5 million in cash and 3-year commitments.
Capital Projects - Investment $2,250,000
• Complete needed parking lot repairs, curbing and asphalt
• Worship Center updates and renovations including new windows, shades, new sound and lighting systems, refinishing/reupholstering pews, and painting/ flooring where needed
• New signage
• Themed updates in our Education Hallway and Children’s Ministry area including the Underground and a remodeled Coffee Shop/Bookstore area (by door #6)
New Initiatives - Investment $250,000
• 10% of all funds received will be designated for implementing new initiatives aimed at strengthening our discipleship and Nazareth ministries
Capital renovations will be accomplished first as funds allow and other smaller renovations key to ministry areas will also be completed, providing our funding goals are reached. We will take on no long term debt and only proceed with projects as funding is available.
Capital Fund 'Hoped for Gift" Options
For the Capital Fund portion of your pledging process, we ask members to pray and consider one of these three types of "Hoped for Gifts":
Matching Gift - For example, if you are currently giving $40 per week as your regular giving to the church, we ask you to please pray and consider giving an additional $40 per week for the next three years.
Heritage Gift - If you are in a position to give more, we ask you to pray and consider making a Heritage gift of $8,000 to $25,000 over the next three years.
Legacy Gift - If we are to reach our stretch goal of $2.5M, or more, we will need gifts in the range of $25,000 - $100,000 or more, over the next 3 years.
The decision is yours. Whatever your response to this appeal, thank you for considering this request and for your support of the ministry of Nazareth Evangelical Lutheran Church.
When to Make Your Commitments
- You are invited to bring your completed Commitment Forms to worship on Sunday, November 14.
- If you cannot be present on November 14, mail your commitment forms to the church or place them in the offering box at any worship service, or complete it on the church website: www.naz.org.
- Remember, pledges are commitments made in good faith, but are not legally binding.
Why is Making Commitments Important?
Commitments are, first and foremost, an important spiritual exercise which allows us to reflect on the gifts God has given us and show our thanks for those gifts by giving back to Christ’s Church.
Commitments model the importance of our spiritual lives and our commitment to a growing relationship with God and the church.
Asset Based Giving Opportunities
Gifts of Securities
Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, and Retirement Accounts. Charitable gifts of stocks, bonds or mutual funds held for at least a year and have appreciated, offer special tax advantages. Giving from retirement accounts may have additional tax benefits. Contact your broker, financial advisor or accountant for details.
Planned giving is the process of carefully selecting the best method and asset for making a charitable gift. Such a gift can enable you to take full advantage of tax laws to accomplish your financial and charitable goals. Planned gifts can be made in the following ways: bequests by will or living trust, Charitable Remainder Trusts, Charitable Gift Annuities, Charitable Lead Trusts, beneficiary benefits from IRAs, pensions, or financial accounts.
There are ways you can use life insurance as a gift-giving device. Give the cash value in the policy or donate the annual dividends.
If it has a deed, you can gift it! The possibilities include vacation homes, undeveloped land, and commercial and rental properties.
HOW CAN I HELP MAKE OUR CAMPAIGN SUCCESSFUL?
We have a dynamic opportunity to fully invest in the future of Naz so that people of every age, those already here and those on the way, will continue serving all through Jesus Christ in thought, word and deed.
- Pray for Naz
- Pray for how God is calling you to respond and joyfully make your gift decisions
- Offer to God your Welcome Home! commitments on Sunday, November 14