Gratitude and Grace
At Grace, we have much to be thankful for, and I want to begin by saying that I am grateful for you. It is because of your faithful prayers, presence, gifts, and service that Grace is the welcoming, life-changing, congregation that it is today. Your faith and generosity make a difference in countless lives and our church wouldn’t be the same without you! I am grateful for everything that we are able to do, in the church and for the community, that witnesses to our uncommon hospitality, commitment to spiritual discovery and boundless love.
It is with gratitude and grace that our church will continue to make a difference in the community throughout 2020 and beyond. As Christians, we recognize that everything we have comes from God and that we are invited to be stewards of these gifts in ways that witness to the love and grace we have been given. Through our tithes (giving 10% of our income) and offerings, we tangibly demonstrate our faith as we witness to our love for God and our neighbors.
Each year, we ask our members to make a commitment to their tithes and offerings for the coming year in support of Grace’s mission and ministry. We do this for three reasons:
- All we have is a gift from God; giving to God’s work is an act of faithfulness and worship.
- An annual stewardship commitment makes possible: worship, programs for children and students, small groups, pastoral care and support, community service, and building/operational needs.
- Sharing of our gifts and service is an expectation and responsibility of membership. While Grace does not specify how much our members should give, we trust that our members will commit a percentage of their income to the mission and ministry of our church.
Thank you for your generosity to Grace. It is my prayer that your giving to Grace is as much of a blessing to you as it is to your church family and those we are in mission and ministry with.
Grace and Peace,
How to Make Your Commitment
- Begin with Prayer. Thank God for your blessings and ask for guidance and discernment as you consider your commitment.
- Assess your current income and giving. Look at what you are currently giving and determine what percentage of your income it represents.
- Set your giving goal and commitment. If you are not currently tithing (giving 10% of your income), begin with a lower percentage and think about how you can increase that percentage each year, growing towards tithing. What is most important is beginning the spiritual discipline of consistent and regular giving.
- Determine how you will give. You can give directly from your bank account with an electronic funds transfer (EFT) or schedule a recurring gift to Grace at www.gracedesmoines.org. This way of giving is easy and guarantees that your church will receive your offering on a regular basis. You can give through cash or check by placing your offering in a pew envelope and placing it in the collection during worship or by mailing your offering to Grace UMC, 3700 Cottage Grove, Des Moines, IA 50311. Appreciated investments and Direct IRA Minimum Distribution can also be a tax beneficial and convenient way to support Grace. If you have any questions about investments of Direct IRA Minimum Distributions, please contact the church office.
2020 FALL STEWARDSHIP CAMPAIGN
& NARRATIVE BUDGET SUMMARY
We invite you to take a look at the ministry areas of our budget and join us in celebrating what God is doing through our church.
Worship and Music
Music is an integral part of the worship experience at Grace. Choirs for all ages, instrumental music, vocal and instrumental solos and ensembles, hymn singing, and accompaniment all work together to enrich and bring beauty to worship. Development and planning of worship along with altar and sanctuary decoration that visually speak to the congregation bring worship together as a unified whole.
This area of the budget keeps the church and its missions running smoothly. Office staff, bookkeeping, paper and copies, computers, and office supplies are all essential to meet the needs of Grace and our members.
Grace has a robust Christian education ministry, offering Sunday School Classes for all ages. This budget area funds materials for the classes and supplies for the projects they do. Worship bags are available for children during the worship services, and contain quiet toys and writing materials as well as activities that tie into the scripture. This area of the budget also funds the nursery and Vacation Bible School in the summer.
The connectional giving that all United Methodist congregations share helps to support schools, campus ministries, and camps, in addition to providing resources and support for congregations around the world. This is an area where, in recent years, Grace has not been able to fully meet our obligation.
Grace has a beautiful historic building and a sanctuary that is spacious and awe-inspiring. We have a commercial kitchen, a medical clinic, a preschool, and a large education wing. We have stunning art and stained glass, meeting and rehearsal spaces, and well-kept grounds. Keeping our church property well-maintained, clean, climate-controlled and safe is one of the largest priorities of the annual church budget.
Grace’s mission doesn’t end at the red doors. Community events and concerts extend our “Uncommon Hospitality” to the neighborhood around us. Participation in AMOS (A Mid-Iowa Organizing Strategy) helps us to make a difference in our community. We host a free medical clinic, a mental health clinic, serve meals both in the church and at the Central Iowa Shelter. Justice for Our Neighbors, a legal clinic for immigration assistance, meets at our church, and we are also a meeting place for Scout troops, support groups, and community organizations. Our award-winning preschool serves the children of our community.
Our youth ministry is vibrant and thriving. Mission trips, dinner dramas, ski weekends, and England choir tours are special times for our youth and create lifelong memories and connections to Grace. Many youth events often require additional fundraising. Just as important as these special events, if not more important, is the less visible, everyday support that our youth receive, along with the weekly gatherings for youth group, confirmation, and more.
In addition to the children’s ministry, Grace offers many adult Sunday School classes and small groups so that members of the church and community can discuss our faith and deepen our relationships with each other and with God.
This part of Grace’s mission brings care and support to members of Grace who are facing physical, emotional, or spiritual challenges. This includes ministering to those who are ill or unable to worship in person with the congregation.
Thank you for your support!
Your contributions make everything that we do possible. The final budget will be determined by the response of our stewardship campaign. This narrative budget represents our working budget and the cost of our ministry at Grace.