Over the past five years eligible Thrivent members have designated over $12,000 ($10,273 COS and $1780 to Endowment Fund) by taking advantage of Thrivent Choice. This is another way in which Thrivent, a 501(c)9 Fraternal Organization, distributes its profits to member activities.
The funds are generated from qualifying insurance premiums and/or annuities held by its members. If you receive notices re: Thrivent Choice opportunities, please review and consider directing funds to COS or the COS Endowment Fund, If you are not a Thrivent member and would like to learn more you can go to www.thrivent.com or call Mark Gluckner, (866.614.4839) our local representative, who will provide personal information for you.
THRIVENT CHOICE DOLLARS: Those of you who are Thrivent members probably know you have the opportunity to designate a certain amount of money from Thrivent to a variety of charities/ministries. Two of those choices involve Christ Our Savior. You can designate funds to the Christ Our Savior Endowment Fund and/or you can designate funds to Christ Our Savior Church. For the past few years, the Thrivent Choice Dollars that have been designated to our church have been sent to Bridge City Community Urban Mission. We would like to inform you that the 2016 Thrivent Choice Dollars will also be given to Bridge City Community. The Thrivent Choice Dollars that are designated for the Christ Our Savior Endowment Fund go into the endowment fund and then help support the ministry grant/awards they give out each year. Deadline for directing 2015 Choice Dollars is March 30. A big "thank you" to all who have sent Thrivent Choice dollars our way.
Lutheran Church Extension Fund-Shared Blessings
Shared blessings is a wonderful partnership in the Gospel between our congregation, its members and the LCEF. Our members benefit as investor partners in the ministry of church extension. Because of this partnership, we have received three Shared Blessings rebate checks on the following dates: Feb. 9, 2015 $6,622, Aug. 4, 2015 $4,040 and Aug. 1, 2016 $7,740, for a total of $18,402. Thank you to our current investors for continued support of the LCEF Mission through their many investment opportunities. Please prayerfully consider joining our current investors in the LCEF to help other congregations, schools, pastors and church workers. rate.
**Saving money with LCEF helps others learn about Jesus!
You know it’s important to teach a child to give thanks for God’s many blessings and use them wisely to serve Him. When you help a child save for the future through the LCEF Young Investors (Y.I.) Club, you are teaching them the value of sharing, saving and spending money and at the same time those $$$ can help someone else learn about Jesus. Your child’s investment will empower ministry! With an investment of just $25 in a Y.I. Steward Account®, your child becomes a Y.I. Club member! For more info call either the Church Office or the LCEF at 1-800-THE-LCEF.
Christ Our Savior Endowment Fund
If you have had a Financial Plan in place for five or more years perhaps you may want to review the plan with your Tax Advisor and remember the Endowment fund in your planning. Or you might consider the Tax advantages of a gifting stock which has gained in value this year; you can deduct the value of the stock as a charitable gift and avoid the income tax. (Please be sure to have the stock sent to the Fund and do not cash it in.)
Alternately consider a gift of life insurance or other assets to your COS Endowment Fund. This fund will intentionally keep its principle intact, and as it grows will utilize its net income for future ministries which God presents to the COS family of faith.
Now you can support our Endowment Fund While you Shop on Amazon!
Go to www.smile.amazon.com, then type Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church in the search box. Finally, select the correct church (Loudon, TN is in the right margin of one of the many churches listed). Now you are ready to sign in and shop! You should see a notice at the top of your home page that states "Supporting: Christ Our Savior Lutheran Church". Then sign in to your usual access to the Amazon website, and make your purchase, and .5% of your purchase (at no cost to you) will go to the Endowment Fund. If you are new to Amazon shopping, you will need to register by submitting an e-mail address and creating a password to get into smile.amazon.com, and then sign in to Amazon.com with your unique sign-on and password to initiate a purchase. We are still looking for help with another Fund Raising project called SCRIP. If interested please contact any member of the Endowment Committee.
Contributions can now be debited automatically from your checking or savings account. Our electronic giving program offers convenience for you and much-needed donation consistency for our congregation. Authorization forms are available from the church office. Please place completed forms in a sealed envelope, address to Financial Secretary, and return to the church office.
Tax Tips for Charitable Contributions
If you will be claiming itemized deductions for the tax year and have stocks or bonds that have appreciated in value, you can get a double tax benefit from contributing the securities before year-end to a qualified charity, such as Christ Our Savior or its Endowment Fund. The full value of the securities will qualify for a charitable deduction, and the gain that would be recognized if the securities are sold is not taxed. If you will not be claiming itemized deductions and are required to take a minimum distribution from an IRA (RMD), there is another way to get a tax benefit. A direct transfer from your IRA to a qualified charity up to $100,000/year before year-end (called a "qualified charitable distribution" or QCD) will count towards your required minimum distribution amount and will also be excluded from adjusted gross income. This permits taxpayers with RMDs who claim the standard deduction to get a tax benefit comparable to those who itemize. For taxpayers who itemize, making a QCD might be more beneficial than a charitable deduction, since the reduction in adjusted gross income may reduce or eliminate certain negative consequences that occur as AGI increases. These include an increase in the taxation of Social Security benefits, "scale backs" that apply to medical and other tax itemized deductions, and higher Medicare premiums. Finally, if proposed tax reform is enacted in the next year, the tax benefits of making charitable contributions and claiming either a tax deduction or QCD reduction from adjusted gross income in the current year may be more advantageous this year than next.
The COS Endowment Fund has started a Fund Raising Program called SCRIP. You buy retail gift cards to pay for everyday purchases, like gas and groceries, instead of credit or debit cards, cash, or checks.
(1) You order the face value for the gift cards through the Endowment Fund Team, and pay for them with a check to the Endowment Fund.
(2) The TEAM purchases the cards for a lesser amount based on a rebate (ranging from 1.5% to 10+%). The difference between face value and the amount which the Fund pays is credited to the Fund.
(3) The TEAM buys the cards and has them available for you within 4 - 5 days.
Suggest that friends and neighbors buy SCRIP CARDS also!
Please watch for further information.