The Pilgrim - February 19, 2017
Capital Campaign Charitable Gifts
Dear First Church,
Following the success of last fall’s campaign to raise capital pledges to restore our stained glass windows and exteriors, I have a good piece of news to share on behalf of the moderators and Church Council.
As you have likely heard, we have exceeded our pledge goal of $900,000 and now have pledges for $1,100,000. Over the next three years, those pledges will likely be added to by new members or interested community friends who would like to support the cause of preserving our historic building exteriors and playing our part in the revival of downtown Long Beach.
What you may not know is that part of our pledges are designated for mission. We retained the Rev. Priscilla Bizer of the United Church of Christ (our denomination) Church Building and Loan organization, which provides support and services for capital campaigns to UCC churches like ours. Typically, the fee for a consultant of this nature is 10% of the annual pledge base of the church and all goes to the consultant, but the UCC does things a little differently. Our consultant fee of $30k was divided in roughly three ways: one third to Church Building and Loan to fund their ministries, one third to the national giving program of the UCC, called “Our Church’s Wider Mission” (which significantly increased the amount of our annual pledge to the wider church and is credited to our congregation), and lastly, to a charitable cause of our choice.
At the last Church Council meeting, the Council agreed to devote our charitable portion to DAYS Long Beach and Urban Community Outreach, the two ministries founded and sponsored by this congregation on our campus. Truly, the clients, volunteers, and staff of UCO and DAYS are not just running programs on our campus – they are part of the First Church community, expressing our values of justice in their own areas of expertise, empowering our service to the community, and making our life at Third and Cedar more diverse, more exciting, and a reflection of our dreams of God’s justice.
Together, First Church and DAYS and UCO are making Third and Cedar into “The Corner of Arts and Justice” – and it is a joy to be able to support one another’s dreams.
Happy (belated) Valentine’s Day,
The Rev. Elena Larssen