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Transfer the Blessings

Do you have a will or a living trust? Have you named a legal guardian for your children? Who will act in your place if you ever become mentally incapacitated? How will the blessings that God has entrusted to you be distributed after you go to heaven? While nobody wants to think about death or incapacity, creating a plan to address these questions is an essential step you must take to protect yourself, your property, and your loved ones.

What is Saint John’s Transfer the Blessings Ministry?

Our Transfer the Blessings ministry is committed to providing our members the support and comprehensive expertise they need so they can wisely plan how they transfer their blessings to their families and the ministries they love through a Lifetime Plan for Giving. The wise transfer and stewardship of these blessings to family and ministries can have an impact today, tomorrow and forever. Our faith in Jesus gives us a certainty in eternity. With the help of Transfer the Blessings, we can be just as certain about the way we affect the future for our loved ones! Proper planning can also spare your loved ones of the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.

Meeting with Jason Jones

Jason Jones is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s.

Jason begins each consultation by listening to understand each individual’s unique priorities. Using the information he gathers, he then guides and directs each individual in shaping a Lifetime Plan for Giving that fulfills personal and family goals. This confidential service includes discussion of family matters, the challenges involved in estate plan development and the opportunities. These conversations help you to understand how the benefits of charitable planning relate to your personal goals.

When you ask for Jason’s assistance, you can expect:

  • A prayerful approach to our work together.
  • A convenient meeting time and place, usually at your home or church.
  • No charge for Jason’s services.
  • Guidance and options to organize and implement your Christian estate/gift plan.
  • Complete confidentiality.

What is a Lifetime Plan for Giving?

Through our planned giving process, Jason will help you to establish a complete Christian estate/gift plan. We call this plan your Lifetime Plan for Giving. A Lifetime Plan for Giving is a method of assisting you by summarizing your stewardship and estate planning goals. This step by step process helps you prepare the best gifts for your family and the best gifts for the ministries you love. Here’s what’s included in a Lifetime Plan for Giving:

  • A will or a revocable living trust with a pour-over will.
  • A durable power of attorney for financial affairs.
  • A durable power of attorney for health care.
  • A review of ownership issues and beneficiary designations.
  • A gift plan to provide for your family.
  • A gift plan for your favorite ministries.
  • A statement of faith.

If you already have a completed estate plan, the Lifetime Plan for Giving process can still provide you benefit. During the process Jason will review your current plan. Often this reveals questions or details that need to be addressed. These questions may include:

  • Are your documents up-to-date and valid?
  • Does your plan include a personal statement of your faith that can be used by the Holy Spirit to encourage the faith of future generations?
  • Have you aligned your beneficiary statements with your plan?
  • Do you have a both a financial and a medical Durable Power of Attorney?

Lastly, this service provides the opportunity to have your plan reviewed from a charitable perspective. Jason may be able to provide you with some options that accomplish your goals in ways that you may have never considered.

Contact Jason

Having a completed a Lifetime Plan for Giving gives you peace of mind knowing that your wishes for the gifts God has entrusted to you are fulfilled. This service is free to you and there is no sales process involved. To schedule a meeting with Jason, click the link below:

Schedule Now!

If you would like more information or would like to set up an appointment over the telephone, don’t hesitate to contact Jason. He can be reached at:
Phone: (970) 988-0305
Email:

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Permanence

A “grand solar minimum” is predicted to be happening with the sun over the next decades. That means that solar energy could be reduced by as much as seven percent. It happen about every 200 years. For an object in our sky that often depicts permanence, that kind of fluctuation can be a bit unsettling.

Whenever our sense of permanence is challenged, it is really a good thing. God’s word speaks to the things that are forever and the things that are not. Most things come and go, shift and change. Yet the only things that remain permanent are God, His Word and His plan to redeem us through the resurrection and introduce us into His new creation for all eternity; all prepared by Jesus.

So what does that have to do with the present time? Time and the things in time are opportunities to do God’s bidding, to share the Gospel of Jesus, to love God and love our neighbor, all with the goal of God’s Spirit calling people to faith so that they may be part of God’s permanent inheritance that He has prepared for us. We look at something like our estate plans and we make our plans, but always with an eye to eternity. Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help you get your eternally focused plan together.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

Creating a Legacy

Years ago, two seminary students were walking the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary and noticed most of the buildings on the campus had a nameplate depicting important leaders that blessed the Church in ancient times. But the gym had a name on it that was unfamiliar. It was the Wambsgans Gymnasium. The students started asking around to see if anyone knew who Wambsgans was. No one knew. It seemed odd that a plaque that was supposed to establish a legacy for this person wasn’t really accomplishing its purpose.

The two students became pastors and years went by. As fate would have it, both pastors served a congregation full of members from a Wambsgans family. It turned out that they were cousins, nieces or nephews of the man with the name on the gym. The family members knew he had played professional baseball but knew very little of him beyond that. None of them had many stories to share of this man.

Living life, creating a legacy and hoping to be remembered is a task seldom accomplished. For most people, no one will talk about them after only a couple generations since they have passed. But if they have shared the Gospel, worked with others to share the Gospel or financially supported the ministry of sharing the Gospel in the Church that grace of God will be generating new believers one generation after the next. It’s a force multiplying effect that lasts for eternity.

If you really want to think about creating a legacy, let that be your goal. Share Jesus. Use your gifts for sharing Jesus. Plan your estate to remind family of Jesus’ gifts and use estate gifts to support ministry when you are no longer here.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

Delaying Planning Could Mean More Taxes

Frank began a business when he was 28 years old. The Lord blessed him greatly and by the time he retired, that small business was worth fifteen million dollars.

Frank and his wife have one son. Frank wants their son to receive three million dollars as inheritance. Frank and his wife wish to give the rest to their church, to set up an endowment for Christian education at their Lutheran school. However, they never really got after this task. They have just talked about it a lot.

Now there is a buyer who is anxious to buy Frank’s business. Frank is upset with himself that he never made his ideas concrete with a specific plan.

Frank approached his congregation about gifting shares of his business to the congregation. Leaders rejected that notion because of fears of Unrelated Business Income Tax. Now his attorney is advising him just to sell the business and to make a cash gift to his church and school. However, his limitations for contributions are limited to sixty percent of his adjusted gross income. He will never be able to offset tax due with charitable gifts.

Frank realizes that making his wish become a concrete goal would have resulted in far less tax paid and for more resources for the educational endowment.

Might you be considering the sale of a business in the next couple of years? The LCMS Foundation can help think through a strategy together with your professional advisors.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

Making Time for Certainty

Ben was eighty years old. He was in great shape for his age. Until fifteen years ago he had worked very hard, establishing his own business. The Lord blessed that effort with great value in that business. Upon retirement, it was time for Ben to enjoy more recreation time. He lined up four different groups with whom to golf throughout the week. His wife and he loved to gather with family and friends. In their new busy schedule of retirement, there was little energy left to review their estate plan.

Many years ago, Ben and his wife had set up their wills to gift 25% of their assets, except for their house, to their congregation. Because they had already done this planning, they did not see a need to engage with the local LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor. Eventually, Ben agreed to meet with their Gift Planning Counselor to review the estate plan that he thought would carry out their wishes. He discovered all his financial accounts were directed by beneficiary designations to their son. Since their wills directed that their house be given to their son, and 100% of their financial accounts would be distributed through beneficiary designations, what was left was about $3,000 in the checking account that would be controlled by the gifting language of their will. This successful businessman was going to give a $750 gift to his church.

That was not what Ben wanted at all! This realization moved him to put down the golf clubs for one day to work on his plans. After items were updated, Ben commented that he was really at peace knowing that their plan was secure and in place. He rejoiced in the gift that would be going to ministry.

Are you like Ben and his wife? Is it time for a review of your plans? Your LCMS Gift Planning Counselor can help.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

A Family Meeting

Don and Mary recently reviewed their estate plan and their plan for gifts found within that estate plan. They reaffirmed the decisions they made ten years ago were still the best decisions for showing love to their children and grandchildren, and for supporting their congregation and other ministries that mean so much to them.

In their review, they found that they needed to clean up some beneficiary designations that had gotten out of alignment with that plan. They also found that over the last ten years, God had blessed them with even more gifts than before and that their gift plan would be even more of a blessing.

With the support of their Gift Planning Counselor, they decided to call together a family meeting. One child objected, saying, “Mom and Dad, quit being so morbid.” But they proceeded with the gathering. They began by reading their family blessings. By the end of those four paragraphs, everyone had tears running down their faces, thankful for the love and faith they shared.

Then Don and Mary explained their gift plan to their family, pointing out the gifts their family would receive someday and their support for the Lord’s work that always had been a hallmark of this family. Then, they prayed.

As their children and grandchildren were loading up into cars to leave, with hugs all around, great peace was upon them all and a confidence abounded. That day they had a chance to remember that life in Jesus goes on forever.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

The Messenger

You see an ad asking for volunteers to deliver to needy families some coats, hats and gloves that have been purchased by a local charity. You volunteer to make six deliveries. At each home, the families shower you with praise for these thoughtful gifts. All day long you keep reminding them that you are only the messenger and that the gifts really came from the charity.

In a way, this story is a true parallel to our lives as we dispense God’s gifts, whether that be caring for our families, supporting ministries that share Jesus or sharing something with a neighbor who lives next door.

Since all the gifts in our lives are God’s gifts, we find ourselves constantly reminding those who thank us that we are simply sharing God’s things with them. We are not really being generous. We are not leaving a personal legacy. We are simply being faithful stewards with God’s gifts, following through on the good works He prepared in advance for us to do, for which He prepared us with His gifts.

St. Paul wrote in Galatians 3, “So whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God the Father through Him” (emphasis mine). That perspective reflects a heart captured by God’s grace, intent on sharing that grace with everyone. Through His gifts God’s saves with His Gospel.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

Frugality

Frank and Katherine were raised to be thrifty, hard-working, God-fearing children of God. They raised their children in the faith and enjoyed sharing Bible stories with their grandchildren.

Frank and Katherine were known to not waste a thing—washing and reusing disposable items, ripping off the bottom half of a piece of mail that came to use for scrap paper. They had been diligent savers, putting a portion of weekly income into an investment account.

Years ago, their advisor had directed them to put investments in annuities. Since that time, all growth on their investments had grown tax-deferred. They never planned on spending any of it. They planned on giving it all to their children as inheritance. Little did they know that a large portion of that inheritance would simply be paid in taxes.

An LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor had presented at their church and raised the topic of wise tax planning. They brushed it off. They did not see the value. This couple that rejoiced about saving pennies at a time by reusing old things threw away tens of thousands of dollars in taxes that could have enriched their children’s inheritance or created a nice bequest to their Church, enabling more people to hear about Jesus.

We often put off such work because venturing into topics that we have never discussed before intimidates us. Yet the story of Frank and Katherine illustrates for all of us that a few hours of conversation and planning could potentially magnify the effect of a lifetime of careful stewardship of God’s gifts.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

Grace

In Jesus’ parable of the Prodigal Son, the younger son is the focus of our scorn. Yet the father graced him when he returned.

What often gets overlooked is that the older son was angry with his father for showing grace to his younger brother. He felt his rightful share of the inheritance was late in coming to him. Jesus specifically told this parable to convict religious leaders of the Jews that their religious construct had written off God’s grace and they were focused on what they were entitled to.

We have a tremendous opportunity when constructing our gift plans within our estates to reclaim grace as we give gifts with God’s gifts, rather than grudgingly give “deserved shares” to ungrateful family or ministries. Your gift plan can maximize reflection on God’s grace, and you can even bear witness to that before the Lord calls you home. Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor can help.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

Purpose

When something is present simply because of tradition its value is diminished. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves of the purpose behind our traditions.

Take, for example, the advent wreath, found in our churches and even many of our homes. The circle reminds us of eternity. The green reminds us of the life Jesus has given us. The four candles around the outside remind us of hope, peace, joy and love. The middle candle reminds us of Jesus. Do you think about all this every time you walk past an advent wreath?

In that same thinking, what is the purpose of your estate plans? Certainly, there are directions for legal matters that need to be in place for the day you die. But your plan is for so much more than just dying. Your estate plan contains a gift plan, through which you will give gifts to the family or friends you love and the ministries you care about.

Your estate plan is not about dying. It is about using God’s gifts well, to continue the reflection of Jesus and His gift to us, long after the Lord has called you to your rest in Him. Don’t let fear of death get in the way of planning for the giving of God’s gifts of life.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .

Thanksgiving

The Apostle Paul, in 2 Corinthians 8–9, encouraged the Corinthian congregation to join with other congregations Paul had planted in a gathering of gifts to share with the saints in Jerusalem who were suffering because of persecution and famine. In that appeal, Paul wrote, “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” We may not realize that when God moves us to give gifts, besides providing for ministry needs, our gifts cause thanksgiving among God’s people.

On Thanksgiving Day, it might be your family tradition to go around the table naming something for which you are thankful. What would happen if we changed our focus to: who has shown thanksgiving because of something God empowered me to do with his gifts? While giving is never meant to be bragging, the giving of our gifts can be an inspiration for others to give.

With that in mind, if you have put a Lifetime Plan for Giving in place from your estate, to family and ministry, have you shared that plan with those closest to you? By sharing, they get to rejoice in God’s indescribable gifts, and they get to begin considering how they can do the same. May the Lord bless your sharing! If you would like assistance in setting up a family meeting for this purpose, your LCMS Foundation gift planning counselor can help.

Jason Jones, CGP, CDE, is Saint John’s Gift Planning Counselor. Jason works with individuals in our congregation who want to discover the lifetime plan that God has planted in their heart. He will help them to use this plan to Transfer the Blessings God has given them to their family and the ministries they love. This service comes to you at no cost as a member of Saint John’s. To schedule a free meeting with Jason or ask questions about this special opportunity, visit www.StJohnsFC.org/transfer-the-blessings, call (970) 988-0305 or email .