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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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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 .

Susan’s Apprehension

“If I plan my estate or end-of-life decisions, it means that I accept that I will die, and I don’t want to talk about such things.” That was Susan’s response to a Gift Planning Counselor. That counselor pointed her to the words of Jesus in John 11 when He said, “I am the resurrection and the life … everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” Their conversation centered around the truth that because of Jesus and His death and resurrection, “death no longer has dominion over [you].” (Romans 6)

Whether here on earth or with the Lord in heaven, life continues. “For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2 For in this tent we groan, longing to put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on[a] we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life.” (2 Corinthians 5:1–4)

Having this conversation gave Susan a sense of peace. She completed put her Christian Estate Plan with the assistance of her Gift Planning Counselor. She was thankful that this process had finally enabled her to get beyond the fear of death and dying that had haunted her throughout her life.

Is it time for you to do the same?

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 .

Otto and Grace

Otto and Grace served the Lord from baptism to grave in their earthly lives.

During the years when the children were growing up, finances were tight. But they were rich because of the inheritance Jesus has laid in store for those who believe in Him. “In my Father's house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” (John 14:2–3)

When Otto was called home, Grace still had seven years to sojourn here. After a lifetime of meticulous money management, she was still worried. It had plagued her all her life. But God provided. She was cared for. She was comfortable. Yes, she was even content.

True to God’s provision, there was an abundance beyond her needs and she passed that on to family as inheritance. In her will she wrote, “I urge my heirs not to set their hopes on uncertain riches, but to take hold of the life which is life indeed through faith in Jesus Christ.” Those words coupled together with a modest financial inheritance are a true gift. The family was not perfect. No family is. But in the end, God’s grace wins the day. Understanding that is a true inheritance from the Lord.

Do you want help to craft a plan that will enable your family to celebrate that same inheritance?

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 .

Change

If we live long enough, we will find ourselves resenting change, at least in some ways. We must adjust as loved ones are called home to Jesus, no longer by our side in this earthly life. Institutions that were dependable are long since gone. Social graces and signs of respect we learned as children may no longer be present.

Change is inevitable here on earth. Part of the reason for this is that we live in a world that bears the curse of our sin. That curse will remain until our Heavenly Father brings about the new heavens and the new earth, through His powerful Word, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Some change is great! A vaccine for polio changed fear of disease to confidence to live life again. Technology gives us access to speedy information and entertainment we could never have dreamed. But much change bears the stain of decay. That is the kind of change that causes us to hurt and grieve. Yet with all Christian grief, we do not grieve without hope. We have our Lord Jesus Christ who is going to give us our place that He has prepared for us.

Wouldn’t it be great to put down into words that hope that resides in your soul? The Spirit has used the Word to call you to faith and now you have something very special to share. You can share that as a preamble to your Last Will and Testament, or as a family blessing apart from your legal documents. Creating this message is your way to make sure that your children or their children know exactly what you have believed, and they receive the charge from you to continue in that faith from generation to generation. This can be a great encouragement, especially in these times of rapid change.

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 .

Applying Purpose

In most communities, firework displays have been cancelled due to COVID. That might leave you scratching your head, wondering what you are going to do this year to celebrate the Fourth of July. It could be that you have always staked out the same spot each year. Maybe friends and family have joined you there. What will you do now that life has changed? Does this mean that Independence Day has lost its purpose?

Loss of purpose is scary. We often live a big part of our lives without any “purpose” associated with what will happen to the financial gifts found in our estates after the Lord has called us home. That can be scary too! Sometimes, we don’t know how to begin addressing that purpose and organizing ourselves so that we can put together a purposeful plan, using legal documents prepared by our attorneys to direct gifts to Godly design. You are not alone. Nearly half of all Americans have yet to complete this work.

“Fred” and “Mary” had procrastinated throughout their marriage, never wanting to spend the time and navigate the legal complexities of getting everything in order. Finally, they partnered with an LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor to begin organizing their plans, understanding the entire scope of gifts the Lord had given them to manage. Through a few weeks of planning and lots of prayer, they completed their plan. At the end they shared, “It feels so good to have this in place!”

Godly purpose feels good, for it resonates with God’s design for our creation.

You may have trouble reinjecting purpose into the Fourth of July this year without fireworks. But you can apply purpose to your estate 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 .

Avoiding a Collision

Imagine standing on a railroad track with a train coming right toward you. Would you be scared? Of course you would! Hopefully, you would have enough sense or physical strength to jump off the track.

Sadly, Satan can fill our minds with his lies that create fear, with the result that we feel life is nothing more than facing the danger from oncoming trains. We jump and jump, until one day our efforts are to no avail.

Yes, those are devilish thoughts. From the day the Lord claimed you as His own in baptism, you are headed to a destination. Washed in Jesus’ blood, chosen for inheritance, you are destined for life in His new creation of a new heaven and new earth, the “home of righteousness” (2 Peter 3). Your resurrected body will make you fit and ready for that great joy.

So, no, you are not staring into the face of an oncoming train. You are being led in the Savior’s grace to the life He has prepared for you (John 14). Because of this, life is not a reaction to the next threat but a purposeful look into a future that has no end.

That purposeful living includes making specific plans, directed by the Lord in prayer. For the child of God, such plans include assembling a specific direction of the Lord’s assets He has assembled under your control in your estate. These gifts will bless family (through inheritance) and ministry (through bequests), so that long after you are “home with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5) His gifts will continue to bless, enabling others to know the love of Jesus. This is Christian gift planning.

Your LCMS Foundation Gift Planning Counselor is ready to assist you today, in person or by video conference.

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 .