That I would go from organizing the nursery care to a 17-year tenure on the ERUUF staff, serving as part-time RE Director for 5 years, Office Manager for 6 years, and Administrator for 5 years, with a bonus year of “déjà vu all over again” as Interim DRE.

That no amount of change in ministry, governance model or worship service, or any extreme episode of conflict would cause Ross and I to leave.

That I, introvert and conflict-avoider that I was, would take on the hard work of a ministerial search committee and serving as Board President, leading the way to put policy-based governance in place.

That our family of three would grow to three generations who now occupy an entire pew, provided we choose one that seats 9! And it doesn’t get any better than that!

For all I know our daughter Kim’s son Galen, and our son Tucker’s children, Toby and Cora, will also grow up in this congregation, go off to college and return someday with families of their own. I want ERUUF to be here for them. There are words from our Child Dedication ceremony that really spoke to my own experience at ERUUF over the years. They go something like this: “Never be afraid to be yourself within the safety of these walls. This is the place for your hopes and dreams, successes and failures.” I want ERUUF to be that safe place for my grandchildren and maybe their children as well! And to make sure ERUUF is there for them, Ross and I have made a provision in our wills to benefit ERUUF and the Fellowship Foundation.

In all the changes we’ve undergone to grow into being a large congregation the one we have not adequately addressed is the stewardship of planned giving. While we’ve made significant progress in putting many large congregation structures in place, a planned giving program is a vital piece of stepping into being a large congregation.
Planned Giving is looking forward into the distance, and not the 10 to 20- year distance, but the 50-year distance.

Thanks to very hard work last year by the Organizational Development Task Force, the Planned Giving Task Force, and the ERUUF Board and Eno River Fellowship Foundation Board, we now have a Planned Giving Team in place and structures and clarity of important relationships to move us forward to connecting with members and friends who would like to make a legacy gift to ERUUF and/or the Fellowship Foundation.

Jean O’Barr and Alice Alexander and yours truly make up the Planned Giving team. Beth Harvat has been with us for the past six months and will be rotating off having been a part of that hard work that went into laying the groundwork. Thank you, Beth, for getting us launched! We are actively recruiting her replacement.

ERUUF is most fortunate to be able to hire Alice with her extensive background in planned giving as a part-time consultant to cultivate a culture of generosity and stewardship at ERUU, thanks to joint funding from a Fellowship Foundation grant and ERUUF operating funds for the coming year. Believe me, Alice knows her stuff!

So what IS planned giving? I’d like to address some assumptions and misconceptions about planned giving as a way to introduce you to your potential to participate.

  • You may think that making a planned gift is not a complicated process, but a few sentences in your will, or if you already have a will, adding a codicil, will suffice. Or you can add ERUUF and/or the Fellowship.
  • Foundation as a beneficiary of your retirement account or life insurance policy.
  • Planned gifts do not have to come from vast riches. No amount is too small. Contributions to the Fellowship Foundation are preserved as capital from which investment gains are available for distribution.
  • Planned gifts are not set in stone. You can make changes through a codicil to your will or change of beneficiary.
  • Planned gifts do not have to be made jointly if you are married.
  • Making a plan is not done upon reaching the age of 70 or older. The sooner the better! In terms of Planned Giving, 50 is the new 70!
    Planned gifts are not given only after you’re gone but can be made while you are still living.