Westminster Presbyterian Church and the many mission programs that we support benefit from the foresight, faith and stewardship of our predecessors who established an endowment in 1976. Through the years, members and friends of Westminster Presbyterian Church have built on those early gifts through planned gifts and bequests. In 1999, the Westminster Presbyterian Church Foundation was chartered to manage the existing endowment and enhance ways to make long-term investments in the work of the church.
“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock.”Matthew 7:24-25
The seeds of faith planted over the decades bring us today to a Foundation with more than $4 million dollars in assets that support a range of programs, including music, youth ministry, children’s and adult education, capital improvements, emergency relief work, and facility maintenance, as well as local, national, and international mission work. Every gift continues to enable the church to commit to good works in our lifetime and for future generations.
Remembering Gloria Horning
The Westminster Foundation endowment grew significantly in 2019 with an exceedingly generous $1 million bequest from Gloria Horning. Born in 1925 in Saratoga Springs, New York and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Gloria studied as a singer at the Julliard Opera Workshop and came to the DC area as a stenographer for the Johnson White House. With input from Barbara Anderson, we look back at Gloria’s remarkable life.
The Stoltz Family: Setting Up a Fund in Memoriam
Gerry and Carri Stoltz’s only son, Zachary, passed away unexpectedly at the age of 25 in 2012. As they considered how to honor him and his life, Carri thought about how much Zach benefitted from the youth mission trips at Westminster. When he was a teenager, Zach went to Mexico and a number of other destinations as part of the church youth mission outreach and he wrote about his experiences on those trips later in papers. Carri explains, “It was an experience that touched his life.”
To honor Zach, the Stoltz family makes contributions to the Westminster Foundation youth mission trips fund, and every year Zach’s aunt donates to the Foundation fund on Zach’s birthday. “It’s an opportunity to give another young person the chance to go on a mission trip and a chance to continue his legacy. We felt it was an important way to express our grief and our joy in the memories that he had and we have of Zach. These trips continue to enrich young people’s lives, and that’s what we want to be a part of,” says Carri.
Pat Prosperi: Including Westminster in My Estate Planning
Pat Prosperi is a long-time Westminster Presbyterian Church member and has served in church leadership over the years. In 2008, as she was caring for her ailing mother, Pat realized she should start thinking about getting her own affairs in order. “I thought I would like to leave a legacy behind to the church which has been an important part of my life and a wonderful experience,” explains Pat.
Soon thereafter, she met with an estate attorney and updated her will to leave her possessions to both family members and the Westminster Foundation. She considered the various options on how to designate her money and ultimately decided to leave an open-ended gift that allows the church leadership to determine how best to use her contribution in the future. She spoke to her family about her decision to leave some of her estate to the church and they were supportive. The process and decision, for her, was an easy one. She explains, “I give to various charities now, but I know at Westminster I can see where the money goes and the impact directly and that’s not the case everywhere. I like the whole idea of leaving a legacy. After I’m gone, the money I’ve worked to earn over a lifetime will still be supporting programs here. Hopefully I will be looking down from heaven on the work the church is doing.”
Making a Legacy Gift
Westminster’s annual stewardship campaign is designed to raise enough pledges to fund the annual operating budget adopted by our Session. The Westminster Foundation is intended to complement the operating budget by providing the church with funding to meet additional long-term needs in capital repair and improvements, as well as our mission, education, worship and music programs.
The Westminster Foundation Board assists members in finding appropriate ways to make planned gifts over and above annual giving and directs the management of funds to match donor intentions with innovative approaches to existing ministries. Some donors make endowed gifts, which preserve the principal and generate income from interest and dividends, while other donors give the church discretion to spend the entire gift. Some gifts are given in a one-time donation, while other gifts are given as memorials to honor family members or friends. Gifts can be directed by the donors to benefit certain purposes or programs.
While some give to the Westminster Foundation through their wills and estates upon death, there are many other opportunities to support the work of the Westminster Foundation both now and in the future, including cash gifts, appreciated assets (stocks, bonds, mutual funds, or real estate assets), retirement funds, bequests, and charitable remainder trusts. Westminster Presbyterian Church cannot give legal, tax or estate planning advice. We recommend consulting a qualified tax or estate attorney when considering planned giving options.
If you would like more information about making a legacy gift, please contact the Foundation Board at [email protected] or Director of Finance and Administration Lavinia Davis-Laux.
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