While the current pandemic is creating tough economic times for some of our members, many are still able and eager to share their blessings. Below you will find opportunities for giving financially, giving of your time and talent, tax benefits included in the CARES Act for those able to make charitable donations this year, and resources for those facing hardship.
Ecclesiastes 3 tells us “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” including, “a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing.” Yes, this is a time to refrain from embracing but what else is this a season for? In terms of stewardship I believe this is “a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted.”
As our Rector concludes in his Finance First Friday blog on April 3rd “Whatever it is [you are facing], Jesus is calling you out of grief and fear, out of an old economy that connects money to worth and into a new reality, into the knowledge that you have gifts to give, that you will receive, and that you can be a participant in drawing out and sharing the gifts of others in invitation and ask.”
Yes, each of us can give – time, talent, prayer – something. We all can receive the care of others. And, we all can ask – for what we need. Whatever this season brings for you – whether you get to plant your blessings of money, time, and talent so they may bear fruit for others, or you are called to pluck the blessings of this parish to meet your needs during this scary time – all is well; for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under the sun.
-Sarah Dull, Executive Administrator
If you are able and would like to offer financial support at this time, St. John’s provides three opportunities to make a difference:
- Donate to St. John’s Mustard Seed fund. This money is passed directly to our outreach partners. Since the lockdown, through your generous donations we have been able to send $1,760 to our local food shelf at Hallie Q Brown Community Center and $988 to Project Home Homeless Shelter.
- Donate to our Rector’s Discretionary Fund. This money is used by our clergy to assist those in our parish experiencing hardship. Since the lockdown, this parish has generously donated over $5,000 to help care for each other.
- Continue to pay your pledge, make a non-pledged donation, or continue to support your beloved ministries such as Compline, Evensong, Kayoro, Hearts to Homes, and Farmers Market. Due to your faithful support we have been able to continue all our ministries in some format and to pay all our staff, including musicians and hourly employees who have been hit particularly hard by this pandemic.
Click the link below or text 651-273-0753 with the amount you’d like to give and where you’d like the funds to go; i.e. “$100 Non-Pledged Donation.” Text “Funds” to see the full list of options. For video instructions for online giving click here.
Gifts of Time and Talent
Think of the myriad ways you are gifted. Are you a good listener? Call another member you know lives alone, or a friend struggling through a divorce, or a family member. Do you find comfort in prayer? Pray for others in our parish, in our world. Do you have technology skills you could use to help others get connected? Are you good at writing? Send notes and letters. Is this a time you could deliver food and medicine? Can you sew? Make some masks for residents at Episcopal Church Homes. For more opportunities to help others during this time click here or email the Rev. Margaret Thor at firstname.lastname@example.org.
CARES Act Tax Benefits
New charitable deduction for taxpayers who do not itemize. Beginning in 2020, individuals can deduct $300 in charitable contributions from their gross income even if they do not itemize their deductions. Donations must be made by cash, check, or credit card to a charity.
No cap on charitable deductions for taxpayers who do itemize. Donors who itemize their deductions can usually deduct cash contributions up to 60% of their adjusted gross income. For 2020, that cap is lifted, and donors contributing to charity may deduct up to 100% of their income, a significant tax savings for anyone able to contribute larger amounts.
No required minimum distributions, but qualified charitable distributions still possible. The CARES Act eliminates required minimum distributions (RMDs) from many retirement plans in 2020. Some donors have been using their RMDs for tax-advantaged charitable gifts by making a qualified charitable distribution (QCD) directly to charity. Under the CARES Act it is still possible for donors who are 70½ or over to contribute up to $100,000 directly to a charity without paying tax on the distribution. This remains a beneficial way for donors to make gifts.
The CARES Act is a complex new law. This is intended only as a summary of provisions that may be advantageous to those seeking opportunities to give at this time of need. Please consult with your own professional advisors before making a significant gift.
Spiritual and Need Based Resources
If this is a time of need, know you are a beloved child of God and member of this community. Please follow this link to learn about assistance available and reach out to St. John’s clergy for loving, non-judgmental care.
During times of struggle, we come together as a community of faith, offering what we can, extending our care and compassion to all in need, and accompanying each other on a difficult road, confident that Jesus not only meets us on that road, but has promised to bring us home. We will get through this together.