By DAVID BATTLES
This question comes up at every Annual Conference. Am I surprised by the question? No. I was baptized a Methodist as an infant; I grew up in a parsonage home; I attended church camp and worked at camp one summer; I was involved in Wesley Foundation during college; and I served on various church committees as an adult. And yet, I didn’t know what the Foundation did—until I went to work for the Foundation over 21 years ago.
So what do we do?
The short answer is we strengthen and support the ministries of the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference. We do this primarily by attracting and managing endowment funds for Oklahoma United Methodist churches, institutions, and agencies. Our endowment funds support almost every ministry in the conference. An endowment fund preserves the principal and provides annual payments to the designated ministry or ministries.
Who establishes endowment funds?
Endowment funds are established by Oklahoma United Methodist individuals and families who have remembered United Methodist causes in their estate plans or have established a planned gift (charitable remainder trust, charitable gift annuity, etc.). They decide which ministry or ministries they want to support through their endowment fund. We often assist families and individuals in making these legacy gifts.
How do we encourage legacy giving?
We present educational seminars on estate and legacy planning. We also provide a free guide, Planning Your Legacy, in both a booklet and online version. This guide will encourage you to think about how you want your assets to be distributed at death and assist you in gathering the information your attorney will need. With this guide, the process will be much easier, less expensive, and fulfill your desires for family and the ministries you cherish.
If you would like to learn more about estate and legacy planning, please contact me at 800-259-6863 or firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no obligation, and all inquiries are confidential.
Two new members of our Foundation team
Darrell Cates and Justin Tockey
have recently joined the Foundation. Darrell is an elder in the Oklahoma United Methodist Conference and most recently served as McAlester District Superintendent. He will serve as Director of Conference and Church Relations and will primarily serve the districts in the western part of the state. He will be located in Oklahoma City. Justin is a member of Sand Springs United Methodist Church and most recently served as a financial adviser. He will serve as the Planned Giving Officer for the districts in the eastern part of the state. He will be located in the Tulsa area.
We are very pleased to have both Darrell and Justin join the Foundation team. In the near future, they will be contacting pastors and church leaders to review the status of the church’s legacy and endowment program. Darrell and Justin will be a resource for starting, reviving, and promoting your endowment program. Please welcome them when they contact you.
To Rev. Mark Polson and Tulsa Christ United Methodist Church for winning $1,000 for your endowment. his name was drawn from over 400 entries during Annual Conference in May.
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