Giving at Saint James

There are several ways to support the mission of Saint Jame's

Why you should give to Saint James

Saint James’ needs your financial support in order to fully regather with robust and beautiful worship, transformative ministry beyond our doors, substantial programming for all ages, and rich fellowship.

But what are we preserving?  While the vitality and programming of our church has been significantly hampered by COVID, I have never been surer of her critical role in the community.  I believe the most important elements society both craves and desperately needs are:

  • Connection. being held by and in communion with God and our Saint James’ community.

  • To be valued, to matter. having your personhood affirmed not by what you do or produce but as a beloved child of God, a reflection of the divine, an irreplaceable part of the Body of Christ.

  • Healing and reconciliation. belonging to a community centered in Christ who, even nailed to the cross,intercedes on our behalf.  Participating in a worshiping body where we can seek, receive, and practiceforgiveness.  Being bound together by something greater than the forces that divide us.

  • Purpose beyond oneself. through our baptismal covenant and as a response to the grace we havereceived, we are instruments of God, ordained for the work of realizing God’s dream for the world.

  • Hope. as Easter people, we not only trust, but are committed to more than we can see, with the convictionthat God’s redemptive power is at work, especially when it is hardest to perceive

And what about you? How are you holding up?   I am not sure if your experience has mirrored mine, but I have realized just how much I need a community of faith and a deep center that the world cannot provide.  I have such a proclivity to get weighed down by the world outside when left to my own devices and influences. The church, as we have regathered, has enabled me to more clearly see the grace and goodness in the world, and to lean into the hope that is at the heart of our story and our identity. The Gospel, week in and week out, has been like the tides coming in and out powerfully smoothing that jaggedness in me.  

Whether you have made your way back to regular in-person worship or not, I encourage you to take inventory of your soul.  Are you well, what do you need to be whole, to see grace all around you, to know beyond all measure that you are loved, to love others more fully, to allow hope to conquer despair, to have a truly grateful heart?  And can you think of a time when the world has needed that lighthouse to shine more brightly? I pray Saint James’ is a welcome light in your life. I pray that it burns more brightly in 2022, and as it does, that you reflect light to others in rough waters.

Consider as you make your pledge to the mission and ministry of Saint James that this is a much-needed step not only in ensuring that this critical work continues, but in centering your own life in God with greater purpose and gratitude.
I continue to keep you in my prayers.

Blessings,
Ben+

Alternate ways to give

Besides writing a check or giving cash, there are several ways you may give which can make a lasting impact.

IRA Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD)

If you are age 70½ and required to take Required Minimum Distributions (RMD) from a traditional IRA, an easy way to give is through a Qualified Charitable Distribution (QCD). With a traditional IRA (QCD’s don’t apply to other types), you may make a direct gift to Saint James’, up to $100,000. The amount you give counts towards your RMD and reduces your taxable income.

Appreciated Assets

If you hold appreciated securities in your investment portfolio, you may donate these to Saint James’ before year-end, receive a substantial tax deduction and avoid paying capital gains tax. This is a great option to benefit you and Saint James’. Please be sure to obtain our brokerage instructions from Erin Edwards, our Parish Accountant, to provide to your financial advisor.

“Bunching” Deductions

Do you itemize deductions on your tax return? Prior to 2018, a parishioner may have deducted state income taxes, property taxes, and miscellaneous itemized deductions (collectively referred to as SALT). Today, SALT deductions are limited to $10,000. Mortgage interest and charitable deductions remain. The standard deduction is now $24,000 for joint filers and $12,000 for single filers. Therefore, a joint filer must now have at least $14,000 in other deductions such as charitable and mortgage interest to itemize. In general, those who have a mortgage are more likely to itemize while those who do not have a mortgage may achieve a better tax result by taking the standard deduction. One option may be to switch back and forth, itemizing deductions one year and electing the standard deduction another, depending on the level of your charitable giving. In this instance, you could consider paying both your current year pledge and prepaying your next year’s pledge in the same year giving you an increased charitable deduction in the current year. The following year, you would take the standard deduction; switching back and forth each year.

Donor-Advised Funds

A donor-advised fund (DAF) is like a charitable investment account, for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations like Saint James’. When you contribute cash, securities or other assets to a donor-advised fund through a sponsoring charity connected to an investment provider or community foundation, you are generally eligible to take an immediate tax deduction. Thereafter, you may advise on future grants to the charities of your choice. However, please remember that DAFs cannot be used to satisfy obligatory pledges or any gifts which provide a benefit to you. Whether you are making a charitable gift from an IRA, marketable securities or a DAF, please notify Erin Edwards at 540-347-4342 or by email to ensure your gift is properly acknowledged.Each parishioner’s financial circumstances may differ and I strongly encourage you to consult with your appropriate legal, tax and financial advisors before finalizing any gifts.

-Scott Christian, Stewardship Committee Chair