• on October 28, 2020

A Word From Tom Burchman, UUMC Endowment Fund Chair

Tom Burchman
UUMC Endowment Fund Chair
October 28, 2020

** Click here to watch Tom’s video on our YouTube Channel. **

**Click here for a PDF version of the Endowment Fund Application Form.**

This report attempts to document the important events in the history of the Endowment Fund Committee (EFC), how the funds are to be used in accordance with its charter, and suggested steps going forward:

The financial birth of the Endowment Fund started with the transfer of $178,200 in early 2007, the result of a bequest from the Ted and Ruby Hedrick estate.  The Endowment Fund Charter was approved by the UUMC charge conference in November, 2006.  The funds have been augmented through the years.  A bequest from Mike Kelsey in 2019 added a significant sum; the largest bequest in the history of the Endowment Fund made possible the creation of a Music, Worship and Arts Endowment Fund, as well as augmenting again the Undesignated Endowment Fund.  This last addition was part of a generous bequest in 2020 from the Donna Noyes estate.

The UUMC Endowment Funds operate like most endowment funds, that is, the funds are deposited with a group of institutional grade investment funds so as to generate earnings.  Endowment funds, while invested to generate earnings, are also designed to keep the principal intact while the proceeds, or earnings, are used by the institution to enhance its mission.  In the case of UUMC, we now have 9 endowment funds over which we exercise stewardship.  These funds are held by the United Methodist Foundation in Grand Rapids, MI.  A large part of that stewardship is to make sure we don’t critically diminish the principal by disbursing too much of the earnings.

Another part of that stewardship is to encourage UUMC church members and friends to aid UUMC’s future with gifts from your estate, as well as during your lifetime.  Securities, real property and other assets may be donated, as well as cash.  A member of the EFC or Rev. Bills can speak with you if you are thinking of including UUMC as part of your estate plan.  As well, we are always happy to accept cash as a result of a bonus or other current windfall as well.  The United Methodist Foundation has another resource person available who is very competent to answer questions about types of trusts, wills or other estate planning documents.

A third part of that stewardship (and the most exciting part for me) is to tell you about how we put those earnings to use here in East Lansing.  As we start our fall period, we will ask church members and committees how the Endowment Fund(s) can help with your vision on how to further UUMC’s mission and purpose here in East Lansing.  Look for further announcements in the next Tower Bells and the church bulletins as to procedures for submitting Grant Requests.  The deadline for those applications will be December 11.  We will then review Grant Request applications.  Awards will be made according to our policy guidelines.  A good example of how this process works and has been put to use recently is a contribution the UUMC Endowment Fund made to the organization called Justice for Our Neighbors-Michigan.  Another example is the new electric piano you see (and may have heard) at the last parking lot hymn sing.

Thank you for your kind attention and support.  Let us consider your vision on how we can help further UUMC’s mission here at UUMC, in the Greater Lansing community or somewhere else in the state of Michigan.

At University United Methodist Church, we affirm that as disciples of Jesus Christ, we are an open and inclusive congregation and welcome all persons into full participation regardless of race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic situation, age, ability, education, background and whether single or partnered.

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