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The Extra Mile
The Extra Mile - Explained by our Pastor
It’s hard to believe that it’s been three years since we made the momentous decision to step out on faith to improve and expand our facility significantly in order to welcome, reach, and disciple our community more effectively. The vision for such a step had been coalescing for several years, and, by God’s grace and through the sacrifice and generosity of His people, we have seen that vision become a reality. The new and improved space has exceeded our expectations in every way! Although we were no sooner in the building than a worldwide pandemic hit, we have still seen God use the building to strengthen our ministry, and we are in perfect position to move confidently into what God has next for us as our community and country re-open.
Three years ago, our members made commitments for that time period totaling almost $3.5 million dollars. Through pandemics, hurricanes, and cultural upheaval, our faith family has been able to keep those pledges, and almost 90% of that initial goal has been received. Praise the Lord! We knew going in that additional capital campaigns would be required to complete the task, and we are at that decision-making point: will you go the extra mile? Jesus offered that tough challenge to his followers in Matthew 5:41—when you’ve done what’s required, will you leave room for greater grace?
Some of you are in position to keep giving at the level you have been, and we ask you to continue. Many of you connected with our church after this emphasis had already begun; we ask that you pray about making a three-year pledge in keeping with those who have given faithfully in hope that God would send people just like you to our church—and so that we would be ready when you got here. Others of you who have already been giving may be able to say yes to this challenge: take one year of the previous three year commitment and give it again over the next three years. If everyone were to take up one of these three challenges, we could see a total commitment of over a million dollars! Such a commitment would put us in a tremendous position as we emerge from this unusual season in history.
Please begin praying now about what God would have you give. He will make clear exactly what to do, and my heart’s desire as your pastor is that we would only do what the Father directs us to do. Sunday December 6 is Commitment Day. See the card here and we will have one available for you to complete. See you on Dec 6 as we celebrate together God’s provision through his people!
Extra Mile - Commitment Card
Year End Giving
2020 Year-End Charitable Contributions News You Can Use…
Thank you for your faithful giving! In spite of what has been a very challenging year, we have seen God use your gifts in many ways and we have still been able to impact our community for Jesus.
We hope that the following information will help you as you consider your year-end gifts:
Gifts by Check or Cash are the most popular ways to make charitable donations. IRS regulations permit all contributions received by First Fairhope to be acknowledged in 2020 in the following ways:
- In person, by dropping off your gift by no later than 4:30 PM on Thursday, December 31, 2020.
- Received by mail postmarked on or before midnight, Thursday, December 31, 2020 to be acknowledged for 2020. Please be aware that just because you drop it in the mail on December 31, it will not necessarily be postmarked on that date.
- You may give online on our website at firstfairhope.org or on our church app, and this must be received by midnight on Thursday, December 31, 2020.
Gift of Stock is another method of charitable giving. Generally, if you own appreciated stock that you have held for more than 18 months, it makes more tax sense to contribute the stock rather than cash for the following reasons:
- You avoid paying capital gains taxes on the increase in value of the stock sold, AND
- You gain an income tax deduction for the full fair market value of the stock.
These stock gifts must NOT go through you in order for you to receive maximum credit, so check with your financial advisor, or your CPA, for advice. These must be received by our broker, Morgan Stanley, before midnight, December 31, 2020.
Gifts from Retirement and Estate Plans such as life insurance, charitable remainder trusts, annuities, charitable lead trusts, etc. can often offer significant tax advantages to the donor and can usually be handled with minimal effort through you tax professional.
Acknowledgment of Your Cash Contributions will be mailed to you in late January, 2021 and will include a detailed statement of your 2020 cash contributions. We urge you to retain your year-end contribution statement for use in preparing your income tax return because current IRS regulations require a written acknowledgement from your church for any contributions of $250 or more.
Current Needs to Consider: As you plan your year-end giving, please give special consideration to giving to the following as you pray about your gifts:
- General Fund (funds that support the many ministries and day-to-day operations of First Fairhope)
- “For Such a Time as This” Capital Fund (funds to support the payment of our monthly building note for the new and renovated facilities completed in 2019)
- World Missions Offering (this supports the Lottie Moon Offering for International Missions (75%) and our Missions Scholarship Fund (25%)
- Building Capital Replacement Fund (helps us with major capital repairs and purchases).
Important Notice: To ensure the deductibility of your First Fairhope contributions, please do not file your 2020 income tax return until you have received the written acknowledgement (contribution statement) of your contributions from First Fairhope. You could lose the deductibility of your contributions if you file your income tax return before receiving the contribution statement issued by First Fairhope. Please keep in mind that the information in this update is general in nature and that you should consult with your tax professional to determine the best way for you to maximize your charitable tax deductions.
NOTE: The Church Office will be open from 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM on December 29, 30 and 31 for those of you wishing to personally deliver your year-end contributions.
The Church Office will be closed on December 25 and 28.
If you have any questions on how to make your gift or if we can be of further assistance, please contact Kay Gaddy in the Financial Office at 928-8685 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.