Today’s Word from Pastor Jim…

It has been a tough year for those on Wall Street and for those who have IRA or retirement money invested in the financial markets. Not every year on Wall Street is a good year. Many of us have felt some anxiety as our 401K dwindled to 317B. The Trinity Lutheran Church Endowment Committee has three primary responsibilities: investing donated funds, determining yearly draws, and communicating the important work of the Endowment to our membership.

The Endowment Funds are professionally managed by a team at Wells Fargo. But even with professional management, it has been a tough year for investors. The Endowment Committee felt the same pain as the rest of us when they reviewed their accounts this fall. In the spring the Endowment Committee had broken with tradition by authorizing a draw to the Church Council early in the year. They wanted to get the money working. Their hope was to make a second draw after the markets had recovered. The markets did not recover.

I advised the Church Council that they should not expect a draw given the financial realities. Much to my surprise, when the Endowment Committee met in October, they authorized the Church Council to give $35,000 away to benevolent organizations. The Church Council distributed the money locally to the Tiny House Project, Good Cheer, Gifts from the Heart, and Helping Hand. In addition, we gave $5,000 each to ELCA World Hunger, ELCA Disaster Relief, Refugee Resettlement in Washington State, and the World Central Kitchen.

The good news traveled through our community. TLC cares!

It was a few days later that the UPS truck pulled into our parking lot. The UPS man asked for me; he had a package, actually just an envelope for me. I thanked him, and took it to my office. This is what the letter said:

“Kudos to Council and management in deciding to grant $35,000 from the Endowment fund to several charities from a declining asset base. I’m following your lead and granting you $35,000 to replenish your Endowment Fund. Cheers!”

The letter included a check for $35,000. An anonymous gift from an anonymous donor.

This Christmas, and always, miracles continue to happen, God continues to inspire generosity, grace, forgiveness and love of neighbor.

Blessed to be a Blessing!


Pastor Jim