Today’s Word From Pastor Jim…

It started with a vision. No one else shared the vision; we were after all, growing, expanding our TLC campus and staff. Money was tight, we were in debt; we were following Jesus by extending love and hospitality to our neighbors.

It started with a vision, though no one else seemed to share the vision. That really did not matter to Steve Schrecengost. Steve was known for coloring outside the lines.

It started with a vision. A visionary in our congregation dreamed of touching the future through the formation of a Trinity Lutheran Church Endowment Fund. What does one do when no one shares your vision? I suppose that you could just move on to other endeavors. That would not be the case with Steve. Led by his vision, Steve Schrecengost took matters into his own hands. He created a problem that could not be ignored.

Steve knew that Trinity held a sacred trust with its donors. The church always honors the donor’s intentions. Steve had been very active in our finances; he understood this sacred trust. He knew that if a donation came to Trinity and the donor wanted it to go to Good Cheer, then it would be forwarded to Good Cheer. If the donor made out a check to TLC and put “Guide Dogs for the Blind” in the memo, then Trinity would send the money in that direction.

Steve Schrecengost had a vision, but the rest of us were too busy to acknowledge that vision. So, he created a problem that could not be ignored, an opportunity that could not be missed. Steve and Cris Schrecengost gave Trinity a gift of stock. It was $2,900 or so, and it was designated to the non-existent Trinity Lutheran Church Endowment Fund.

The seeds had been planted. The church was obligated to honor the donor’s request. The vision of 1998 would lead to the establishment of the TLC Endowment. It would take time and patience for the endowment to take flight; there would be no distributions for years.

Steve died suddenly and tragically at the age of 46. He died before he was able to see the fruits of his labor, the yearly harvest that would touch future generations, the generous disbursements made possible by his vision.

The Trinity Lutheran Church Endowment gave away $232,000 in 2022. This money supported local charities, national and international causes, and provided needed scholarships to dozens of college students.

Make your final statement in life consistent with the values that guided your days on earth. Remember the Trinity Endowment in your will. The total overhead cost to run the Trinity Endowment is .85%. That means that 99.15% of your money is used to touch the future, not just this year but for decades to come.

I would invite you to be inspired by the vision of Steve Schrecengost. I would invite you to join a visionary movement that will touch the future.

This never was Steve’s endowment; it was only his vision. This is your endowment, this is our endowment!

Blessed to be a Blessing!

Pastor Jim

Contact Pastor Jim if you have questions at:

[email protected]