St. Timothy’s Stewardship:  Celebrating Our Blessings

Offering PlateExcerpted from the “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Stewards” article written by Barnabas Foundation and available at

“Reflecting God’s love in our community

What can we do with the life that God has given us? Since everything we have really belongs to God, we are simply using for God what God has entrusted to us. This includes our intellect, skills, energy, time and imagination.

Each one of us is uniquely gifted.  God has a purpose and plan  for  each  of  us  that  no  one  else  can  fulfill.  We possess our own unique temperaments, passions, skills and experiences to be used for God’s purpose.  “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.”  I Peter 4: 10 (NIV)

As Christian stewards—managers of the gifts God has given us—we are called to reflect God’s love in our community.  We are called to love as Jesus loved, to serve as Jesus served.  This  means  we  have  a responsibility  to  reflect  God’s  love in our homes and offices,  city  streets  and  neighborhoods—in  everything we say and do.

In a world weakened by a lack of love, we are called to offer loving service to others. One of the greatest gifts we can give is the gift of self.  Any day is a good day to offer the gift of self to build up the kingdom in our families, communities and church.

What will be the fruit of a truly Christian stewardship of time and talent?  First, we will multiply ourselves in His service. Second, we will advance the work of the kingdom. Third, we will bring glory to God, and this is the reason we are here.”

Excerpted from the “7 Habits of a Highly Effective Stewards” article written by Barnabas Foundation.

The above excerpt is one of the best pieces of insight into the heart of the meaning of Stewardship.  Every Sunday during worship services there is an opportunity at the Offertory where we are invited to bring up the bread, the wine and the water and to put into the offering plate our financial pledge for the week, month or year and/or whatever we are able to give.  The altar of welcome is then fully set with the bread plate, the wine cup and the offering plate as a symbol of all that we give together back to God and of all of the blessing that God continually bestows upon us.

These are some of the Ministries at St. Timothy’s which your gifts of time, talent and treasure so generously support:

Altar Guild
Ashes to Go
Bilingual Worship Services
Building Maintenance
Camp Cross Scholarships
Christmas Pageant
Coins for Camp Cross
Collection for Yakima Food Bank
Community Garden
Consecration Sunday Yearly Stewardship In-Gathering
Diocesan Convention
Easter Brunch
Easter Egg Hunt
Episcopal Church Women
Episcopal Thank Offering
Food Basket Collection
Games on the Grass
Godly Play Sunday Children’s Program
Grounds Maintenance
Jesús de la Columna
Kids’ Sunday Craft Activity
Ladies Who Lunch
Lay Eucharistic Ministers
Lay Eucharistic Visitors
Lent and Advent Programs
Music and Choir
Office Helpers
Parish Library
The Plaid Door
Prayer Chain
Quilting, Blankets, Shawl Making
Recycling Ministry
Regional Gathering Days
Sandwich and Meal Makers for the Homeless
Special Receptions
Thanksgiving Day Potluck
United Thank Offering
Voices for Children Foundation
Welcome Bags
Worship Committee
Yakima Pippins Games
… just to name a few!

Other  Ways that We Can Give

A Legacy of Generosity

What we say in our will or other estate plans attests to what we found meaningful during our lifetime.  Through advance planning we all have the opportunity to leave such a legacy as a role model to our children, grandchildren and community.

Legacy gifts are also ways to give thanks to God for the gifts and blessings given to us, to affirm the value we attach to our faith community, and to provide for the ongoing ministries and mission of St. Timothy’s.

In the absence of a will, the Probate Court will decide how assets are distributed.  To be certain that your wishes are carried out, it is important to make plans and review them whenever life situations change.  One way to do this is by making a Legacy Gift.

Types of Legacy Gifts

A Legacy gift may be directed to St. Timothy’s as an unrestricted gift or as a targeted gift.  Unrestricted gifts allow for maximum flexibility to meet the evolving needs of the parish.  Targeted gifts may be designated for the Endowment Fund (for restricted or unrestricted purposes) or to one of our many restricted funds, such as the Columbarium Fund, the Feeding Program  or to the St. Timothy’s Memorial Fund.

Bequests through your will are the most common form of legacy gift.  You may specify a dollar amount, a piece of property, or a percentage or a residual of your estate to the church.

Beneficiary Designations. Some parts of your estate can pass directly to a recipient outside of probate, simply by designating the beneficiary.  You can name St. Timothy’s as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, pension, retirement fund, commercial annuity contract, bank account, or brokerage account.    When you set up or modify your will, talk with your attorney about possible tax benefits from these arrangements.

Planned Giving. Legacy gifts also include making current gifts (such as charitable gift annuities or trusts) that can provide donors with current tax benefits, pay income to donors during their lifetimes, and leave the remainder to St. Timothy’s.  You can learn more about such life income gifts or set up such a fund through the Episcopal Diocese of Spokane Foundation or the Episcopal Church Foundation.

How Your Gift Will Be Used

The Vestry honors the donor’s expressed intent.  In the absence of expressed donor intent, however, the Vestry may direct the use of funds as they determine.  During a capital campaign, the Vestry may direct realized bequests it receives during the campaign toward capital projects.  At other times, realized bequests may be added to the general endowment, from which a portion is allocated each year toward the annual budget, or to other restricted funds.

Whichever of the funds to which we choose to contribute, this is another way we continue to be good stewards of St. Timothy’s and help assure the long-term financial health of the parish.

The Rector or Senior Warden or a member of our Finance Committee are always willing to meet with individuals to discuss their wishes, and share more about how legacy gifts support the ministry of the congregation, because some planned gifts can be technical and each person’s circumstances are different.  It is always important to consult one’s own financial advisor and legal counsel as well.