Our program milestones CELEBRATION $750,000 CHALLENGE $500,000 LEADERSHIP $250,000. God s ISSUE 3 TAKING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY TO HEART.

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1 Sustaining Pekin, Illinois ISSUE 3 TAKING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY TO HEART Sue and Dennis Crowell Our program milestones CELEBRATION $750,000 CHALLENGE $500,000 LEADERSHIP $250,000 We initially attended Grace United Methodist Church because it was welcoming and warm, with an outstanding music program. That is still true, but since then we have learned to appreciate much more here at Grace. The church has diverse opportunities for service, and understanding how it is a Christian s responsibility to serve others has been a refreshing emphasis. Reaching out to the unchurched, meeting the needs of those living in poverty and understanding the holistic needs of the individuals that make up the membership of this church are all part of the focus at Grace. We have benefitted from participation in music and education here and have realized spiritual growth because of those ministries. However, we have also seen many benefits in areas where we personally have not been active, such as youth programming, contemporary service and Grace Café. Another outstanding characteristic of Grace Church is fiscal responsibility and the financial investment for growth and progress. This fiscal responsibility, which includes paying down debt, allows our diversity in programming to continue to be effective. It seems imperative to support ongoing fiscal responsibility and the ability to continue or to expand programming if we truly believe it is our responsibility to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, starting here in the community of Pekin. Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. Deuteronomy 16:17

2 COMMITMENT: A MATTER OF THE HEART Most of us make significant commitments in our lives. We commit to a marriage, family and friendships. Or, when we undertake a career or an education, we make a long-term commitment. We invest our time, energy and resources in those things we value and hold dear. These are what we call our priorities in life. And so it is with our church we willingly make a financial commitment to the future of Grace Church. Such an undertaking speaks volumes about our priorities as Christians. Jesus said, For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6:21). May each of us arrive at a financial commitment that faithfully reflects our hearts! As you consider your own part in making a financial commitment to the Sustaining Grace program: Pray for guidance in reaching a decision which will be right for you and for the church Allow faith to become a part of your decision, and leave room for guidance Consider sacrifice as a way to give something you personally value, as an expression of your love for God and Grace Church Commitment Sunday is May 3rd. Please bring your Sustaining Grace commitment card for presentation during the offering time. It is your heart-felt expression of support for all God is doing to keep the future vital for Grace UMC. INITIAL CASH GIFT OUR FIRST FRUITS OFFERING Every great journey begins with one step. Our first step toward plans for reducing the principal of debt in a more accelerated way begins Sunday, May 17, 2015 with the giving of our First Fruits Offering. During this time, we will each bring our initial gifts to begin our 36-month commitment. Ask God for creative ways to launch your part in this program in a big financial way. You might consider income from savings, tax refunds, garage sales, an extra part-time job, reducing expenses, deferring a major purchase, etc. Invite your whole family to help raise a specific amount. Special offering envelopes will be provided to facilitate our giving. A strong response on this day provides the financial resources for our church to move decisively toward implementing our plans. Even if you have not made a three-year commitment, you can consider being a part of our First Fruits Offering on May 17. It would be a great opportunity to make a special gift to our project! LET S CELEBRATE MAY 17TH! A victory is worth celebrating! And what better way can we celebrate our Sustaining Grace victory than through worship on Sunday morning May 17th. During the services we will announce the total received from Commitment Sunday. Also, we will invite you to make your First Fruits offering. PEKINGRACE.COM

3 HOW DOES THIS CARD WORK AND WHAT DO I DO WITH IT? Good question! First, you pray, asking God to allow you to grow in faith and for what amount your commitment should be. Then you complete your card(s) and bring it (them) to worship on Sunday, May 3, During the service, you may place your card, sealed in the privacy envelope provided, in the offering plate. If you will be out of town, please mail your card to the church office. Mark it to the attention of Nanette Mulvey, Business Manager. It is important for everyone to participate. Even if God has not led you to give to this program at this time, please return your card, indicating you are committed to praying for Grace United Methodist Church and this campaign. If you have not received your card in the mail, please call Or you can download a commitment card from our website at PekinGrace.com check under Giving, Sustaining Grace for additional information. You can also check Creative Giving for more ideas! Sustaining I/We understand that all I/we possess is a Gift from God and that God delights in blessing the obedience of His children. I/We rejoice in the opportunity to participate in Sustaining Grace. I/We plan to give $ over three years beginning May 17, $ Weekly $ Monthly $ Quarterly $ Other PLEASE PRINT BELOW: Name: Address: City: State: ZIP Code: Phone: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21 This statement of intention may be revised should circumstances make it necessary. TYPICAL COMMITMENTS YOU CAN MAKE BASED ON A 156-WEEK PERIOD Weekly Monthly Annually 3-Yr. Total $1,000 $4,333 $52,000 $156,000 $500 $2,167 $26,000 $78,000 $250 $1,083 $13,000 $39,000 $100 $433 $5,200 $15,600 $75 $325 $3,900 $11,700 $60 $260 $3,120 $9,360 $50 $217 $2,600 $7,800 $40 $173 $2,080 $6,240 $30 $130 $1,560 $4,680 $25 $108 $1,300 $3,900 $20 $87 $1,040 $3,120 $15 $65 $780 $2,340 $10 $43 $520 $1,560 $5 $22 $260 $780 Giving is for 3 years over and above our regular giving. Equal Sacrifice, Not Equal Giving Other ways to give: Cash, Real Estate, Stocks or Bonds, Life Insurance Policies or Cash Values of Policy, Antiques, Works of Art, Jewelry, Coin or Stamp Collections, Income Tax Refunds, Irrevocable or Revocable Trust, etc. Check our website CreativeGiving for more ideas. Sustaining EACH PERSON HAS AN OPPORTUNITY The commitment card will be used in our Sustaining Grace program. Each church member will have an opportunity to make a commitment. The commitment entered on this card should not include any amount previously committed (in other words, this commitment is in addition to your standard tithe). If we are to reach our goals, it will be necessary for everyone to increase what he or she is now giving to the church. Surely in this all-out effort of sacrifice and faith we will be able to reach our goals! IT S NOT TOO LATE! Remember Thomas? Christ appeared to His disciples after the resurrection and guess who missed the big event? Maybe some of you identify with Thomas as we conclude our stewardship program. Perhaps you still have a few doubts or just aren t on the same timetable as everyone else. For whatever reason, if you ve not yet made a commitment to Sustaining Grace, you can do it now. Pastor Ford will be happy to answer your questions and provide commitment cards if needed. Just as God graciously offered Thomas a special opportunity to see, believe and participate, we hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to be a part of what God is doing at Grace United Methodist Church. COMMON QUESTIONS Q: Can we make a family commitment? A: Yes, by all means if this suits your situation better. Q: Can I give toward my commitment once a week, once a month, or once a year? A: Yes, whatever is best for you.

4 Sustaining Grace United Methodist Church 601 N 4th St., Pekin, IL ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED PRESORTED STANDARD US POSTAGE PAID PEKIN IL PERMIT NO 126 IMPORTANT DATES MAY 3 COMMITMENT SUNDAY As part of the services, we will invite everyone to return his or her personal response to God at the altar. Those who are unable to attend may return their response to Nanette Mulvey, Business Manager. MAY 17 CELEBRATION SUNDAY Be present as we celebrate the great things God has done. We will announce the financial results of our program. Also, there will be a First Fruits offering that allows everyone to be a part of the journey. JOIN OUR PRAYER VIGIL Any undertaking in our church begins with prayer! Such an undertaking as Sustaining Grace requires a lot of extra and intentional prayer. On Saturday, May 2nd, beginning at 8 a.m. and going until 8 p.m., Grace will hold a Prayer Vigil. Please take a 15-minute time slot to pray for the success of this program. A sign-up sheet will be available at the church with specific instructions and resources to help guide your individual prayer time. Please consider taking one of these prayer segments to Sustaining Grace. AN INVITATION TO PRAY Please continue to pray for Our church, its mission and ministry Our pastor, staff and lay leadership For positive results for Sustaining Grace For our nation, Congress, President and military personnel around the world For your own part in supporting Sustaining Grace

5 A SUMMARY OF OUR BUILDING PROJECT What was the total cost for the project and cost for the architect fees? The cost of the contract with the contractor (and subcontractors) totaled $3,210,843.45, and the total cost of the contract with the BLDD Architects was $213,000. How much did we pledge for the Growing Grace Campaign? $1,105,264 How much did we actually receive for the Growing Grace Campaign? $1,149, as of 12/31/2014 we also received additional monies separate from Growing Grace which specifically funded equipment needs such as our kitchen, athletic, playground, security and audio/visual equipment. What is our outstanding loan at this time? $2,271, we have a remaining bill of $222, with the contractor and yet to be drawn on the loan (16th pay application and retainage), which will be paid when workmanship/paperwork is deemed satisfactory and final by our architect, bank and title company. What is our loan term and loan interest rate? A 10-year term with no penalty for early payment. Interest rate is 3.625% fixed for 5 years with an adjustment to a fixed rate equal to the then prevailing prime rate (WSJ) + 1% for 5 years with a minimum of 4.25% and a maximum of 4.75%. How much is our monthly payment? How much reserve do we have to cover payments? $14, as we enter the Sustaining Grace Campaign (March 2015), we currently have 11 monthly payments held in reserve, or $160, Why is starting a new campaign important to continued blessing and growth in our church? By reducing our payment reserve as we enter this new debt retirement campaign, we have been able to make additional principal payments totaling $688,500.68, which has accelerated paying down debt and has reduced our overall interest expense going forward. Future large gifts and/or bequests could have the dramatic effect of eliminating the need for future debt retirement campaigns.

6 Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly under compulsion, f God loves a ch rful giver. And God is able to make a grace abound to you, so at always having a sufficiency in every ing, you may have an abundance f every good d d. 2 C in ians 9:7-8 Sustaining Pekin, Illinois N 4th St., Pekin, IL 61554

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