In mid-March I sent an email to the congregation to inform you of the state of our church finances along with a statement on “Faith and Finances: What New Hope Church Believes About Stewardship.” We believe that it is imperative that we be as forthright and transparent with you as we possibly can about how your gifts to the church are used to support our ministry as we seek to Reach people for Christ, Root people in Christ and Release people to serve Christ.
If you worship with us during the next few Sundays, you most likely will notice some new additions in our sanctuary that are draped in black fabric. These are stained glass windows that will be unveiled at the Town Hall Meeting between worship services at 10:15AM on Sunday, April 9. Because our financial situation at New Hope continues to be quite tenuous, I believe that it is incumbent upon me to make it absolutely clear that no General Fund contributions were spent for the purchase or installation of these stained glass windows.
The purchase and installation of the stained glass windows is a fund raising endeavor of the New Hope Endowment Fund, which is a non-profit corporation separate from New Hope Church. Last spring and summer a select group of high capacity contributors were solicited and given the opportunity to donate a stained glass window for the sanctuary by making a significant gift to the New Hope Endowment Fund. As part of their gift, they will be recognized on a donor plaque that will be hung on a wall near the entrance of the sanctuary. These gifts have significantly increased the principal amount of the Endowment Fund, managed by The Columbus Foundation.
With the increase in principal, the Endowment Fund will be able to earn significantly more annual interest and, consequently, will be able to increase the number of grants given annually, the amount of grants given annually, or both. The New Hope Endowment Fund grant guidelines do not permit funds to be used for New Hope Church operating expenses. In 2015 and 2016, grants were given to community organizations whose missions fit the criteria established by the Endowment Fund.
If you have additional questions about these stained glass windows or how they were funded, I encourage you to speak with me, Church Administrator Todd Alles, Endowment Fund Board Chair Harry Gardner, or any member of the New Hope Endowment Fund Board. I’m sure that all of us will enjoy these lovely additions to our sanctuary and I encourage you to join us for our Town Hall Meeting on April 9 when they will be on full display.