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On August 6th we had a Parish Meeting, during that we learned a bit about how to make out money stretch further in terms of charitable giving. This is the information from Stephens Inc.

(Please note, whilst the information comes from this company we are not meaning to suggest that there are not other Financial Advisors available to you).

1. Church can be set as a Beneficiary on retirement accounts, life insurance, an annuity, or any other assets.

2. Qualified Charitable Distribution- If you are +70.5yrs, you are able to donate up to $100,000/year to charity directly from your IRA instead of taking RMD & paying the income tax.

3. Low Cost-Basis Stock – give taxable stock with large gains to charity. You get credit for the value of the stock gift & the non-profit can sell the stock tax free.

4. Real Estate can also be gifted to a non-profit during your life time, or at passing. The donor avoids the capital gains tax and gets a larger deduction, while the nonprofit can retain the full amount since they are a tax-exempt organization.

5. Maximize Deductions in Years when Itemizing

a. With the large increase in the standard deduction under recent tax law changes, and the scale back of many popular deductions, fewer taxpayers will choose to itemize on their tax return going forward. Some taxpayers may benefit by alternating between claiming the standard deduction some years and itemizing deductions other years. If possible, it would make sense to “lump” as many deductions into those years when itemizing. For example, taxpayers may want to consider making a substantial charitable contribution during a tax year when itemizing instead of making regular, annual gifts.

**Neither Stephens Inc. nor its representatives provide legal or tax advice. Due to the fact that each individual's tax status may vary, please consult your tax advisor before making any decisions.

Give us a call to discuss your specific scenarios.**

Mary Grigg Jack Elster

Financial Consultant Financial Consultant

Private Client Group Private Client Group

Office: 336-251-0407 | Cell 743-444-3830 Office: 336-251-0407 | Cell 743-444-3830

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Dee, Pam and Jane help unload the truck

We need help driving for Shepherd’s Table as Ben is beginning his seminary studies in the fall and will not be able to continue. The driver must have a full drivers license and must bring it into the Church Office to have a copy made for the file.

Ben, currently, drives and loads but there is no need for anyone to go on their own unless they are happy doing that. The truck only has 2 seats. For safeguarding reasons the second person needs to be over 18 unless they are related to the driver. You can offer to help either as a driver or as a loader or as both. We do have relief drivers for emergencies. Tell us what you would like to do and how often you could do it.

Every week:

Tuesday Morning

Time varies based on what time we can make appointments. We try for an 8:30-10:00 am time frame. Helen makes appointments on the 1st of each month. Drive to 2nd harvest in Charlotte (500 Spratt St B, Charlotte, NC 28206) to get shelf stable food and occasional meat. Must be trained by 2nd harvest to shop. Able to lift 40-50lbs is recommended or take a 2nd person. Unload truck at church with help. There is training to shop at Second Harvest.

Wednesday 11:30am-1pm

Pick up food distribution from Washington outreach ministry in Waco (2015 Capernium Rd, Cherryville, NC). Ability to lift 40 lbs is recommended. Stack food boxes on pallets to be wrapped and loaded on the truck by forklift. Unload boxes by hand upon return to Redeemer with help. A second volunteer is helpful but can be done solo.

Every other week:

Friday 11:30am-1pm: pick up food distribution from Washington outreach ministry in Waco. Ability to lift 40 lbs is recommended. Stack food boxes on pallets to be wrapped and loaded on the truck by forklift. Unload boxes by hand upon return to Redeemer with help. A second volunteer is helpful but can be done solo.

If you think you can help please get in touch

Thank you.

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Sometimes when I tell people about my taking a trip to Belize for work and service at Holy Cross Anglican Primary School, they ask me why I go to Belize. Why go to a foreign country, when there is a need here at home? It is a good question, but often I find that it is really more of an attempt to deflect rather than to engage. There is, of course, great need for service close to home, here in Cleveland County and Shelby. As a church, and as individuals, many of us who have gone to Belize from Redeemer spend much of our time volunteering and some of our working lives serving our neighbors here, close to home. So why then have the option to go to Belize?

Ben Hopkins in Belize

For me, there are two primary reasons, or motivations, for traveling to serve neighbors in far away places. First is friendship. I believe that it is important to make and foster friendships with Christians throughout the world, especially Christians whose lives and cultures are different from our own experiences. I believe that seeing Christianity lived and experienced in places other than the United States helps build knowledge and unlocks new understandings in the lives of American Christians. Finding the common ground and understanding the differences of faith journeys in contexts different from our own helps us to separate our faith from our culture and politics. It also expands our sphere of “neighbor” and gives greater weight to the idea that all of God’s creation is wonderfully made and that all of God’s people are our brothers and sisters in Christ. In Belize, the culture is different, but the language barrier is lessened because English is the primary and official language.

Holy Cross Belize
Gwen pauses for a photo

The second, but equally important reason that I promote travel is the idea of humble service itself. Jesus makes it clear that the path to discipleship is to give up power and to become one who is willing to serve the least among us. One way to do this is to go to places where the least of these live and to serve them, thereby raising them up, and modeling for the world the upside down nature of God’s Kingdom. Holy Cross School in San Pedro, Belize serves children from some of the poorest families in Belize, some who have fled from worse places in search of safety and a better life, and is built at the entrance to the poorest neighborhood on the island, San Mateo. The presence of the school, built entirely by volunteer teams from the US and Canada, working together with Belizeans from the community, has been a catalyst for positive change. The community has built roads where once a swamp stood, turning garbage into soil and forcing the city government to install electricity and plumbing.

Broken Walkway, Holy Cross, Belize
Walkways are raised above a swamp and were in desperate need of repair

This year, a small team from Redeemer returned for the second year in a row to replace aging and rusted roof panels to stop leaks into classrooms. Team members repainted the wooden classrooms to help preserve and make fre

sh the spaces where children will sit and learn important lessons to better their futures. The school is built over water in a mangrove swamp, so the buildings are all connected by elevated decking. Several areas of deck had to be removed and the joists replaced before new deck boards could be returned.

door holy cross belize
Rebekah Hopkins working on a classroom door

One classroom had its wooden door replaced and painted, and a second classroom received all new wooden window shutters, which are closed during rain and at night to prevent trespassing and theft of materials. The work was hot, but the team of Rebekah Hopkins, Judy Hopkins, Gwen Gadaire, Donna Logan and I worked hard to make sure that as much work was completed as we could. Our team is the last volunteers of the year before classes resume in September. We deeply appreciate the prayers and encouragement from our Redeemer family, and hope that we can share more stories with you in person. If you are interested in serving God and serving God’s Children at Holy Cross School, Redeemer plans to return again in July 2024 for another week of service.

The team: Ben, Rebekah, Gwen, Judy and Donna

Please contact Ben or Judy Hopkins for more details.

By Ben Hopkins

Ben Hopkins is a long-time member of Redeemer and is due to begin training for the priesthood in the Fall. He will still be with us as he is doing a distance course at General Theological Seminary in New York whilst he continues to work on his farm.

What do you think about Mission Trips? Head over to our Forum to join in the discussion. You will have to register to post in the forums.

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