Stewardship & Giving

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”  1 Peter 4:10

Stewardship: We, members of UMCWFB, make a commitment to giving our gifts and our service to God’s church.

2017-2020 Capital Campaign: TAKE OUR FAITH FORWARD

Our church is filled with renewed energy, and we’re growing in our commitment to God and one another. But we know we can do more.

This campaign will pay off our existing debt, improve our church home, and fund new programs and initiatives so we can take our faith forward as a community of disciples who Love God, Care for Each Other, and Serve in the World.

“We are excited about the Spirit at work in this church, and ask you to help us Take Our Faith Forward by contributing to this campaign.”  Matt Hadley, senior pastor

“I feel a new energy in our church and believe we can be a church that transforms lives. Please join me in supporting this campaign so we can build this future together.”  Kathy Schluter, chair-Accountable Leadership Board (ALB)

“I rejoice in the way God continues to bless our church! I count it as a enduring privilege to support this church with my prayers, presence, gifts, service and a significant pledge on Commitment Sunday, November 19th.”  Dick Jones, Pastor Emeritus

Thank you for your pledge to the Take Our Faith Forward capital campaign.  To assist you in decision as to how and when to actually make your gift, we are offering some tips on tax and other giving strategies and methods that may be helpful.

A word of caution:  The information below is of a general nature and is not legal or tax advice.  The value and impact of these tips will vary depending on your particular situation.  Therefore, before you proceed with any giving strategy, it is important that you take the necessary steps to understand how it will work for you.

When to Give: You may give all or part of your gift at any time between November of 2017 and December 31, 2020.

Transfer of Stock

You can donate appreciated stock and bonds (held for more than 12 month) to the church.  The church will then surrender them and receive the proceeds.  You will not pay capital gains tax on the gains and you can deduct the fair market value of the transferred stock as a charitable contribution (subject to any applicable limits on itemized deductions).  If you purchased shares of a stock at different times, current law allows you to donate the shares with the greatest appreciation.

To initiate a stock transfer, either you or your broker should contact Pam Vaughan (directly at 414-614-5358 or  The BMO Brokerage account number and DTC will be provided, and you can specify where you would like the proceeds to be applied.  Once the stock is transferred into the church account, Pam will sell the stock and the church will receive the proceeds.  These proceeds will then be designated per your wishes.

Charitable Distribution from IRA

If you are 70 1/2 or older, you can make qualified charitable distributions from your IRA each year up to $100,000.  Charitable distributions will be applied against your “minimum distribution requirement” for the year and are not taxable to you.  They will also not be included in your “adjusted gross income” for purposes of determining your Medicare premium, taxable Social Security payments, certain taxes or deductions with AGI limits and state income tax.

To make a charitable contribution from your IRA, contact your IRA provider about their forms and procedures.

Note that the distribution must be made directly to the church.  If the distribution is made to you and then contributed by you to the church, the distribution will be included in your adjusted gross income.  You will still be eligible for a charitable deduction but you will lose the benefits of a lower AGI.

Direct Deposit from Bank

You can contact your bank to make periodic payments to the church from your checking or savings account.  There is no cost to the church so 100% of your contribution will go to work for the church.

On-line Giving from bank or credit card

You can pay your pledge with a credit or debit card.  The fee of 2.75% of the total plus a $.45 per transaction is deducted from the payment.  You can elect to pay a 3% service fee on-line to cover most of the fee.  You can sign up got this option on the church website at the “Giving” option.

You can also direct that periodic payments be made to the church automatically from your checking or savings account through the American Clearing House (ACH). The fee of .25% of the total amount plus a $.35 per transaction is deducted from the payment. There are forms in the church office to sign up with ACH.

Impact of Tax Reform

It is possible that significant tax reform legislation could be enacted in 2018.  It is impossible to predict what the final legislation would contain, whether it would be enacted and, if so, when it would be effective.  However, under the current proposals, it may be advantageous to make your donation in 2017.

Although the House and Senate bills do not eliminate the charitable deduction, they may indirectly impact it by reducing the benefit of itemizing deductions.  Both bills double the standard deduction and eliminate many other deductions, thus making it less advantageous to itemize.  If you take the standard deduction in 2018, you will effectively lose the deduction for your charitable donation in 2018.

In addition, the Senate bill would no longer allow you to select your most appreciated shares of a stock to gift.  Instead it would require you to gift the oldest shares of any stock, regardless of whether they are the most highly appreciated, e.g., have the lowest basis.

Read testimonials from Pastor Matt and Church Members

From Pastor Matt Hadley, Senior Pastor

Dear UMCWFB Family and Friends,

As I reflect on my first fifteen months as your Senior Pastor, I want to say thank you!  I am excited about the many ways I see the Spirit at work in our church!  While we can all appreciate growth in worship attendance and financial giving, the most remarkable growth has come from the Spirit’s movement in the lives of our faith community. I feel blessed to be your pastor and to partner with you on a spiritual journey as we faithfully Take Our Faith Forward.

Building on our momentum in mission and ministry, we are launching a much needed funding campaign to Take Our Faith Forward focused on growing each of us and our church as disciples who Love God, Care for Each Other, and Serve in the World. 

We wholeheartedly believe in what our church is doing today, but are certain we can do much more! Take our Faith Forward is an invitation to more fully experience God’s deep and transforming love and to share that love with others.

Grounded in faith, this campaign will help us Take Our Faith Forward by providing:

  • Freedom from the debt from prior infrastructure improvements before it impedes our progress and burdens our future.
  • A strong Foundation by performing necessary repairs to our church home, the building in which we worship, grow in our faith, and minister to others.
  • A bright Future by creating a fund that supports our future with new programming and initiatives which will help us grow as a church and as disciples who can transform the world.

This fall, we will be sharing a series of faith stories about how our congregation is engaged in mission and ministry – stories that I believe will challenge each of us to take even bolder steps in faith. Between now and Commitment Sunday, November 19th, you will be hearing much more about our campaign and how the initiatives will help us grow stronger in our commitment to ministry and discipleship.

I invite you to begin this campaign journey with me by prayerfully considering how your love for God, love for our church, and belief in our mission calls you to help Take Our Faith Forward.

In Christ,

Pastor Matt


From Dick Barnes, a long-time church member

Dear Members of Whitefish Bay United Methodist Church,

Roanne and I joined Whitefish Bay United Methodist Church forty-four years ago when we moved to Milwaukee.  Our two children grew up in the church and in the early years we had fun going to family camp at Camp Lucerne.  We joined a couple’s club, canoed the Boundary Waters, served meals to the hungry, taught the seventh-grade confirmation class, and served on trustees and staff/parish committees.  Currently we co-chair the Foundation and Memorials Committee.  We value the influence of the church on our family, and the friends we have made.  We truly call UMCWFB our church home.

This will be the fourth capital campaign that we have supported.  The first campaign added the educational wing to the church, the second remodeled the sanctuary and added the Jones Narthex.  The third, updated the heating and air-conditioning of the building.  Each campaign has made our church significantly stronger and taken it forward.

We have supported each of the past campaigns to the best of our ability because as members of this church family, we wanted to do our part.  This year we are pleased to make a significant contribution because of positive changes we see taking place.  Most importantly, we have added outstanding staff.  As a result, church attendance is up, operating revenues are up, last year’s deficit has been eliminated, and for the first time in many years, the church is on track to pay its full conference apportionment.   It has been several years since we have been positioned so favorably to move forward.

We are truly excited about knowing the campaign will eliminate the existing debt, provide funds for important building improvements, and set aside money for future program opportunities that will help us grow as a congregation.  The future looks bright.

Whether you are a long-time member or a more recent one, Roanne and I hope you share the excitement we feel and join us in taking our faith forward.  

Dick Barnes

Dick Jones, Pastor Emeritus 

14 years ago I retired as Pastor of Whitefish Bay United Methodist Church and was invited and accepted the role of pastor emeritus.  I am still trying to understand what that means.

What I do know is that I have had the privilege of continuing to relate to this remarkable congregation, led by outstanding, effective  and committed pastors and staff!!  God’s Spirit is very much alive in our growing congregation and continues to bless our congregation in so many ways.

Over these retirement years, I have been mentoring and coaching numerous churches and pastors  throughout Wisconsin and the mid-west.  One learning is that no church is able to support the building, major maintenance and ministry needs through the operating budget – that  major capital campaigns are needed every 5-10 years.

Preparing for this Take Our Faith Forward  Fund Drive, I offer some history;

  • 28 years ago;  a major three year capital fund drive enabled the adding of class rooms, offices, chapel, elevator and youth room. It took 8 years and several appeals to pay for the project.
  • 18 years ago;  a major three year capital fund drive enabled the remodeling of the sanctuary, adding the Narthex, mission store, offices and class rooms. It took 8 years and several appeals to pay for the project.
  • 5 years ago;   a major 3 year capital fund drive raised $1.5 million towards $2.1 million in expenses; replacing and updating the air conditioning, heating and plumbing systems, completing major maintenance projects and much more.

That brings us to the present, completing another 8 year cycle with a 3 year Take Our  Faith  Forward  Fund Drive  raising $600,000 for debt retirement,  $200,000 for major maintenance and  $100,000 for new ministries.

I invite all of us to pray for the continued vitality of our church and for the support of the Take Our Faith Forward  Fund Drive.

For many of us who are long time members who have supported past fund drives, God bless you and thank you.  I invite you to again join me in making a generous pledge, enabling us to reach present and future generations for Jesus Christ.

For others, who  have inherited this remarkable church building, I invite you to take our faith forward, and as you are able, to make your generous pledge enabling us to reach present and future generations for Jesus Christ.

I rejoice in the way God has blessed our church in the past, continues to bless our church today and, I believe, will bless our church on commitment Sunday, November 19.

Why are we having this campaign?

We are launching this much-needed campaign to Take Our Faith Forward.

  • We believe in our church and its Vision, and in what we are doing to live it. Our church is moving forward with renewed energy and growing in our commitment to God and to one another.  Our ministries help us live our faith and realize our church’s Vision.
  • But we know we can do more, and the need is critical. This campaign will provide resources that strengthen us – children, youth, adults, singles, couples, families – and free us to take our faith forward, growing individually and as a community as disciples who Love God, Care for Each Other, and Serve in the World.

What are the goals of the campaign?

Our goal is to raise $900,000 to address three critical needs

  • Freedom from Debt – pay off the loan balance from our 2013-2015 infrastructure improvements ($600K)
  • A Strong Foundation for Our Church Home – make needed improvements to our church home ($200K)
  • A Fund for Our Future – create a seed fund for new programs and initiatives to jumpstart our future ($100K)

Can I designate my pledge for just one need?

  • Funds will be allocated first to pay off the debt from our 2013-2015 church infrastructure improvements.
  • Two-thirds of the remaining donations will be used for the current infrastructure needs, with the balance allocated to A Fund for Our Future.
  • You may designate one of the three needs if you would like to target how your donation is used.
    Your request will be honored and your donation will be applied to your chosen need.

Why doesn't the operating budget cover this debt, the capital improvements and new program initiatives?

The operating budget covers the annual cost of existing ministries.  The entire operating budget is usually spent each year.  It’s not designed for expenditures like debt, major capital expenditures or new initiatives.
We can’t cover these expenses through our annual operating budget – they are too large.

Who will decide how the church infrastructure funds and A Fund for Our Future are spent?

The Accountable Leadership Board (ALB) serves as the Finance Committee as well as the governing board of the church and will approve all spending from the capital account and from the Fund for Our Future.  The ALB will work closely with the pastors and staff, and other ministry teams (as appropriate) in assessing our needs, reviewing our options and applying the funds appropriately.  The ALB is accountable to the congregation and will keep the congregation informed of its meetings and decisions.  ALB meetings are open to the congregation. We invite and encourage you to attend and participate in any or all meetings.

How do I pay my pledge?

You may pay when you pledge in a lump-sum payment in 2017 OR spread your payments over three years (2017, 2018, 2019).  Choose what works best for you.  Some people pay their pledges with long term investment proceeds, bonuses, lump-sums or other discretionary funds, while others use their annual income stream.
This campaign pledge is in addition to your operating pledge donations.

What if I want to pledge in each of the 3 years, instead of committing to one amount now?

You can choose to pledge in “sprints”.  You would make a one-year capital campaign pledge on Commitment Sunday 2017, and indicate that you may like to pledge again in 2018 and in 2019.  This allows you to continue your support of our church beyond your operating pledge while retaining flexibility for your budget.

Do you really need me to give?

Our goal is 100% participation – we want everyone to contribute.  Every dollar you donate will help, and when everyone participates, it shows our church’s commitment to our faith and our Vision to Love God, Care for Each Other and Serve in the World.  In Mark 12:42-44, Jesus speaks to the value of the widow’s small but sacrificial gift.
We invite you to review your budget, and prayerfully consider how you can contribute.


Give through your time and talents

Every child of God is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, especially gifted to play a unique and valued role in the body of Christ. No one is without gift of purpose. Spiritual gifts are given to individuals, but are given to build and strengthen community and to meet the needs of those around us.

Begin the journey.  Discover your gifts! You have been gifted. You have been given a purpose.

Talk with us about your gifts! Let’s strive together to understand your gifts and how you can use them to LOVE God, CARE for others, and SERVE in the world.

Click the button below and learn about opportunities to use the gifts at church and in the community.

Give through your income

1. Pledge financially. We do mission and ministry best when we do it together. Join members and friends by pledging to financially support our church. Contact Pam Vaughan, our Business Manager, to set up a pledge. Click the button if you are interested in giving online.

2. Make everyday purchases. Gift cards are purchased at a discount and the difference goes to our church. Click here for more information about this exciting program. If you are ready to enroll, click the button to visit the Scrip website and create an account using enrollment code LB8D94C71L58L.

3. Shop at the UMC Market. When you shop online with participating vendors, rewards will come back to our church! When you make a purchase with participating vendors, please indicate our church as the recipient for rewards. Click the button to sign up on their website.

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