Gifts of Love

God has given us so many blessings and we, as Lutheran Women in Mission, love to serve Him by sharing our earthly time and talents! God also wants us to do a good job of planning how to distribute our earthly blessings when He takes us home to Himself in heaven. That is why LWML launched Gifts of Love Ministry, to assist LWML members in putting a plan in place that will  bless the family God has given you and further God’s work on earth.  We look forward to serving you!  Please feel free to contact us for further information and assistance. 

WHAT IS THE GIFTS OF LOVE MINISTRY?

Gifts of Love is an official LWML ministry that provides more opportunities for the women of the LCMS to discover and use her giftedness for generosity in support of the mission and ministry of the Lord.  The purpose of the Gifts of Love Ministry is to help LWML women understand the benefits of remembering the Lord’s work through a well planned, prayerfully considered lifetime charitable gift / Christian estate plan. 

The truth is, most people are surprised by the benefits of charitable planning.  This is likely due, at least in part, to the fact that charitable planning strategies often make it possible to realize multiple objectives.  To carry out the Gifts of Love Ministry, a professionally trained and experienced Gift Planning Counselor serves the women of the LWML and their families to assist them in implementing their Christian Estate Plan. 

WHAT IS A GIFT PLANNING COUNSELOR? 

Your LWML Gift Planning Counselor is a sister Lutheran woman in mission who shares your love for the Lord and understands your desire to help spread the Gospel.  She is an experienced guide that helps you provide for your loved ones, support your favorite ministries, and frame the discussion for sensitive life decisions.  She is employed and specially trained by the LCMS Foundation and specifically assigned to serve the LWML. 

WHAT DOES A GIFT PLANNING COUNSELOR DO?

The work of gift planning is not about getting gifts, it is about planning what God has already planted in the heart of a disciple. The LWML Gift Planning Counselor represents the faith that you have, and meets with you in your home around your kitchen table to discuss your needs and the desires for your heirs and the ministries of the Church.    She serves as a guide to help you develop, plan, and implement a charitable gift plan that will bless your family and the Lord's work.  Many charitable options are available to suit your individual circumstances.  The LWML Gift Planning Counselor helps donors direct the most appropriate gifts to their heirs and the ministries of their choice, as well as help you understand how your assets transfer.    

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE LWML GIFT PLANNING COUNSELOR? 

When you ask for assistance from the LWML’s Gift Planning Counselor, you can expect:  

  • A prayerful approach to our work together             
  • Professionalism     
  • A convenient meeting time and place                         
  • Complete confidentiality 
  • No charge for counselor services

DO I HAVE TO GIVE MONEY NOW?  I MAY NEED IT IN THE FUTURE OR FOR RETIREMENT

No.  Many couples/individuals make gift plans that will be put in motion after the Lord calls them home, which means you have control of all your funds while you are still living.  There are many types of charitable and planned giving vehicles.  The LWML Gift Planning Counselor guides you in implementing your own unique plan.  She helps individuals/couples examine the tax implications of their estate and asks you to consider leaving the taxable assets to charity since charity is tax exempt.  One type of gift plan allows the heirs to receive income for life or for up to 20 years depending upon the age of the heirs, and then a gift is made to the donor’s designated ministries. 

I DON’T HAVE A LOT OF MONEY…....IS THIS FOR ME? 

Yes, no matter what your age or financial circumstance, a Gift Planning Counselor can help!  We don’t have to be rich to return to God a percentage of what He first gave us.  Remember the story about the Widow and her mite?  God doesn’t expect us to give half of what we have as she did, but His Word in Scripture does suggest a tenth, or a tithe.  Many people aren’t aware of exactly what they have and certainly not aware of the many charitable options that exist.  Using some of these options is much like what Jesus taught us in His Parable of the Talents – they help us multiply the talents that our Lord graciously first gave us.  As good stewards, we want to seemly transfer our God-given gifts once He calls us home.   No matter what your financial situation, LWML’s Gift Planning Counselor will help create a customized plan for transferring your blessings to the people you love and the ministries you care about.  Christian Estate Planning is for everyone! 

IS THERE ANYONE IN MY LWML DISTRICT WHO CAN ASSIST ME? 

Yes!  The LWML is very blessed to have dedicated and talented women serving as volunteer Advocates and Supporters in several of our LWML Districts on behalf of Gifts of Love Ministry.  They have received special training and help spread the good word about Christian Estate planning and charitable giving.  Please contact the Gifts of Love office and we can assist in connecting you to the closest person. 

WOULD AN LWML REPRESENTATIVE COME AND SPEAK ABOUT GIFTS OF LOVE  MINISTRY AT AN LWML SOCIETY, ZONE, OR DISTRICT EVENT? 

Yes, absolutely!  We welcome the invitation!  Pat Bilow, our LWML Gift Planning Counselor, or one of our Gift Planning Advocates or Supporters, would be delighted to join you at a Society Meeting, Zone Rally or Celebration, or District Convention or Retreat.  We would love to come and explain the LWML Gifts of Love Ministry.  We can be a main speaker at your event, and/or provide an interest session or workshop.  We have informative power point presentations, brochures, and handouts to make the information easy to understand.  The LWML Gifts of Love Ministry provides for travel expenses of the Representative who attends your event.   We do ask that the Society, Zone or District provide for housing and meals, if possible, during an event.  There are no other fees or costs.  All individual follow up visits with couples and individuals who are interested in Christian Estate Planning and charitable options are a free service provided by LWML Gifts of Love Ministry.

CAN I INCLUDE GIFTS TO MY LOCAL CHURCH AND/OR SCHOOL OR OTHER MINISTRIES WHEN WORKING WITH THE LWML GIFT PLANNING COUNSELOR?  

Most definitely!  Gifts can be made to all ministries of the LCMS as well as your favorite charities if desired.  The LWML Gift Planning Counselor works with both spouses and, typically, they each have a different favorite ministry each wants to remember.  She does encourage LWML in the mix.  Most LWMLers don’t think to remember LWML in their estate plans.  

HOW IS THE LWML GIFT PLANNING COUNSELOR DIFFERENT FROM OTHERS WHO CALL ON ME?    

The LWML Gift Planning Counselor actually represents all ministries of the LCMS, which of course includes the LWML.  While current gifts and tithes are important, an LWML Gift Planning Counselor helps you with important Christian Estate planning decisions helping you implement your unique plan to transfer your assets as you desire.  

HOW CAN YOU REACH US?

Through LWML’s Gifts of Love Ministry, we are fortunate to have our own Gift Planning Advocate here in Michigan, Sandy Hardies who can be reached at hardiessandy@gmail.com or by phone at 231-972-4649. LWML also has our own Gift Planning Counselor, Pat Bilow, who serves as a guide to help you develop, plan, and implement your Christian estate plan that will bless your family and the Lord’s work.  Feel free to contact her for additional information and resources by phone at 1-800-741-4138 or by e-mail at patbilow.lwml@gmail.com .   Feel free to make use of our LWML website for gift planning, Christian estate planning and charitable resources at lwmlgiftplan.org.  You can also sign up for a FREE newsletter which shares Scripture verses and articles on Savvy Living, Finances, Personal Planning, and Washington News.   We are here to serve YOU! 

WHAT YOUR FELLOW LWML WOMEN ARE SAYING…

"I am amazed at how God has guided me and how much He has blessed me with," Karen Pitcher, a longtime member of the LWML Central Illinois District reflects. "LWML has been an important spiritual part of my life, and I want to include it in my estate plan as well as leave something for my grandchildren." 


"We're very happy that we decided to go this route," Elaine Stier from Minnesota North says. "It has relieved us of selling and all the maintenance that goes with real estate. This has been a great way to multiply a talent that the Lord blessed us with. It was a big step to take, but we're glad that we moved forward."

 

"It feels good to get this done," Rosalind and Mark Burger from Oklahoma District shared.  "We finally have it on paper now after thinking about it for years. We just didn't know exactly how or what to do.  We wanted to finish what we started a long time ago, but needed a kick-start. Listening to that presentation got us thinking again."

 

 

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