BEDFORD

UNITED

METHODIST

CHURCH

814.623.8711

132 E JOHN ST • BEDFORD, PA

BEDFORD

UNITED

METHODIST

CHURCH

Dear BUMC,

 

First off, I want to thank everyone for their generous contributions towards the youth mission trip with Appalachia Service Project! That trip would not be possible without our congregation. Thank you so much for being the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. This type of giving truly shows our youth age students how much you care for them and the missions that they want to be part of.

Unfortunately, like most everything else that is supposed to go on this summer, Appalachia Service Project has decided to close their doors to volunteer help due to COVID-19. I want to assure the congregation that all money that has been donated towards this trip will be used for a Youth Mission trip in the summer of 2021. Those funds have been set aside for our youth missions work and I wanted to be sure to let the congregation know that their money will still go towards what its original intent was for. The only money that Appalachia Service Project keeps from congregational donations is a non-refundable application fee and a $50 per person registration fee. All other monies for the trip are with BUMC, to be used for next year.

 

With that being said, Appalachia Service Project still needs our help this summer. Below is a portion of a letter I received from them:

"_AT THIS TIME, BASED ON RECOMMENDATIONS FROM NATIONAL HEALTH OFFICIALS, ASP HAS MADE THE DIFFICULT DECISION TO SUSPEND OUR SUMMER VOLUNTEER HOSTING UNTIL AUGUST 1, 2020._

 

This means we will not host summer volunteers for the first time in our 51-year history. Though it was one of the hardest decisions we have ever had to make, it was done with prayerful deliberation by our Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors, with the focus of removing any threat of the virus spreading further as a result of ASP's operations in Central Appalachia.

 

My heart is heavy as I think about the many families who are expecting our help, the summer staff who are anxious to serve, the communities that would benefit from our presence, our full-time staff who are called to be a part of this incredible ministry, and the volunteers whose very lives would be changed. And I worry about you, our faithful Trip Coordinators and partners in ministry. I know some of you may be feeling your own sense of loss and grief.

In spite of COVID-19, the families of Central Appalachia still need our assistance, perhaps now more than ever. In the last two weeks, across our five-state service area, over 700,000 people filed first-time unemployment applications. As we are committed to serve this region, we must press on in creative ways. The first 50 years of ASP's ministry have been built on radical acts of hope, generosity and faith. In that same spirit, ASP will execute our mission this summer, though it will look different than expected. Some of ASP's direct responses include:

 

  • Continuing home repair and new home construction in select counties where we can safely perform those tasks and have funding to support the work with existing staff and/or subcontractors.
  • Donating thousands of face masks, latex gloves, disposable coveralls, first aid kits and cleaning products to local healthcare providers serving Tennessee and Virginia.
  • Supporting our community contacts who distribute food as the economic impact of this crisis takes hold in Central Appalachia.
  • Sharing any assets that ASP has available this summer with our regional partners and communities in need.

 

We ask you to remain creative with us--join us in thinking of new ways to be the hands and feet of Christ in Appalachia and in your own communities this summer.

 

We understand that many of you--our volunteers, donors, and groups--are facing unknown roads ahead. While ASP will continue to be an ally and an advocate for each of you, the need of this region remains, and therefore our work must continue. Today, I ask for your help in ensuring the current 6,316 applications ASP has on file will not go unserved in the years to come. Once again, to secure the next 50 years of this ministry, we need radical acts of generosity."

 

I would like the congregation of BUMC to prayerfully consider making a donation to ASP for them to use this summer to help in the ways that they listed above. If you would like to make a donation to ASP for their use this summer, please send your donation to the church, marked "ASP Summer 2020 Help" and we will ensure that the funds get to them to help all those people in need. I know how much a trip with ASP impacted my life as a youth age person and I want our youth of today to continue to be able to have the same type of experience that will help them grow in their faith as well.

 

Yours Truly,

 

Paul J. Kendall

Tax Benefits from Qualified Charitable Distributions

If you are over age 72, have a traditional IRA, support the local church and don't want to pay

unnecessary federal income tax, this article is for you. In 2018, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act almost

doubled the standard deductions amounts for 2018-2025. As a result, you only get a tax benefit from a charitable donation if your total itemizable deductions exceed the standard deduction. Making a Qualified Charitable Donation (QCD) has potential tax-savings advantages. A QCD is a donation that is given directly from your IRA to the church. The main benefit to handling your tithe in this manner is that the QCD will not be included in your adjusted gross income. It will reduce the amount of taxable income, while still allowing you to take the standard deduction. If you don't plan to itemize deductions, your donation to the church will not deliver any tax savings, but a QCD will. If you replace some of your required minimum distribution for 2020 with a QCD to BUMC you will realize a reduction in federal taxes. Your financial advisor will be able to confirm if this is a good option for you. Please reach out to me if you think that this method of giving may benefit you and I will be happy to explain it further.