Gestures of Generosity, June 2023

Gestures of Generosity

Thank you for your Gesture!

It was a wonderful turnout and a delightful time to learn and share together in early May when the Generosity Team hosted The Rev. Kyle Nolan of the Presbyterian Foundation for our Legacy luncheon workshop. Thanks to all who attended and helped focus our attention on how to give in new and different ways to our church.

One attendee was inspired to go directly to their bank the next day and set up a special account that will come straight to the church upon their death. This is a restricted account that was opened with a particular amount of money, but can be added to over the years. What a gesture of generosity!

Other attendees liked the presenter’s suggestion that one way to think about leaving a legacy when dividing your estate is to consider the church as another “child.” This couple has three adult children among whom the estate will be divided—but as they are all doing fine for themselves, they’ve decided to add the church as a fourth recipient and let the kids know about the new plan. Again, a wonderful gesture of generosity!

We all took away a new understanding of the importance to our congregation of legacy gifts—how they have sustained us in the past, continue to do so today, and will provide for a long and healthy future for this church. The amount of your legacy gift doesn’t matter so much as the heart with which it is given: your generosity demonstrates your faith today and tomorrow as well.

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at and tell us your story.

May, 2023 – Composing a Legacy Workshop

Gestures of Generosity

How do we tell the story of God’s grace and love—not just today, but for generations to come?

We have been blessed with many special gifts and estates over the years of our history in this church, and our endowment provides a great support to who we are and what we can do together in the kingdom.

We have set aside Sunday – May 7, 2023 as a time to focus our attention and intentions on legacy giving, from wills and bequests to life income plans that will benefit this church for generations to come.

The Rev. Kyle Nolan, a Ministry Relations Officer for the Presbyterian Foundation, will be with us on that day to preach and lead a workshop after the 10 am worship service offering tools to help us craft our faith legacy. He will cover topics including donor advised funds, charitable trusts, retirement accounts and more.

A luncheon will be served following the Fellowship coffee hour for all who wish to attend this workshop—please make your reservation by signing up on the bulletin board or calling the church office at (920) 437-8121 by May 4, 2023.

Gestures of Generosity, May 2023

Gestures of Generosity

Thank you for your Gesture!

We are still basking in the glow of a spectacular Holy Week and Easter celebration, and it took a village to make it all happen. From Palm Sunday to Maundy Thursday and Good Friday to Easter morning, we had worship, music, food, fellowship, scripture, prayer, and praise together.

We are grateful for the generosity of all who made it happen: Mary Steeno and Amy Wittman for leading the children’s choir, the folks who put together our second-annual Palm Sunday brunch, the Worship Committee who hosted dinner and foot-washing and a lovely Last Supper on Maundy Thursday, the faithful few who came on Good Friday to walk through meditation stations and consider the sacrifice of Jesus, Patcee Bucher and Jane Bies who picked up and arranged 42 pots of Easter flowers for display on Easter morning, Becky Christianson who made beautiful bows for each pot, all those who donated the flowers, Tom Schoffelman and Andy Parks who pulled together our Easter choir, and all who sang. Thanks be to God for each one!

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at and tell us your story.

Gestures of Generosity, April 2023

Gestures of Generosity

Thank you for your Gesture!

Sometimes the needs are not as focused on monetary donations but on caring people power. A member of our congregation was recently informed that she had to leave her apartment after 29 years of living there, and we all know that moving is a very stressful situation.

Through our Deacons, the word went out that this person needed our help. We were able to set up teams of two and three people at a time to go in and help with sorting, packing and the actual move.

Our deep gratitude goes to Judy Knutzen-Nerad, Judy Exl, Jacki Jensen, Lisa & Dave Solper, Nancy & Dennis Siewert, Becky Christianson, Lyn Early, Linda Christensen, and Pat McCormick for answering this call. Your gestures of generosity are much appreciated!

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at and tell us your story.

Gestures of Generosity, March 2023

Gestures of Generosity

Thank you for your Gesture!

A devastating earthquake hit Syria and Turkey last month, causing irreparable damage and the loss of more than 35,000 lives so far.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance was very quickly on the ground with teams to help with rescue, recovery and rebuilding. We included an insert in the bulletin with information on how we could give directly to the cause, and a wonderful gesture of generosity demonstrated how to extend one person’s gifts to much more.

Sue Russell took home that bulletin insert and spent a few days walking door to door in her neighborhood, explaining the effort and soliciting contributions. After just a few hours’ work, she was able to send in a check to PDA for $650. Way to go, Sue!

Thanks for your generous heart!

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at and tell us your story.

Gestures of Generosity, February 2023

Gestures of Generosity

Thank you for your Gesture!

On Sunday, January 22, the Generosity Team explained and answered questions relating to per capita. We answered the reason to check that box on your pledge card, committing to pay $38.00 for each adult member of your household this year. We reviewed why we ask for that above and beyond your regular pledge and what these contributions were going toward.

However, not everyone pays toward per capita. If you weren’t able to join us for worship on the 22nd, you may not understand per capita. Unfortunately, not everyone chooses to participate in this special offering that offsets our “bill” from the denomination that funds our connectional church. But one household among us made a wonderful Gesture of Generosity and recently gave a special gift of $1000 to help cover unpaid per capita. The gift is truly appreciated. Thanks be to God for this Gesture of Generosity!

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at

January 2023 Gestures of Generosity

Gestures of Generosity 2022

Thank you for your Gesture!

One of the greatest gestures of generosity that any one person can give is the gift of themselves in the service of others. Judy Knutsen-Nerad is that person filled with Gestures of Generosity. She is selfless in the time, energy and effort she brings to our office whenever the need arises.

In early December, Leah took ill for more than a week and without hesitation, Judy quickly stepped in to fill the void. Whether it be answering the phone, receiving visitors, putting together the bulletin or working on the newsletter, throughout the year Judy doesn’t hesitate in the least to help when called and always with heartwarming smiles. Judy’s positive energy never falters and we’re all so thankful for how she gives so generously of her time and talent. THANK YOU, Judy, for your ongoing Gestures of Generosity!

Merry Christmas from Red Lobster! by Stephanie Fahringer

Gestures of Generosity

Meet James… James is Manager of Red Lobster on Lombardi Ave. Red Lobster donates frozen potatoes & Red Lobster biscuits for our pantry on a weekly basis.

For this Christmas season James & his entire crew donated nearly $600.00 of toys for our Toy Shop with a huge resounding MERRY CHRISTMAS from our Red Lobster crew!!

I am overwhelmed by the kindness & generosity displayed. James delivered them to our church & made sure I saw the guitar that he picked out!
A huge THANK YOU to all of your crew & may you all have a BLESSED & BEAUTIFUL CHRISTMAS! AMEN

Socks of Love receives some unsolicited Love

A new element of our annual Advent Workshop was a service project called “Socks of Love.” We collected donations of travel-sized toiletries and other items that might benefit people experiencing homelessness in our community, then stuffed them into a pair of warm wool socks. Thanks to all who contributed to filling these socks of love. An extremely generous financial contribution came in through our online giving portal to support this project as well, so we’ll be making more Socks of Love soon—thank you to our secret supporter!

We’d love to include your story in one of our upcoming Gestures of Generosity newsletter columns.

If you have a Gestures of Generosity story to share, please contact Cheri at

Small Gifts Make a Big Difference in 2023

Gestures of Generosity

We want to express our sincere gratitude for your generous support of our 2023 Pledge Campaign, Gestures of Generosity. Gifts with personal meaning have a powerful impact. View our Gestures of Generosity videos on our YouTube Channel.

If you have not returned your 2023 pledge yet, please complete the pledge card and mail to the church office at 200 S. Ashland Avenue, 54303 or bring it to worship on any Sunday. Your pledge is needed and will make a difference as the Session finalizes our church’s plans and Ministry funding for this year. If you’ve misplaced your pledge card, please contact the office at or call at 920-437-8121 and we’ll provide you with a new one.

As a reminder, the per capita for 2023 is $38.00 per member for the year.

Thank you again!

Gestures of Generosity – Thanksgiving Blessings

Gestures of Generosity Presbyterian Pantry

By Stephanie Fahringer

A car pulled up in the alley as I was unloading my jeep full of pantry Thanksgiving turkeys. The driver got out and asked if he could deliver some items he just bought for the Pantry.

This gentleman is a former Pantry guest and just wanted to say,

“Thanks for all the Presbyterian Pantry has done for me”.

I told him a HUGE THANK YOU and God Bless You!

Its Gestures of Generosity like this that make our community of faith what it is.

Gestures of Generosity is a new feature to our Connections newsletter. If you have a Gesture of Generosity that you’d like to share with our community, please contact Cheri at

And, thank you to all who returned their 2023 Gestures of Generosity Pledge Cards. If you haven’t done so already, please return your pledge card as soon as possible. Thank you in advance for your generous support of our Gestures of Generosity campaign!

Final Gesture of Generosity – Planned Giving

What does it mean to be a generous person? During this season of giving we’ve explored how we’ve been called to be generous in our lives of faith: our gestures of generosity.

But, what about when our life has ended? Does our generosity end as well? This can actually be a time when we make one of our strongest statements about our faith!

Do you have a will? In addition to your family members, have you named organizations that will continue doing the work you value? Have you included the church in that list?

Gifts like these provide a tremendous opportunity for you to make a powerful statement about your faith. As a loyal giver throughout your lifetime, making a planned gift allows you to continue showing your faith even after you’re gone.

Planned gifts often enable you to make a larger donation. Most annual gifts come from income. Planned gifts come from your accumulated assets when they are no longer needed, allowing you to make a final larger gift.

Planned gifts allow you to maintain the work of the church. A gift from your estate will keep giving over a longer period of time. What could bring greater satisfaction now than knowing your resources are continuing to benefit others after you’re no longer here?

And, planned gifts allow you to establish a permanent living memorial for you or loved ones. Few remembrances are as lasting or meaningful as a living memorial that continues to minister to others in Christ’s name for generations to come.

Our church has been blessed with some very faithful givers – providing a final tribute to enable us to continue our mission.

One of those we celebrate every year on the first Sunday in March. The Augusta Jeffrey Award was a planned gift established to honor Augusta Jeffrey, a fervent volunteer and church member, while also recognizing the volunteer efforts of other church members. The money from the gift goes to support a ministry of the church of that year’s award recipient’s choosing. Over the years, many of our church members have been honored by this thoughtful and planned gift.

Other members have also thought of the church with one last gesture of generosity. Some have given from their estate, Russ and Margaret Leicht gifted us their cottage on the bay that we could later sell, and Lucia Stanfield wanted us to “dream big” with her dream fund to enable us do something that we might not otherwise be able to do without her gift.

Recently, Gene Reynolds promised to remember our church in his estate. Many years ago he purchased life insurance to provide for his wife Joan and their children. Because that financial assistance is no longer necessary, Gene has decided to honor Joan’s life and service to the church by making us the beneficiary of that policy. Gene’s thoughtful gift in memory of Joan will be used to help people in need, either through our pantry, Tank School, or by enhancing our church’s audio system to improve the worship experience for all, and especially those with hearing-related needs.

What does it mean to be a generous person? Studies often talk about characteristics like altruism, enthusiasm, energy, gratefulness, humbleness, optimism and patience.

While all these traits are probably accurate, John the Evangelist, boils it down to a single word: Love.

16 We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us—and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers and sisters. 17 How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? 18 Little children, let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth.

1 John 3:16-18

Let these words be your guide as you show your gestures of generosity both in the coming year and for the many years to come.