We wish you grace and peace during these days, weeks, and months. We are working hard to maintain the delicate balance between the safety of our staff and community with our service to all stakeholders. We seek your grace as we work hard to adapt our processes.
Here is an update about the Mountain Sky United Methodist Foundation regarding your investments, endowments, loans, and the actions we are taking to responsibly steward all resources.
You can click on these topics to go straight to the information you seek.
One person will be working at the office during normal hours:
Mon-Thurs 9:00 – 4:00
Fri 9:00 – Noon
Phone Calls As much as possible, calls are being forwarded to individual cell phones. However, this isn’t a perfect system and may result in a busy signal. If that happens, please call back in a few minutes. If you leave a message, we will work diligently to return your call promptly.
Paperless As we transition to a paperless system you may experience a small delay in processing time. We have encrypted email technology to receive and send documents with sensitive information. Just reach out to us, and we’ll send you an encrypted email with your documents attached. If you fax or mail something to us, there is one person at the office who is receiving your hard copy correspondence and utilizing our usual protocols to keep your information secure.
Fixed Income, Equity Growth, or Balanced Funds: We must receive your withdrawal form, signed with all the proper signatures by noon on Tuesday, March 31st. We will not be able to make exceptions. These funds are revalued monthly. The valuation date is the last business day of the month. Buys and Sells of these funds happen on the first business day of the next month. Mail: 7350 E Progress Pl, Ste 205, Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Electronic deposits: (Wires and ACH) Please accept our invitation to send your money directly to your bank account. Allowing us to electronically deposit to your account is convenient, saves time and resources, is safer, and secure. If you do not have this set up, click here to get started.
Please note that we are unable to mail any checks to the bookkeeper’s home and must mail them to the church.
We are a private lender. This means that we have the flexibility to quickly adjust payments for our churches, with little red-tape and no underwriting. Adhering to our core values, we view ourselves as a church’s partner in ministry, well beyond the calling of a banker. We never would want debt service to compromise ministry.
In accordance with our ongoing commitment to churches and the vital ministry they provide within their communities. The Loan Committee met on Wednesday and authorized Executive Director, Kristi Kinnison, to provide reduced loan payments for churches who need immediate debt service relief. She will be contacting all church borrowers this week to make this offer. This action is further authorized and supported by our other lending partners, the Texas Methodist Foundation and the United Methodist Development Fund.
Investors in the Methodists Helping Methodists Fund should be assured that their capital continues to be used to provide loans for churches (see previous section.) Now more than ever we are demonstrating the power of this impact investment connection, a true partnership for ministry.
Know that all loans we make to churches are secured by first or second lien Deeds of Trust on the real property. The average loan-to-value ratio (that’s how much churches owe compared to how much their property is worth), is less than 50%. This means that the underlying security for your investments is very strong.
The Methodists Helping Methodists Fund has been in place since 1961. It has never had a default or loss of principal, and we intend for this trend to continue. We know we can maintain that track record by working with churches by offering interest only payments or, if necessary, total payment relief.
Interest rates for Methodists Helping Methodists Fund are guaranteed by contract in the fixed-rate options of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5-year time deposits. We have a legal obligation to continue honoring these arrangements. Furthermore, our committee foresees that the fixed-rates of our offering will most likely remain stronger than the market-rates that have dropped to near zero. Your investments remain strong and secure.
The Foundation’s Investment Committee had an emergency meeting on Thursday. I’m sure you are not surprised to know that the investments that we manage for churches have decreased in total value. Please know that we remain a fiduciary to our churches and we will not be reacting to the markets in any way that deviates from our investment policy statement.
Wespath Institutional Investments, our investment manager, hosted a webinar on Thursday afternoon. This was perhaps the most encouraging report I have seen regarding the financial markets. A recording is available here. It is about 25 minutes long and I encourage you to watch.
Churches considering liquidating their assets or changing their strategy should be mindful of their own investment policies. Deviating from investment policies without the full support and acceptance of the congregation could be problematic in the long run. Furthermore, most investment managers agree that timing the market is never advised.
If your church needs cash now or anticipates needing to liquidate investments to generate cash in the next few months, a dollar cost average approach out of the markets is one strategy that many investors take during times like this. Please send us an email to discuss your options. firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Investment Committee will meet regularly to continue to monitor the investments. I will send updates as they are available.
We negotiated an arrangement arranged with Vanco Payment Solutions to provide the first four months of electronic giving (credit cards, debit cards, electronic checks) for churches that sign up by March 31st. Here is a special link about the deal we worked out.
Meanwhile, please look at the Foundation’s e-giving page. If someone wants to give to your church before it can get its own account up and running, please direct them to our link. This is one of the free services of your foundation.
The Required Minimum Distribution still applies for those who have a traditional IRA. In January, Congress increased the age for the required minimum distribution to 72. However, the IRA Charitable Rollover is still available to anyone over the age of 70½. Some of your donors may not know this. Click here to learn more.
In November, we conducted a survey that showed many church members in the Mountain Sky area have left a gift to their church in their will. As I was composing this email, I was reminded of this fact, and gave me further evidence to my mantra, the Church is of God and will be preserved until the end of time.
Remember, people give to financially secure organizations. Your church may not have these legacy gifts today, but someday they will arrive and provide blessing and resource to your church. Remind others and assure each other that this invisible, future blessing exists. We can see evidence of this from the saints who came before us and have enabled us to have this vital connection today.
The Mountain Sky United Methodist Foundation is evidence of the legacies of God’s people. We are well-managed by a strong, business-minded, faith-led board of directors. We are poised to remain a strong foundation, in every sense of the word. And we will continue serving God’s churches for a long future.