Greetings from the Generosity Committee
This committee has been busy since our last update in April so it’s time to share some news. This update includes a refresher on the committee’s charge, a description of our work since April and concludes with our plans for next steps and a prayer request.
The Generosity Committee was created by the Congregation Council in December 2018 to shepherd Prince of Peace as our congregation discerns how to best use the bequest of longtime Prince of Peace member Rose Diestler, who joined the church triumphant in April 2018. Rose bequeathed to the congregation her home, all of its contents, her automobile and approximately $500,000 in investments. The committee members are Pastor Peter, Barry Brahier (chair), Andrea Clepper, Kent Olson, Diane Syverson and Linda Wagner.
The committee was charged by the Council with three tasks: Secure Rose’s home, car and possessions until a plan was in place for them, recommend what that plan would be, and provide a plan for how the funds in Rose’s bequest be best used. In March the Council accepted the committee’s plan for the sale/distribution/disposal of all of Rose’s possessions, the sale of the home, and the sale of the car. The Council also charged the committee with carrying out the plan.
Work Since April
The committee carried out the plan over the summer. Those who have handled similar tasks for a loved one know this is a big job. Special acknowledgement is due to Andrea Clepper and Tammy Jackson. They were the engine behind the estate sale which took place in early June. With Andrea’s and Tammy’s drive and hard work, assisted by hours of labor provided by our youth and their parents, members of Ruth Circle, and a long list of others, over $5,000 was generated for youth activities at Prince of Peace. You know you’re running a terrific estate sale when random people stop by, shop, and then ask for the name of the professional firm who put the sale together!
Following the estate sale, a silent auction of paintings by Rose was held at the church and remaining items were donated to various causes. This included a day when Prince of Peace members could stop by, pick up anything in the home and distribute it themselves. Our goal was to keep as many of Rose’s possessions in use as possible and, thanks to all of you who participated, that goal was accomplished.
Final clean-out of the home and preparation for its sale followed. With the help of the members of the Ruth Circle, this task was completed with the care and respect Rose deserved. After a vote by the congregation authorizing the sale of the home, it was professionally cleaned, placed on the market and the sale closed in late August. We are all thankful for the assistance of congregation member Kim Wetteland, a real estate professional with Edina Realty. Kim did not take her commission on the sale so more of the value came to the church. Kim, along with Congregation Treasurer Chris Thornton, carried out the real estate transaction.
Surprisingly, the car has proved to be a bit more complicated to sell. The committee’s original plan was to have this completed by early June, but the title and lien release were never found among Rose’s papers. Pastor Peter took on having new documents issued by the state DMV listing the church as the owner. That task is complete and the car is now up for sale.
With all other parts of the committee’s charge complete, we are turning our attention to the opportunity ahead: How should our congregation make best use of Rose’s bequest which now totals approximately $750,000?
The committee is now engaged in a God-centered discernment process. We are meeting every other week through the end of 2019. At our last meeting in mid-October, it was the sense of the committee that while the path ahead is not yet clear, God has equipped all of us at Prince of Peace to take full advantage of this rare and awesome responsibility. In the coming weeks the committee will be communicating about ways you can contribute to the discernment of the path ahead as we develop the proposal we trust will emerge.
While the committee will provide a proposal and the Council will exercise due diligence regarding that proposal, the decision on how best to use the single largest gift our congregation has ever received from one of its members will be by a vote of our congregation. All of us on the Generosity Committee request all members of Prince of Peace pray for discernment and guidance for yourself so that you may be prepared for the choices ahead.
Chair, Generosity Committee