February 2019: Lent, QCD, and the Re-Covanent

Greetings To All……

It’s the dreary season, where all the holidays are in a seemingly distant past, it’s cold outside and, we’ve had lots of days of snowing/sleeting/sometime almost raining (I think this is called “a wintery mix” by weather people) and it’s all just yuck!!

But as believing Christians always say, there is hope!!! Have you noticed that even on cloudy days, it’s still light out at 5:45 or a little beyond? And in the morning, if you’re an early riser like I am, around 5:45 the horizon is starting to lighten (to all you sleepers-till-seven, trust me….it is getting light out!!!). Which means Spring is coming …. only four weeks away… which means the most important day in our church year, Easter, is nearing.

To get to that glorious day when we celebrate the rising of our Lord and Savior, however, we have to go through the season of Lent, which this year begins with Ash Wednesday on March 6th. The following five Wednesday Lenten Services here at Holy Trinity will be preceded by the Soup Supper, each week hosted by a different team, including Church Council on March 13th. As in past years there will be a free will offering basket with proceeds this year going to the Tanzania Scholarship Fund.

A week ago this past Sunday, Council members of Imanuel Indonesian Church and Holy Trinity, on behalf of their respective congregations, re-signed the Covenant In Gospel, Community, and Mission. The original Covenant was signed in December 2013, and both Holy Trinity and Imanuel agreed to renew it in December, 2018. For various reasons the actual signing could not be done until a week ago last Sunday. So we’ve ‘officially’ re-affirmed our commitment to each other for another five years, including Holy Trinity’s prayers of support for Imanuel; sharing in Christmas and Holy Week worship services, VBS, the June church picnic, and other activities. The new Covenant will be posted in the Gathering Area once it’s re-framed.

This time of year also brings on the chore of tax filing, and I thought I’d pass on something for you to think about, called a qualified charitable deduction (QCD in IRS parlance). With the new tax reform coming into effect, many of us may no longer itemize, but rather use the standard deduction. This will lead to a loss of the itemized church donation deduction. The QCD allows you to transfer money from your IRA or SEP directly to Holy Trinity, without that money being added to your taxable income. The QCD would also count toward any required minimum distribution (RMD) you might have to take this year. There’s a lot of good articles and examples on various tax consultant websites, including the IRS site. If you want to use the QCD, you need to check with whomever your IRA is with for its rules and procedures.

And finally, cool news from AmazonSmile …. Purchases for the fourth quarter 2018 came in at $37. (actually $36.95) !!!! Thanks to all who are making their Amazon purchases thru AmazonSmile which results in .5% of purchase price going to Holy Trinity. For those who have not set up an AmazonSmile account, or don’t know how it all works, please see Mark Donahue, who can provide you with instructions on the procedure to enroll. Very simple, even for those of us technically challenged. If I can do it, anyone can do it.

Stay safe….stay warm…..and, in only three more weeks we turn our clocks ahead (March 9th)!!!


Dave Smith

Council President