The following resources relate to Debbie Neely’s January 24, 2020 Temple Talk.
Transcript of Deb Neely’s Temple Talk
Good Morning. As many of you know, I used to serve as Messiah Lutheran’s congregational advocate for Thrivent Financial. Although this role no longer exists, I believe it is still important to make everyone aware of Thrivent’s generosity programs.
Thrivent is a membership organization of Christians and as such, we believe that everything we have is a gift from God and that generosity is an expression of faith. With this in mind, Thrivent has two easy ways for members to address unmet needs in our community.
The first is Thrivent Choice. Eligible Thrivent members can direct where Thrivent distributes some of its charitable funds by directing Choice Dollars. Messiah Lutheran Church is one of hundreds of non-profit charitable organizations to which you can direct Choice Dollars. In the last four years, $9, 409 have been directed to our church. These funds have been used towards replacing the carpet in the fellowship hall and narthex, adding a second phone line to reach the church, brighter and more cost effective led lighting for our parking lot, contributions toward our new sign, and new flooring for all of the bathrooms and fellowship kitchen.
Unfortunately, 2020 had the lowest contributions of only $1,181. Many members forget or don’t want to bother directing their choice dollars. If you are a Thrivent member, I encourage you to go online to thrivent.com/thriventchoice OR simply call Thrivent’s toll free number and mention “Thrivent Choice” when prompted and a representative will work with you to direct your Choice Dollars. Whether you choose to direct your 2020 choice dollars to Messiah or another organization, it is important to do so by March or the opportunity will be lost.
The second generosity program Thrivent offers is called a Thrivent Action Team. A team can be composed of Thrivent Financial members and nonmembers of all ages but it must be sponsored by a member of Thrivent. If you are NOT a Thrivent member but see an opportunity to make use of a Thrivent Action Team, contact Claire Strand or myself to get you started. To create an Action Team, any Thrivent member simply fills out a simple online application at Thrivent.com for your project at least 21 days prior to the start date. In about one week, the sponsor will receive an email indicating whether or not your Action Team application was approved. Upon approval, Thrivent will send out an Action Kit which includes planning resources, promotional items including a T-shirt for everyone on the team, and a Visa card with a $250 limit to use as seed money for your project. Typically these funds would purchase project supplies, promotional expenses, and/or food to feed the volunteers. Thrivent Action Teams are designed for projects or activities that will make an immediate impact in your community– such as a service activity, an educational event, or a fundraiser but it needs to be completed within 90 days.
Each Thrivent member can lead up to two teams per year. I once sponsored an action team for a fund raiser to Open Gait, a therapeutic horseback riding program. I’ve also sponsored an action team for landscaping around our church. The funds went towards bushes, flowers and mulch while the team provided the labor to plant them. Another action team was composed to benefit kit ministries. So now I hope many of you are trying to think of possible projects that could benefit from an Action Team.
Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything I’ve said. Thrivent has a simple brochure explaining how to apply for an Action Team on one side and how to direct Choice Dollars on the other side that you can find on MLC’s website.
Messiah is a congregation full of loving, generous and talented people who care about our members and those in the greater community. If you are a Thrivent member, check to see that you have directed your choice dollars to a nonprofit that is close to your heart. Even if you are NOT a Thrivent member, keep in mind that many of the projects we are already doing at Messiah could benefit from a Thrivent Action Team if we planned 2 or 3 weeks in advance. If you have a project in mind but need help finding a Thrivent member to meet the requirements, feel free to contact me (Debbie Neely), or Claire Strand. We can help you find an eligible Thrivent member to turn your project into a thriving success!
Please Note: The inclusion of this information above in no way should be construed as an endorsement or recommendation by Messiah Lutheran Church for Thrivent financial services or its affiliates.