Ways to Give

Growing up in a churched home, the idea of a “tithe” or “giving” was never an option. As a young boy, my parents were diligent in their instruction. “Giving back to God through the church is one of the most important responsibilities we have. It is a form of worship,” my mother would say and, “it pleases God.” Giving back to God what is already His is a discipline I’ve kept up to this day. Not because I have to, but because I want to. I remember the green “Children’s Offering Envelope” I would take out on Saturday night. I was so excited to put money into the envelope and even more excited when I placed it in the offering basket the next day. It was the most important part of church to me because it not only gave me a sense of “pleasing God,” but it also gave me a sense of “belonging” and “ownership.” It made me feel that whatever I gave really “mattered” to God. Planting the seeds of stewardship in my heart at an early age was one of the most important lessons my parents taught me. What is so ironic is that the feeling of “joy” I had in giving as a child has only become stronger as an adult. As a priest in the church I’ve learned what matters to God matters to me – stewardship matters and it all begins with prayer.

If you have questions about making a pledge, or increasing it in your journey toward the tithe, please contact me at 713-985-3831 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The Rev. Martin J. Bastian
Vice-Rector and Stewardship Liaison

Gifts of Stock or Other Securities
Click here for specific information about how to make a gift of appreciated securities. St. Martin’s is required to comply with these IRS guidelines in order to maintain our charitable tax statues as delineated under the Internal Revenue Code section (501)(c)(3).

Pledge Payments by Credit Card or Automatic Draft
The Finance office can set up a system so that your pledge will be charged to your VISA, MasterCard, Discover or American Express card. For one time gifts, recurring pledge payments, honorary gifts or memorials. Donate now!

We also offer you the option of paying your pledge through automatic deductions from your checking or savings account. This can be set up through your own bill pay system, or you may contact Debbie Hutchison at 713-985-3803 or email hidden; JavaScript is required or Teresa Olivarez at 713-985-3805 or  email hidden; JavaScript is required for assistance.

Cash or Check
Can be placed in the offering plate by using the Cheerful Giver Envelopes provided in the pews or by using personalized member envelopes provided upon request.   Checks and money orders can also be mailed to 717 Sage Road, Houston, TX 77056  To receive credit for cash donations, an envelope with donor name noted is required.

Stock or Mutual Funds
Transferring stocks and mutual funds offer additional tax savings.  You avoid capital gains taxes and receive a tax deduction. In accordance with IRS guidelines, St. Martin’s is not qualified to provide you with a specific value for non-cash contributions.  Therefore, your annual giving statement will not reflect a value for this gift.  Instead it will reflect only a description of your donation.  We suggest you contact your tax adviser for further information.

Charitable Gift Funds
Gifts can be designated to St. Martins from any Charitable Gift fund.  If you need further information, please contact Debbie Hutchison at email hidden; JavaScript is required or at 713-985-3803.
 
Qualified Charitable Distributions
A qualified charitable distribution (QCD) is generally a nontaxable distribution made directly by the trustee of your IRA (other than a SEP or SIMPLE IRA) to an organization eligible to receive tax deductible contributions. You must be at least age 70½ when the distribution was made. Also, you must have the same type of acknowledgment of your contribution that you would need to claim a deduction for charitable contribution. See Records To Keep in IRS Pub. 526.

The maximum annual exclusion for QCDs is $100,000. Any QCD in excess of the $100,000 exclusion limit is included in income as any other distribution. If you file a joint return, your spouse can also have a QCD and exclude up to $100,000. The amount of the QCD is limited to the amount of the distribution that would otherwise be included in income. If your IRA includes nondeductible contributions, the distribution is first considered to be paid out of otherwise taxable income. Please consult your tax professional concerning any questions.

Estate Planning
There are various opportunities to be a Legacy of Faith Partner at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church.
 
Altar Flowers
Click here to order Altar flowers online.
 
Guidelines for Year-end Contributions
The Internal Revenue Service requires that, in order to be tax deductible in 2016, cash, check or credit card contributions to St. Martin’s Episcopal Church must be received by the Church or postmarked by the United States Postal Service no later than Saturday, December 31; this would include prepayment of your 2017 pledge. The finance staff is required to check the post office cancellation dates on all receipts in early January to ensure our legal compliance to this rule.
 
To better assist you with end-of-year contributions, the finance office will be open 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Friday, December 30.
 
Gifts of Stock or Other Securities
Gifts of stock or other securities must also be physically received by the Church by 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 29, or posted to our brokerage account by close of business on Friday, December 30 in order to be tax deductible in 2016. We strongly suggest that stock transfers be initiated by mid-December and you advise the finance office of the pending transaction.
 
St. Martin’s is required to comply with these IRS guidelines in order to maintain our charitable tax status as delineated under the IRS Code section (501)(c)(3). Click here to make online payments via credit card.
 
For more information, contact Debbie Hutchison at 713-985-3803 or email hidden; JavaScript is required, or Becky Werlla at 713-830-4145 or email hidden; JavaScript is required.
 

St. Martin’s Episcopal Church is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization. Your gift will qualify as a charitable contribution and is tax deductible, to the extent of the law.