In my season of transition from being the Lead Pastor, I’ve reminded many folks that all of us are in an interim position. It’s not to be feared but embraced. Nothing in life lasts forever, including the honor of leading our church. All our jobs and roles are temporary. Life itself is temporary. So we plan wisely for tomorrow, knowing that at the same time, we can’t control the future.
James 4:14 reminds us of an important truth – Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. That truth is rather sobering, but we shouldn’t ignore it or deny it. While we can’t control what happens in our future, we can take some steps to make reasonable plans for the benefit of our family and be good stewards that can address the causes we care about.
I can’t even guess how many funerals, memorials, and celebration of life services I’ve done over my 45 years of ministry. Many deaths were a surprise due to accidents or sudden illness. Every family grieves the loss of their loved one. But for some, the situation after the funeral was just as hard. Why? The person who departed didn’t have a plan for their children or the possessions that they left behind. Loving our family includes helping them when we might not be here.
Here at Pantano, we offer a free service to help you prepare your estate documents with our ministry partner, Financial Planning Ministry (FPM). FPM is a trusted Christian organization that will help provide a complete estate plan (living trust, will, and power of attorney) at no cost to you. This can save you thousands of dollars. You will be asked to consider leaving charitable gifts to Pantano or other ministries within your estate plan so that in your passing, you can continue the generosity you’ve expressed throughout your life.
With an estate plan from FPM, your family can avoid paying probate costs and unexpected taxes on inheritance and have all your affairs set in order. Jolene and I are grateful for the legal documents that FPM helped us create.
Our next 90-minute Financial Planning Ministry Information Meeting will be Monday, February 28th at 6:30 PM in the Pantano Student Union.
To register for this event, fill out our FPM Registration Form. Feel free to invite friends and family to register and attend with you. If you have any questions about FPM or the estate planning process, you can email Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org and he would be happy to assist you.
FPM takes the mystery out of estate planning, guiding you and your family through a straightforward process and allowing you to design a legacy plan that blesses your family while honoring God. They can also update an old trust and prepare a special needs trust for families with children who will need care throughout their lives.
If you or someone you know is on the journey toward faith, I’m urging you to consider the eleven-week Alpha Course. This is a course that over 30 million people in 169 countries have taken. Our whole church staff just completed the course.
Alpha is for anyone at any level of faith or no faith at all. It provides a safe opportunity to explore life and faith in a friendly, open, and safe environment. The presentations are of high quality and engaging. Each week there’s time for questions. In fact, questions are welcomed and encouraged! That’s why the question mark is the key symbol for Alpha.
Everyone is welcome to Alpha, but it is specifically designed for people who would not yet describe themselves as following Jesus or being a church-goer.
We’ll be offering it both in-person and online starting Wednesday, April 14th. This is a special opportunity to invite your “one” and others like your “one” to join us. Sign up here – pantano.church/event/alpha-course/
We live in a world of “shoulds.” We know that we should have a daily quiet time, keep a budget, spend more time with the family, eat well and exercise and a bunch more “shoulds.” The expectations that we put on ourselves, others, and God and that others put on us can be overwhelming.
But do these expectations help us live the story that God wants us to live? In this new series that starts Sunday (April 11), we’ll become more aware of the expectations that burden us and take up residence in our minds. The “shoulds” in our heads have the power to form stories that narrate and shape our lives. But we have to ask continually, who will we allow to be the source of the stories we live? Should we listen to the “shoulds,” and if so, which ones? We are about to learn how to move from the “should” life to the good life God wills for us.
Invite your “one” to explore how practical, helpful, and freeing the Bible is about everyday life.
Free Estate Planning – Trusts, Wills, and More
We don’t know when we will die, and we’d rather avoid thinking about it. But it is so wise and loving to have an estate plan for the benefit of your family. Are you in need of having a will and a medical directive? Would you like to understand the value of family trust? Pantano Christian Church is providing this service at no cost to you. We have partnered with Financial Planning Ministry, an organization that we worked with a few years ago. I and many others here at Pantano created a trust, will, and medical directives a few years ago, and we are bringing back this service. Check out Financial Planning Ministry at https://www.fpm.org/.
We’ll have a free estate planning seminar on May 3rd, 6:30-8 PM. Register in advance for this webinar here. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
We look forward to seeing you, your friends or loved ones at these upcoming events.