Foundation honors Enrique “Quique” Ocasio

The Christian Church Foundation Board of Directors gathered in Indianapolis, Indiana, April 22-24, for their first meeting of 2018. The Board reviewed the year-end information from 2017 and discussed the upcoming year. The meeting included worship together, conversations regarding new tax law, reports from Prime, Buchholz and Associates, and election of three new board members. Rev. Reggie Chapman, Pastor of Lakewood Christian Church in Lakewood, Colorado, Mr. Dwayne Bell, Owner-President of Excel Real Estate and member of New Covenant Christian Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and Ms. Debbie Jennison, member of North Hill Christian Church in Spokane, Washington, will join the Christian Church Foundation Board of Directors January 1, 2019.

The highlight of the board meeting was the recognition and honoring of Great Lakes Zone Vice President, Enrique “Quique” Ocasio. Quique has been with the Christian Church Foundation since 2004, first working in investment services, then with congregations in Puerto Rico, the Northeast part of the country, and the Great Lakes Zone. After 14 years of dedicated work, Quique will be retiring at the end of June 2018. In honor of Quique’s time with the Foundation, he was presented with stained glass artwork depicting the Chalice and the Honored Minister pin. Rev. David Vargas, President Emeritus of Division of Overseas Ministries, and Rev. Samuel Robles, Jr., Pastor of Arise Christian Church in Orlando and current Foundation board member, both spoke about Quique and their ministry together over the years. Rev. Vargas described Quique as a “teacher at heart, the eternal volunteer, and a humble servant of God.” Foundation President, Gary Kidwell, said, “The Foundation is much better because of Quique’s sincere devotion, easy rapport, authenticity and calm confidence.” Quique is an invaluable member of the Christian Church Foundation staff and will be greatly missed.

India Bobadilla, currently serving as Assistant Vice President of the Foundation’s Great Lakes Zone, will be promoted to Vice President starting July 1. India and Quique have been working together closely over the last year to help ease this transition.

The Board’s next meeting will be November 9-11 in Dallas, Texas.

Archibald Named Director of Communications

The Rev. Maggie Archibald of Avon, IN, has been named the new director of communications for the Christian Church Foundation, President Gary Kidwell has announced. She will begin her duties March 1.

“We are thrilled that Maggie felt called to this position,” Kidwell said. “She is a pastor with the skills to communicate our ministry to the church. As a lifelong member of the Disciples, and the granddaughter of a former regional minister, Maggie understands who the Disciples are and how the Foundation can best relate to everyone.”

A 2016 graduate of Christian Theological Seminary, Rev. Archibald has been minister of faith formation for the Christian Church in Indiana since 2016 and associate minister at Avon Christian Church since March 2017. She graduated from CTS with a master of divinity degree as well as a master of arts in multicultural Christian education.

The daughter of John and Jeannie May, and granddaughter of Georgia and the late Rev. Bernard (Bernie) Meece, Rev. Archibald graduated from Lynchburg College in 2012 with a major in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis in elementary education.

She has served as a keynote speaker for several Disciples Women’s events. She currently is a member of the Bethany Fellows and a participant in the Pension Fund’s Excellence in Ministry program. She and her husband, Matt, have a 1-year-old son, Daniel.

“I expect Maggie will bring a fresh perspective to how the Foundation works with donors and ministry partners as we continue to support both the present and future ministry of the church through legacy gifts,” Kidwell said.

The Foundation is a general ministry of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) with the mission of encouraging legacy gifts and responsibly managing endowment funds owned by Disciples ministries. It is a donor-directed foundation designed to benefit Disciples ministries and institutions, currently managing more than $660 million in assets.


The Tax Reform Bill

A tax reform bill  approved by both Houses of Congress has been signed into law by President Trump. Although the tax break for charitable contributions is one of the few deductions retained under the new tax bill, other changes will reduce its usefulness for certain itemizers. Because the standard deduction will be doubled and many other deductions will be limited or disappear, it is expected that fewer taxpayers will itemize their deductible expenses and, of those who do, fewer will receive an additional tax benefit for all their charitable gifts. 

For those who do currently itemize, one strategy to consider is to accelerate some or all of your planned gifts for 2018 and make them in 2017. This can be accomplished by simply paying your 2018 church pledge before the end of this year, or by using a donor-advised fund to set aside these charitable dollars now.  Whatever your situation, now that the new law’s final provisions are being made public, this is a good time to review your own prior year tax returns, and consider how changes to the tax law will impact you. 

- Gary Kidwell
Christian Church Foundation President

Foundation Board hears from new GMP, approves 2018 budget

The Christian Church Foundation continues to celebrate new financial milestones, buoyed by strong market returns in 2017 and tight budget controls, its Board of Directors learned.

The Board, meeting in November in Jacksonville, FL, approved a $4.2 million spending plan for 2018. Projected operating income is about $4 million, with earnings from its own endowment making up any difference.

 President Gary Kidwell reminded the Board that the Foundation’s financial strength allows it to provide cost-efficient services to donors and ministry partners. Keeping a tight rein on expenses during good times ensures resources for ministry in lean years, he said.

 The Board also heard the Rev. Terri Hord Owens, the new general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). Owens is an ex-officio member of the Board.

Owens encouraged Disciples to keep in strong relationship with each other and to mentor and encourage youth, passing on that critical “Disciples DNA” that makes the denomination unique.

The Board also:

• Received a first-hand history lesson from President Emeritus James P. Johnson, who shared some of the background behind key decisions made in the Foundation’s early years. What seemed like small decisions at the time, President Kidwell noted, have had a major influence on how the Foundation more effectively moves money to ministry.

• Elected Board leadership for 2018. Continuing are Bob Williams of Dallas, TX, Board chair; Todd Reed of Walton, KY, vice chair; Debra Clayton of Topeka, KS, secretary; the Rev. Tanya Tyler, Sterling, IL, at-large member; and John May of Wilmington, NC, Investment Committee chair. Also elected were Ted Waggoner of Rochester, IN, Budget & Program Committee chair; Sharon Worley of Denver, CO, Audit Committee chair; and the Rev. Joanne VerBurg of Black Mountain, NC, Nominating Committee chair.

• Said farewell to retiring Board members Josué Torres-Moreno of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and Gloria Feliciano of Totowa, NJ.