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The Ministry of the Endowment

The St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment is a ministry of the Congregation through which members and friends can permanently continue their financial support of the mission and ministry of St. Francis Lutheran Church, as well as support of organizations and ministries with similar values in the San Francisco Bay Area, across the country and around the world.

Established in 1982, the Endowment is a permanent fund to receive bequests and estate gifts from members and friends of St. Francis Lutheran Church. All bequests from wills, life insurance, trusts and other estate gifts, unless otherwise designated, are placed in the Endowment. Only the income earned from the Endowment is spent each year, half being used to fund the mission and ministry of the Congregation and half for grants to other ministries and organizations.

Giving to the Endowment

Members and friends of St. Francis Lutheran Church are encouraged to make estate plans while they are still fully capable of deciding for themselves their end-of-life intentions. Simply put: if you do not have a will, the State of California has one for you – and the state’s determination of who should receive your assets once you have passed may not align with your wishes and interests.

We ask that when you do make estate plans or have a will drawn up, that you consider including the St. Francis Endowment as a beneficiary, either for a specific dollar amount or for a percentage of the total value.

You may also designate appreciated assets, including stocks, mutual funds or real estate to the Endowment. You may name the Endowment as a beneficiary of your pension, 401(k), IRA or life insurance policy. You may also ask loved ones, family and friends to give to the Endowment in your memory.

Please use this language when listing the Endowment as a beneficiary: “St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment, San Francisco.”

Your estate gift to the St. Francis Endowment will enable permanent support of the Congregation and many other ministries and organizations.

We are also pleased to receive monetary gifts from members and friends at any time to further the mission of the Endowment. It’s as easy as writing a check to “St. Francis Lutheran Church”, clearly marking the purpose “Endowment” on the check’s memo line, and either placing it in the collection plate at a service or mailing it to the church office. If the donor is not already a member of St. Francis, please include the full name and address of the donor so that the tax-deductible charitable contribution may be properly acknowledged.

We are happy to take gifts of stock or most other financial instruments, but will need to make special arrangements. We will consider other non-monetary gifts but will need to discuss plans and intent with the donor in advance. Please contact the chair of the Endowment Committee in these cases.

Endowment Grants for 2023

Grants totaling $112,191 were distributed in 2023. $56,691 was granted for the Mission and Ministry of St. Francis Lutheran Church. Our Partners in Ministry and Community Partners program recipients, who are closely allied ministries with an ongoing relationship with St. Francis, were awarded a total of $22,500. Partners in Ministry and Community Partners recipients do not need to apply and may use the funds for the operations of their organizations. Grants for New Projects and Initiatives and for Ongoing Operations require applying and using the funds for a designated purpose. We awarded $33,000 in funding for grants in these categories, and these recipients send us impact reports after their projects have been successfully completed.

Guidelines for grants allow for: 50% for the Mission and Ministry of St. Francis; 15% for community support; 15% for global support; 15% for urgent needs; and 5% for the promotion and operation of the St. Francis Endowment.

St Francis Lutheran Church Mission and Ministry Annual Grant $56,691

Partners in Ministry and Community Partners $22,500

  • Farming Hope $2,500
  • Inclusive and Affirming Ministries – South Africa $2,500
  • Lutheran Social Services of Northern California $2,500
  • Lutheran World Relief $2,500
  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary $2,500
  • Reconciling Works $2,500
  • San Francisco-Marin Food Bank $2,500
  • San Francisco Night Ministry $2,500
  • The San Francisco Interfaith Council $2,500

New Projects and Initiatives and Ongoing Operations $33,000

  • Create the Space $3,500
  • Center for Church Innovation $3,500
  • Enterprise Development & Governance Facility (EDGF) $3,500
  • Lutheran Church of the Cross Finnish Ministry $2,500
  • Maitri $2,500
  • Shanti Project $2,500
  • Temescal Telegraph Business Improvement District $3,500
  • Transmission Ministry Collective $2,500
  • Project Commotion $3,000
  • The Forum on Workplace Inclusion $3,500
  • Women’s Audio Mission $2,500

Applying for a Grant from the Endowment

The application has been updated for 2024. It is available by clicking here. The new document that will open contains: detailed instructions; deadlines and an outline of our timing for the year; the application form itself that you will use to type in your information; and a list of the required documents you must attach when submitting the application. There is also our contact e-mail address so that you may ask any questions of us before you submit your grant application. We will be happy to review a draft of your application a week or more ahead of the deadline to advise you if the committee is likely to have all of the information it will need to make its decision. We are particularly interested in funding ministries and organizations that are led by Black and other BIPOC people and that serve these same communities. Thank you for applying!

In Memoriam

We hold in memory these members and friends who have contributed to the St. Francis Endowment, either during their lifetimes or through bequests and estate gifts. This financial support of the mission and ministry of St. Francis Lutheran Church, as well as the support of many other ministries and organizations, has been made permanent by their financial gifts to the Endowment.

Samuel H. Aller
Jim Barron
James E. Berg
Paul Brenner
Brian Christanson and Steven Draheim
Eugene Clark
Richard Copperud
Diane Nelson DeLange and Jim DeLange
Gladys Ebner
Harry Eckhardt
Johanne Erikstad
Millicent Ferrari
Aileen Flood
Minnie Hansen
Jack and Tyne Harris
Kirsten Havrehed
John W. Hickin
Robert Janssen
Nancy A. Loewe
James Martin Luther
Paul Douglas Melton
Elizabeth Nelson
Kenneth R. Noble
Ronald D. Olson
Diana Pavia
Larry Rowell
James Smalley
Jack Streitelmeier
Maurice Urman
Bruce Wertin
Greg Winsby
Frances Zion

Our gratitude for their generosity is truly great, for their permanent support through the St. Francis Endowment is an ongoing witness that inspires us. We give thanks for them, for their lives among us, and for their presence with the saints who have gone before us.

The Luther List

Named for James Martin Luther, a deceased member of St. Francis Lutheran Church who left nearly $300,000 to the St. Francis Endowment, the Luther List is comprised of currently living members and friends who are planning to include the Endowment as a beneficiary of their will, trust, estate plan, life insurance policy, pension, 401(k) or other financial asset. We encourage all members and friends of St. Francis to have an estate plan and to include the St. Francis Lutheran Church Endowment as a beneficiary.

Governance and The Endowment Committee

The Endowment and its operation are governed according to the St. Francis Lutheran Church by-laws. The Endowment is led by a committee of eight people: seven elected by the Congregation Council (one of whom cannot be a member of St. Francis), as well as the pastor of the congregation. Committee members make recommendations regarding the conservative investment of funds, make recommendations for grants, and invite and encourage members and friends of St. Francis to include the Endowment in their estate plans.

Current members are:
Brian Border, Council Representative
Pastor Bea Chun, Ex-Officio
Ben Emmert-Aronson
Jim Kowalski, Chair   
Tom Metz  
Ken Mierow

Randy Schieber, Outside Member

Any of the committee members would be happy to tell you more about the Endowment or answer any questions you may have. If you have end-of-life planning needs or other pastoral needs, Pastor Bea will be available to meet with you privately.


152 Church St, San Francisco CA 94114
(415) 621-2635