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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 2020

Grants totaling $86,498 were distributed in 2020. $45,498 of this amount was 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 $16,000. 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 $25,000 in funding for Regular Grants, and these recipients send us impact reports after their projects have been successfully completed. We did not use funds for an annual event in 2020 and carried over a total of $8,858 to 2021.

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 $45,498

Partners in Ministry and Community Partners $16,000

  • Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary $2,000
  • Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) $2,000
  • San Francisco Night Ministry $3,000
  • Inclusive and Affirming Ministries – South Africa $2,000
  • Lutheran Social Services of Northern California $3,000
  • The San Francisco Interfaith Council $2,000
  • Farming Hope $2,000

New Projects and Initiatives and Ongoing Operations $25,000

  • Reconciling Works $3,000
  • A Woman’s Place $3,000
  • St. Francis Lutheran Church – Council Retreat $2,000
  • Open Source Wellness $3,000
  • LYRIC $3,000
  • San Francisco Marin Food Bank $3,000
  • Project Commotion $2,000
  • Rwanda School Project $3,000
  • Lutheran World Relief $3,000

Applying for a Grant from the Endowment

The application has been updated for 2021. 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 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. 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
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:
David Bernstein
Brian Border
Pastor Bea Chun, Ex-Officio
Ben Emmert-Aronson
Catherine Hurley, Outside Member
Jim Kowalski, Chair
Ken Mierow, Council Representative

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