Greetings from the Generosity Committee!
As you know, in April 2018 longtime Prince of Peace member Rose Diestler bequeathed to Prince of Peace approximately $500,000, plus her home, car and all of her possessions. In the year since her bequest was received a lot has happened! The Congregation Council created the Generosity Committee in December and initially charged this group with recommending to the Council the best course of action for the use of Rose’s bequest. The committee members are Pastor Peter, Barry Brahier (chair), Andrea Clepper, Kent Olson, Diane Syverson and Linda Wagner.
The first task of the committee was to ensure Rose’s home, car and possessions were secure and recommend their best use. The committee has met six times since January and provided Council with a plan for the best use of Rose’s car and possessions. The Congregation Council at their March meeting accepted the Committee’s recommendation that Rose’s car be sold, the funds be added to the balance of her bequest and charged the Committee with carrying out the sale. Similarly, the Council accepted the Committee’s recommendation regarding Rose’s possessions. Those recommendations included re-use in ministry of any items deemed useful to the mission of Prince of Peace, the donation of items known to be of use to organizations that Rose supported during her lifetime, and the sale of the remainder of Rose’s possessions. The Council charged the Committee with carrying out these recommendations.
So far, church ministries have benefited from items in Rose’s home including kitchen items coming to our kitchen, arts and craft supplies to be used by our children’s ministry, tools that were added to the Monday Morning Crew’s collection, and a couch and a love seat that will be coming to the Youth room. In addition, several theater-quality costumes and hats were donated to the Lakeshore Players in White Bear Lake where Rose served as a volunteer for some time.
An estate sale is planned for June 6, 7, and 8 with a pre-sale for church members on June 5. More information will be coming soon. The sale is being organized by parents of our youth and the youth are assisting. All proceeds will be going to the designated Youth fundraising account that supports youth activities and travel. As Rose was an accomplished painter, church members will be able to enjoy Rose’s paintings and if they desire, bid on one or more of them during a silent auction that will begin on May 19 and end on June 2.
The car will also be sold, and a process is in place to allow church members the opportunity to purchase the car. More information will be made available during announcements in church. But since the title was not among the papers provided to the church, the sale is on hold until a replacement title can be obtained. If you would like to be contacted when the car is available for sale, please email the Committee with “Rose’s car” in the subject line at [email protected]
While this may seem like a lot of activity, and it is, the focus of the committee so far has been on the issue of what to do with Rose’s home. Because of its value, estimated to be greater than $225,000, the decision on what to do with the home is a decision only the congregation can make during a congregational meeting. The plan is for the Committee to bring to the Congregation Council our recommendation for the Council’s consideration at the Council’s May meeting. This allows for the Council to vote on the Committee’s recommendation such that the congregation can consider a motion about the house at the congregational meeting for June 23.
The committee’s recommendation to the Congregation Council will be that Rose’s home be sold and the funds be added to the balance of Rose’s bequest. The Committee arrived at this recommendation after surveying the congregation in February. 95 responses were received and the overwhelming number stated the home should be sold. A few suggestions were made to donate the home to third party ministry organizations for reuse. Those ministry organizations were contacted and it was determined the home was either not needed or not a good fit for the organization.
So there you have it, the activity of the Generosity Committee to date. There is a lot more to come, especially once the home, car and possessions are sold because then we will turn our attention to developing a set of recommendations, based on input from members, as to what our church will do with the balance of Rose’s bequest. Rose’s bequest represents a marvelous, once-in-a-congregation’s-lifetime opportunity and the Committee is approaching the task with intent of honoring Rose and is using all of the reverence, prayerful discernment and diligence the task deserves.
If you would like to share your thoughts on Rose’s bequest or have any questions for the Committee, we would love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact any of us or use the Committee’s email address which is [email protected].
Chair, Generosity Committee