Resources in Support of 4/1 Earth

Mission 4/1 EarthThe Cornerstone Fund is pleased to participate in Mission 4/1 Earth — a mission we’ve supported since 2008, when we began offering our Going Green workshop. The materials we developed helped churches reduce their energy costs and their impact on the environment, and many UCC churches — concerned about climate change, health and safety issues, and environmental justice — have take advantage of the Cornerstone Fund’s EcoLoan when they’re ready to make more significant changes. Continue reading

Earn a five-year bonus when you give back!

Cornerstone Fund investors have always enjoyed earning good rates — and now you can earn a bonus of 1.0% with the new Church Builder Bonus —

  • Invest a minimum of $10,000 in a five-year investment
  • “Give-back” a gift of at least 10% to any UCC ministry
  • Enjoy the bonus on the balance for the five-year investment term

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Saving for college

For years, Anna Joy added money she earned by babysitting to the college fund her parents established with the Cornerstone Fund. The competitive rate of return on her investments — and the advantage she received from reinvesting her interest income — helped her savings grow. Now a graduate of Kent State, Anna Joy used her savings for a language immersion course and travel to Germany, where she’s working on an advanced degree.

Updating an historic property

When it comes to making capital improvements, churches often take a while to consider their options and make their plans. Built in 1835, historic First Congregational Church in Jefferson, Ohio had once hosted abolitionist John Brown in its pulpit. The oldest in Ohio’s Western Reserve, the church was well-preserved — but their last major remodeling project was completed in 1910. For a long time, the 191-member congregation had talked about the need to update the building and improve accessibility. Continue reading

Expanding ministry

For the 205 members of Melfield United Church of Christ in Haw River, North Carolina, ministry means continually growing an open heart for the community. Centered in a rural area that is home to many farmers and textile workers, the church has sponsored a successful food program that feeds 150 families. But to meet another big need — supporting working and single parent families with after-school programs — they required more space. After considering the project for several years, the church turned to the Cornerstone Fund when they decided to move forward.

To meet their goal of offering before- and after-school care and tutoring programs, Melfield UCC built a 2,500-square-foot educational building. Borrowing part of the funds for the $164,000 project from the Cornerstone Fund, the church conducted a capital campaign that enabled them to pay the mortgage over a period of time. The new building provides space for Sunday School, houses the clerk’s office and accessible restrooms, and even offers shower facilities should the church be needed as an emergency shelter.

The pastor of Melfield UCC, The Rev. Dannie T. Williams, got to know the Cornerstone Fund when serving as an Associate Conference Minister. “The Cornerstone Fund is very helpful — not just with loans, but with the business decisions that go into making capital improvements,” he said. “I’d strongly encourage any congregation to consider the Cornerstone Fund when building or renovating, or for investments. It’s definitely the way to go.”

Building for ministry

Holy Covenant UCC in Charlotte, North Carolina moved to the growing north side of town when people were just beginning to move that direction. These days, the church is surrounded by a thriving, rapidly expanding suburb — and they were running out of space. With a loan from the Cornerstone Fund, Holy Covenant built a new wing to accommodate more Sunday School and meeting rooms, to pave the gravel road and parking lot that circle the church, and to add attractive and prominent signage to extend their welcome to the thousands who travel by every day.

Earning income for ministry

The Illinois South Conference invests part of its endowment in the Cornerstone Fund, and appreciates the steady source of income offered by this more predictable investment. The Conference uses its interest income to develop new opportunities in ministry — like reaching out to Hispanic people who are new to the metro St. Louis area.

Recovering from Katrina

Volunteering at BeecherSituated in the 7th Ward of New Orleans, Beecher Memorial UCC has served its community since 1904. For more than a century, the church weathered storms and rebounded — including 1965’s Hurricane Betsy, which destroyed Beecher’s building leaving only the bell that now sits in the church’s front yard. Continue reading

Helping other churches

A small church, First Congregational of Birmingham, Alabama, values the careful management of the Cornerstone Fund, where the congregation’s endowment funds are invested. Trustees chose to move the church’s certificates of deposit from a local bank to the Cornerstone Fund for two reasons: the attractive rates of return, and the opportunity to help other churches restore and expand.