If you would like to make a donation of any size to the Chapel, you may do so by check. Checks should be made out to St. John’s on-the-Lake and mailed to: 12 Loch Eden Shores Rd., Meredith, NH 03253.
St. John’s on-the-Lake Chapel Association is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) charitable organization founded in 1954 and incorporated in 1968 to own and operate the Chapel on Bear Island. It is funded entirely through donations from individuals who love the Chapel and the lake.
These donations are crucial to enabling us to maintain and perpetuate this unique and iconic island chapel for future generations to come. This mission requires us to routinely complete often expensive maintenance projects on the 121 year old tower and the 92 year old sanctuary. The increasing instances of severe weather bring our concerns about continuing the Chapel’s existence into greater relief each year. This winter we cut down several additional trees around the building’s perimeter as they threatened to cause substantial damage if dropped in a windstorm. We also are in the midst of rebuilding the front steps to eliminate the hazardous, cracked cement that is there now. Combined, these two projects cost in excess of $12,000. This coming year or next, we also must redo the docks in Deep Cove. At some future point, we will investigate what can be done to make the old tower safe again for visitors.
Beyond these types of repairs that seem to arise every year, we have also taken the ambitious step of establishing a self-insurance fund for the Chapel. The goal is to provide complete replacement coverage of the building in case of a catastrophic event. Formal insurance is becoming increasingly difficult to obtain and is presently quite inadequate to cover worst-case replacement costs. Several years ago, the Board established our Preservation Fund geared for this purpose. Numerous small donations over the years gave it a very nice jump start. A recent bequest from Phyllis Patten, formerly of East Bear, has provided us with an even stronger foundation. But the fund is presently less than half the estimated level it needs to meet our target.
Support for the St. John’s on-the-Lake Chapel Association through a bequest or other planned gift is a wonderful, long-term way to help us fulfill the mission of keeping the Chapel in operation for many years to come. However large or small the size of your estate, planning is essential to ensure that the goals you set for your assets are met. Planned giving can take many forms, including a bequest to St. John’s. The Chapel organization can be named as a beneficiary of a retirement account, a life insurance policy, a charitable annuity, a charitable remainder or lead trust, or even the remainder interest in real property. Depending upon your interests and particular situation, there could be financial and/or tax benefits that result from making a planned gift. Whatever your plans, please consult with your estate planner and/or attorney to explore these opportunities.