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Remember that "Life is short. Break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love fully and laugh uncontrollably....."
Saturday, November 1, 2008
A Lords ministry for over 20 years
After church today, I had both an interesting and kind of emotional meeting.
Some twenty years ago, my father, living in Evanston, Illinois seeded a fund for our Presbyterian Church (in Virginia) with the hope that the interest and dividends from the endowment would assist in his words ".... folks less fortunate than he". For twenty years, the fund has grown to over a quarter of a million dollars with the income assisting over 700 families and or individuals with medicine, heat, lights, food, shelter, funerals and burials. He asked that I act as trustee until my death or my transfer of church membership.
I have not passed away (phew) nor have I moved my membership. Given my age and retirement status, both those scenarios have to be considered.
So today, I met with a transition committee that will take over the fund some time in the not to distant future. It was interesting because of the readiness of these church members to undertake such a worthwhile and needed ministry yet expressing anxiety for the unknown and sometimes gut wrenching work ahead.
It was emotional because of the trust that Dad had in me to grow the fund and to use it appropriately. I lived the Lords ministry through my Dad almost daily. His wishes will be carried forth I am sure. The church has named the fund after Dad and his family. Hallelujah!
On his death bed in hospice, he wrote an Advent message which is to long to print in its entirety but shared in part here.
Christianity ".... is a way of life verbalized primarily in the New Testament which says, in effect, to mankind: read and learn about Christ's birth and life, make the the words part of you, and most important, confine them not exclusively to churches, cathedrals, and tabernacles, but apply them to the world of daily activity--to home, to the community, to the marketplace.
The Advent, expanded, tells man to love his neighbor, to reach out to the have-nots of the world, to opt for peace over war, forgiveness over thoughtless punishment, and gentle tolerance over hasty opposition.....The Advent says to mankind: cut materialism down to size, share more generally with those in need, and never forget that Christianity at its best is a phenomenon of action as well as words and ideas. Its mandate is: put the letter to work."
By the way, I made it to the church on time despite the time change. Its always easier "falling back" than "springing forward"