Chip’s Message – June 2016

Chip_message_blog_297x140On June 5, we celebrated Legacy Sunday, a time to think about what has happened over the program year that is almost over, what has happened in the life of our ministry and what we are passing on to people that they may live faithfully. Legacy Sunday invites us to reflect on our purpose to connect with God, one another and the world, and on the values we live by as members of FPCY’s ministry.

We reflect on the ways we are sharing God’s good news far and wide, living the way of Christ and following the Spirit’s leading. Our celebration focused on both the Legacy of Learning and the Legacy of Giving.

Last fall, we started the program year with the theme “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it!” This theme has echoed through our Church School rotations, youth group meetings and adult education opportunities throughout the year. In adult education in particular, we have read about and discussed what it means to have a Green Faith, how water is a crucial part of both our lives and our faith, how we can integrate faith and science in meaningful ways, and what we can learn from faith traditions other than our own. So many seeds of thought, understanding and service have been planted through the prayerful study and conversation of so many in our church. The legacy of all this learning is only just beginning to grow, but already we have been blessed by greater knowledge and understanding, deeper connections with God and one another, and renewed energy for study and service.

Legacy Sunday also looks farther down the road to ask what we will leave behind once we are gone and have passed on this faith and ministry to the next generations of people. To that end, we look at how we are planning now so that the end of our lives is not a burden on others, but a gift we share beyond this life. Is your will up to date? Have you written out your wishes for a funeral service? Would your family be able to find important documents like a Living Will and Power of Attorney for estate and medical issues? What charitable contributions do you want to make from your estate after your death?

In 2014, the Session set up an endowment fund so that we could plan ahead and participate in the ministry of the church long after we have entered the eternal presence of God. The Session’s goal in setting up this fund is to build a long-term way to supplement the ministry of the church as it continues to grow and evolve. We can be a gift and leave a legacy for many years. Some of our members have already made contributions to that fund. Others have added our church as a beneficiary in their will. So, we hope that you will prayerfully consider how you can build a legacy that gives faith, hope, grace and justice well beyond your days.

Our God is a God of wisdom and understanding, generosity and vision. Our God invites us all to consider how we can nurture faith and build a future that is secure in God’s love and hope, joy and peace, a legacy of abundant life now and always.