Legacy – Something handed down from one generation to another…
There are many ways people leave legacies. For example:
- A legacy of wise leadership
- A legacy of moral character
- A legacy of professional excellence
- A legacy of compassion
- A legacy of faithfulness
- A legacy of friendship
All of these, along with many other qualities and accomplishments, are worthy of our attention. While we focus on what endures beyond our lifetime, the truth is that we must live our legacy now in order for there to be something to pass along to the next generation. Each day, how we live our lives, practice our vocation, relate to others, contribute to the welfare of our society, is an investment in the legacy that remains when we have reached the end of our days.
In Church circles, when the term “legacy” is used, it is most often in reference to monetary gifts bequeathed to a church by members, as in “Legacy Stewardship.” In fact, that is one very important way one generation can hand something of value down to another generation. And, like any legacy, we have to live it day by day in order for there to be something to pass along.
At St. Andrew’s Cathedral, we have a permanent endowment, contributions to which are held in trust, invested and reinvested, with only a portion of the earnings made available to spend on the purpose for which the gifts have been restricted by the donor. Our endowment makes it possible to maintain our historic facilities, do extraordinary things to strengthen parish and diocesan life (e.g., music, youth, formation), and to serve our neighbors in need.
Much of our discussion about the Cathedral endowment focuses on estate planning, wills, trusts, and bequests. All of those things seem more of interest to our communicants who are retiring or who have come to the point where they want to be sure their affairs are in order as they face a shorter future.
Here is another way of thinking about legacy stewardship, one that may be of interest to younger families and individuals. It is possible to name an endowment fund when contributions to that fund reach $25,000. You can make a pledge to create such a fund and add to it as you are able. In fulfillment of your pledge, you can invest a certain sum each year for a certain number of years to reach the goal of $25,000 in a designated fund. At that point, you can name the fund.
What’s even better is that your endowed fund at St. Andrew’s Cathedral will be there in perpetuity. You, members of your family, or others who want to honor you can make a gift to it at any time, before or after it is named, increasing the legacy you have begun. And, when you reach the age when you are facing retirement or the end of your days, it will be there, almost like a member of the family, to be included in your estate plans.
If you are interested and want to have a confidential conversation about how to live your legacy in this way, contact the Endowment Committee (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Think about it.
I’ll see you in Church!
The Very Reverend Ronald D. Pogue
St. Andrew’s Cathedral