No Excuses!

“Many of us think we struggle through life, get to the end of our lives, go to heaven, and thank the Lord we are done with this earthly mess.” 
 
      Edith Kelly-Green, lay leader and member at Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church in Memphis, Tennessee, suggests that this is not exactly true. She believes that just as we make plans to take care of our families when we are gone, we are called to ensure that our church is taken care of, too. 
      Edith, who served as a member of the Christian Church Foundation Board for nine years, shared these beliefs at a recent church breakfast where she reminded members of a saint of the congregation, Ms. Mary Walton Lawson. Ms. Lawson held the same beliefs about giving to the church after life as Edith, and lived out that faith by leaving a scholarship fund for Mississippi Boulevard through the Christian Church Foundation. Church members’ grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even those who have not yet been born will know Ms. Lawson through her scholarship and generosity.  
      Legacy giving is something that requires great amounts of faith not only because it causes us to face our own mortality, but also because it can cause us to doubt what we have to give. Edith shared with her fellow church members that, “We all have assets. We don’t all think we do, but we do.” These gifts can take many different forms - from scholarships like Ms. Lawson’s, to gifts in wills, to life insurance policies where the church is the beneficiary, and many other avenues. Ms. Kelly-Green painted a vision of the future of the church where they did not have to worry about paying for a new roof or boiler system, but could focus on ministry, outreach, and education because of the faith of the saints who have gone before us.
      Edith closed the morning by sharing scripture from the Gospel of Luke with her audience and reassuring her listeners that when they die, “we will be excited that you are changing your address to heaven, but we will be even more excited if you have left something behind for Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church! Dying really is NOT an excuse to stop supporting your church.”