It is late July as I write this, and I am sitting on the deck of my cabin in Spreadeagle. The sea is calm, the black currants are nearly ripe, and the wild roses are in full bloom. Life is good.
But then I get a gentle reminder from Editor Emily that the September column is due shortly. That’s when my reflection kicked in.
My planned giving ministry with the Anglican Church began in the fall of 2000, and as I enter my 22nd year, I reflect on the many people who have encouraged me and blessed my work over the years.
On the national level, I have encountered three Primates—Archbishops Michael Peers, Andrew Hutchison and Fred Hiltz. Each of them was very encouraging. I also have to thank follow development colleagues such as David Rushton, Glen Mitchell, Geoff Jackson and Bishop Douglas Hambidge—a giant in the world of stewardship.
On the local level, I have to thank Bishops Cy, Geoff, and Sam in Eastern Diocese, and Bishop John in Central. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Archdeacon Neil Kellett who was instrumental in my being hired, and has been a source of great encouragement to this day.
Archdeacon John Robertson was my national mentor who invited me to join the national team of planned giving consultants. John is an unsung hero in my opinion for the advancement of planned giving for the Anglican Church. He set the bar high in the creation of many gifts for the various arms of the Church.
My work has been made all the easier by the support of the clergy and laity in this diocese and beyond. They have endorsed the ministry of planned giving as a significant tool in the financial support of our church. Because of their endorsement, we have seen a tremendous growth in the realization of the many gifts from our faithful.
Finally, I have to thank my wife Kay, who has served as my best critic over the years. I have been richly blessed.
When I began my ministry in 2000, I set a goal of one planned gift a month to be discovered or created. I am happy to report that the realization of 12 gifts a year has been surpassed for the last number of years. This year, we have witnessed 15 gifts worth close to $300,000. Information about these gifts was passed along to me by rectors, and for that I am grateful.
Let’s hope and pray that this next year is a good one for the church and its faithful. And, let’s keep in mind one of my favourite quotes from St. Francis of Assisi:
Remember that when you leave this earth
You can take with you nothing that you have received-
Only what you have given: a full heart enriched by honest service, love, sacrifice and courage.