“If Only”

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“Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.”
– Mother Theresa

Happy New Year, everyone! 2022. Who knows what this year will bring? Hopefully it will be a good and blessed one for us all.

However, I would like to share a few reflections on this past year or so. COVID-19 continued to dominate our attention and lives, first with vaccination, then second amid the first, second, and third waves of this virus. Sick people. Schools, businesses, and churches were closed or had severe limitations placed upon them. Someone mentioned that churches can never go back to the way they were before. The use of technology and the internet have become vital tools and have significantly replaced in-person church attendance. However, one priest mentioned that he had 300 people following his service via Facebook.

Throughout all of this, positive things are happening in the planned giving arena. Two cases that immediately come to mind involve two gentlemen who have passed away in the last year or so. The first, a man from CBS, left a number of bequests for 5 parishes on the Avalon Peninsula, as well as for both Queen’s College and the CLB. The residue of his estate (yet undetermined) will establish two funds at the Cathedral in St. John’s.

The second, a widower from St. John’s, was also very generous to the Church in his will. In fact, he had 17 bequests for a number of parishes in the Eastern and Central Dioceses, and others for the CLB, the Anglican Foundation, and the Primates World Relief and Development Fund. A wonderful legacy indeed.

This is good news for the Church as it struggles with the ravages of COVID-19 and invents new ways to connect with parishioners and serve the community at large.

American writer Mercedes Lackey said that “What If” must be the two saddest words in the world. What if my will was not drawn up or updated before tragedy struck? What if I had not made provision for a power of attorney? What if I had not bequeathed a gift to my church? Mercedes was right. These two words are sad and the past can’t be rewritten.

Don’t be one of the “What If” crowd. Please make an effort to get your estate plan (large or small) in order and have a legally drafted will prepared. And, prayerfully consider leaving a bequest in your will for the Church and/or one of its many ministries. As Mother Theresa suggested, “We have only today. Let us begin.”

Finally, financial planner Christine Ibbotson wrote in the Telegram recently :

“If you die without an estate plan, the Canadian Government will make one for you – guaranteed to not be the way you would have wanted.”

True words.

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