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    Jun 17, 2018

    Pentecost 4 – Proper 6B

    Preacher: The Rev. Joan Mason, Rector

    Series: Rector

    Category: Weekly Sermon


    Our readings today have us focusing on the future.  The first reading is about how the Lord leads the people to the right choice for their future leader.

    In the second reading, that we walk now by faith, not by sight, and are told to have confidence until the day comes that we are back in Jesus’ presence.  Again… we’re looking to the future.

    And then in the Gospel, St. Mark uses the analogy of seeds.  We scatter seeds and they will sprout; how?, we do not know.  The smallest of seeds, the mustard seed, grows in to the greatest shrub in which even birds can make their nests.

    Each of these readings has us looking to the future.  It reminds me of a verse from Philippians, “…straining forward to what lies ahead..” (Phil 3:13)

    There is an obligation I have as Rector regarding the future.  It’s in the Book of Common Prayer (p445).  Let me read it to you.  “The Minister of the Congregation is directed to instruct the people, from time to time, about the duty of Christian parents to make prudent provision for the well-being of their families; and of all persons to make Wills, while they are in health, arranging for the disposal of their temporal goods, not neglecting, if they are able, to leave bequests for religious and charitable uses.”

    Since our readings our future oriented, straining us forward, I’m taking time today to offer you instruction about this.  The ushers gave you a handout on your way in.  Page 1 is a Funeral Information Form.  This is a form you would complete at home about yourself (or you could help a loved one do it). You may think this is strange – filling out information about your own funeral, but let me tell you the reason for doing this.  If you have desires for your own funeral, now is the time to write them down.  For example, do you want to be cremated or not?  Buried in the Memorial Garden or elsewhere?  Have a service in the church or at a funeral home or not at all?  Sing a particular hymn you like?  I know people who died and their family decided on something other than what the person would have wanted.  Without this form on file, there is little the church can do.  Fill in the information you know, and leave blank what you do not.  Write out your preferences and get it to the church to keep on file.  Then in the future, if you hear a hymn, or a reading, or think of another piece of information you’d like added to your funeral form, you can send it to the church office to add it.  My funeral information form is on file.  It’s been there for years.  So are many others.  Keep a copy for your own files.  Better yet, tell your family.  But make sure the church office has this Form. 

    This is a difficult discussion, but so worth it to have now rather than too late.  Here’s another topic I would like to address with you.  Do you have a Will?  If not, why not?  No matter your age, no matter your marital status, if you have children or not, everyone should have a Will.  A Will designates who gets your assets.  Without a Will, that will be decided by the State, and it may not be to whom you wish.  If you have a family, you will want to take care of them for their future.  If you have minor children, a Will protects them by you designating a guardian.  We have a handout on the nametag table called “Writing Your Will.”  Please pick up one to help you with this.

    As a part of your Will, I ask you to consider leaving a gift to Christ Church. This cares for this parish long after we are gone, and will help those in the future to enjoy the beauty, spirit and community of this place.  The second page of our handout is called “Gift + The Legacy Society.”  It gives you a list of ways to include Christ Church in your planned giving.  I have put Christ Church in my Will, and ask you to consider doing the same. 

    The 3rd page is the Designation Form for the Legacy Society.  Once you have included Christ Church in your Will or planned giving, you complete this form and give it to the church office.  You do not need to say how much you are designating for Christ Church; only that you are.  So if you already know you’ve remembered Christ Church, you can complete this form today.  Or please retain it for future use. 

    Have you noticed the Legacy Society plaque on the wall of the hallway next to the Chapel?  This honors anyone who is a member of the Legacy Society – that is, anyone who has indicated they have included Christ Church in their Will or planned giving.  Take a look at those names as you walk down the hall.  Yours will be added as soon as we receive your Designation Form.  All new members of the Legacy Society are also announced at the Annual Meeting.  There is an option though, to designate this anonymously if that is your preference. 

    So …. take some time to think and pray about all of this.  Let the Lord guide you in your decisions to care for the future of your loved ones, and for the Church too.  This is one aspect of the future that you can take care of now.

    The Legacy Society

    Legacy Designation Form

    Funeral Information Sheet