St. John’s, Shaping and Changing Lives

A reflection on giving back, by Wharton Ramsey

Why would someone consider leaving an endowment to our church? After all, we seem to be getting along okay, don’t we? This is how I look at it.

We all enjoy our beautiful church, and on a year-in-year-out basis we pay for its expenses, including upkeep, clergy, staff and outreach. However, none of us now living paid for the initial land and buildings, and the costs over the years to hand it down to our present generations. St. John’s is a gift to us from those worshipers who preceded us – and what a wonderful gift it was.

St. John’s is not only a beautiful place of worship, learning and fellowship, but it is a springboard for outreach in the community and causes far and wide. St. John’s is a powerful force for good in this world. It shapes and changes lives and souls, and gives comfort and hope to those in distress. I have repeatedly been awed by the selfless work that emanates quietly below the radar from our church. 

I didn’t pay for this wonderful church. But I am the beneficiary of generations of largess, of those who wanted to see this church continue its ministry long after they were gone. It was a wonderfully generous thing they did.  

Now I feel it is my privilege to help insure that the church can continue to meet the financial challenges and goals for future generations. That is why I’ve chosen to leave an endowment. 

This is the third in a series of periodic reflections from the Endowment Board of St. John’s Episcopal Church.