by Ann Lankford
Twenty years ago, I had been seeking a church home where I would feel cared for, could grow in my spiritual faith, and serve God. After a Boar’s Head Festival and months of visiting AHCC, I attended an annual meeting. I reviewed the annual report with great interest and was struck by the level of outreach to the community. I wanted to be a part of that giving and felt this was the place for me. I didn’t think my financial contribution would make any significant difference, but I felt that even my pledge could help.
Now it’s 20 years later and, because of my experience in handling my mother’s finances in the final years of her life, I realize it is far past due for me to finalize my own will, healthcare directives, power of attorney – all of the important estate planning documents. I came to realize that it was a gift in itself, that my mother had her final documents in order, allowing my siblings and me to have the peace of not having to deal with difficult financial and healthcare decisions. I made it my new year’s resolution to spare my loved ones and I gave up on my periodic attempts to use online tools and resources to write my will alone. I now wanted guidance to do my will and dedicate a portion of my estate and include AHCC.
I sought advice from Matt, who referred me to two or three people which led to a referral to two or three attorneys. And though this may sound like a lot of referrals, all of these discussions were more caring than I expected they would be. They helped me discover my important personal and financial interests, which helped me make the right decisions. It was a very smooth process and I am pleased with the outcome.
AHCC has been a place for me to grow spiritually, explore my gifts, and serve. In my initial thoughts and conversations about this, I had considered earmarking my legacy gift to a specific effort. We’ve probably all appreciated gifts like the renovated stained glass windows, the new pew Bibles, the donor-funded music series, and outreach efforts which affect so many lives. These gifts are significant to me and the community, but I’m not in a position to do something big like that. So I decided to leave it to the discretion of the church leadership. I know that AHCC has a long history of caring for others and I know that my gift will be cared for as well.
I pray that my contribution and legacy gift will be just as significant as those I’ve appreciated, heard of, and seen.