We are shaped by stories. Marketers, sales representatives, even politicians use them to alter our behavior and change the way we think. Stories captivate our senses; they not only keep us on the edge of our seats, but they stay lodged in our memories far longer than facts or statistics.
“It’s all about the hugs,” Pastor John Whitehurst said with a grin, thinking about the children at Asbury House Child Enrichment Center. One of his favorite moments as a pastor is holding chapel for the children who attend the center, which offers disadvantaged families high-quality educational opportunities for their children.
As the whispers of the Revolutionary War echoed across the colonies, a man named Richard Owings was surrendering to his call. He was the first native-born Methodist local preacher in what was to become the United States of America.
Just two years after starting a Donor Advised Fund (DAF) with Heartspring United Methodist Foundation in memory of his mother, Steve Smith had exhausted the fund with continual grant making to worthy nonprofit organizations
“We wanted to leave something that would live on,” said JoAnn Ranton when asked why she and her late husband James established the James and JoAnn Ranton Family Endowment through TMF in 2015. Though a common and admirable motivation for legacy giving, JoAnn’s statement is far from a sweeping observation. For her, it is specific, profound, and startling in its significance.
There are few things as intoxicating and satisfying as meeting someone who lives a fully coherent life where “all outward things are images of inward life,” as Yeats, the poet of eternal opposites, longed for.
Generosity can be spurred from the simplest moments, during a hand shake or a smile, in the aftermath of a light rain or in the beauty of a sunlit day. For Jan Baucum, that moment came during her childhood, growing up in a tiny farming community in West Texas.
When asked why he and his wife Jan made a gift to TMF’s Grants Ministry in support of Harvey relief and recovery, Charles King described a rough illustration: “Draw a vertical popsicle stick with God at the top and me at the bottom and a heart in the middle.”
“My wife Kristie and I have developed a passion around supporting young clergy,” said Wesley Millican, explaining the drivers for the endowment he and his wife established at TMF to help pastors participate in TMF’s Leadership Ministry learning communities.