As we prepare for the beginning of Lent and our journey through the wilderness to the Cross and beyond to Easter, I have one question for you: Are you ready? The ancillary question is this: Have you noticed that we are all getting older?
There is an instruction in the prayer book often overlooked on page 445. This is how it goes: “The minister of the congregation is directed to instruct the people, from time to time, about the duty of Christians to make prudent provisions 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.”
This is one of those times for this minister to do that. There is a magnificent resource available to us through the Episcopal Church Foundation for free online. Put this in your google spot: https://bit.ly/ECFBooklet. If you don’t have a way to get it online, let us know in the office. It’s a lot of good material and nearly 40 pages long. It covers the following:
The truth is that we too often look at these things and say that we can put them off until tomorrow. But if you take the time to deal with them, you will feel very good! And it is good stewardship! And the loving thing to do for your family. If you can, you may even leave a bequest for the furthering of the kingdom at Kingston in our general endowment fund or a memorial gift.
If you haven’t done this work, or if your will is perhaps a bit outdated, make it one of your Lenten disciplines. It needn’t take long, but it is good for each of us to remember, as we are going to say on Ash Wednesday: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return.” This is a way to also say as we say in the burial service: “Yet even at the grave, we make our song Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia!”
P.S. What else are you doing for Lent? We’ll have a Lenten retreat about deepening our relationship with God through prayer on Saturday, March 26th you can plan to attend. Also, you can always have fun learning about the Saints by playing with Lent Madness where the March Madness brackets meet the holy ways of God. See www.LentMadness.org online.
The Very Rev. Gary Barker