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Leaving a Legacy of Life.

Recently, I sat in a room with a gentleman who prayed: "Dear Lord, we thank you for those whose deaths leave a legacy of life."

It was in response to a 14-year-old girl who recently passed away while awaiting for a heart transplant at Riley Children's Hospital.  During her stay, she organized a weekly bake sale from her room in order to raise money for a park to be built that children in the hospital could use. Prices ranged from 50 cents for a Rice Krispy Treat to $5 for Banana Bread. All told, Jaden Lauderdale raised more than $15,000. Though she did not live long enough to see the park's completion, her legacy lives on.

"Dear Lord, we thank you for those whose deaths leave a legacy of life."

My wife and I lost a dear friend of ours earlier this month to an aggressive cancer that took her life at far too young an age.  Hers is a life, however, that “echoes through eternity.”  Sarah was a gifted teacher who loved her students with passion and depth.  She was a tremendous mother to her two little boys, and a loving wife to her husband.  Throughout her battle with cancer and in the recent days since her death, a multitude of people – friends, family, students, co-workers – have come forth sharing story after story of the ways Sarah’s life impacted their own.  She made people want to be better people.  Her life inspired others to want to love fiercely.  Talk about a legacy.

"Dear Lord, we thank you for those whose deaths leave a legacy of life."

And then there was last week, when I attended a Pastoral Leadership Program sponsored by the Lilly Endowment and Duke University.  It was a tremendous week of learning and befriending other young clergy colleagues from across the country.  I had an incredible time, and could not help but reflect on all who helped make it possible.  Of course, there were the gracious hosts who opened up their beautiful home to host us.  And there were the program directors who shared their knowledge and passions openly.  But there were all those others – folks like Mr. Lilly whose generosity and Kingdom-vision led him to create a philanthropic endowment that funds a multitude of Church projects throughout the world.  There are also countless others who have contributed to the endowment of Duke’s Divinity School as well.  Their giving helps keep tuition down and also funds leadership programs for pastors.  And there are folks like you – people in our church who have tithed faithfully and given abundantly so that God’s work might be done through Fishers UMC.  
I want to live my life in such ways that my legacy reverberates with the overflowing generosity of God. I want to live a legacy of life.  

Dear Lord, we thank you for those whose lives lead a legacy of Life.

Pastor Jared Kendall
Associate Pastor

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