Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure, pressed down,
shaken together and running over…
– Luke 6:38 (NIV)
What will the future say about us?
The question is daunting. It asks us to construct an intentional and enduring legacy by stirring the conscience and envisioning the future.
In fact, the inquiry might be characterized best as a statement of collective conscience: what do we, as agents of social change, hope that our future neighbors might say about us as their ancestors?
And inching closer to home, it asks what we—as current students, faculty, alumni/ae, and friends of Union Theological Seminary—wish most for Union’s future?
Ultimately, we won’t ever know the answer to this daunting question or its corollaries. Nonetheless, endeavoring to construct forward-thinking plans now guided by what we hope the future might whisper to us, and allowing these faint voices to help us create a shared vision today of what we hope the future can become, are worthwhile and beneficial activities.
And it is on this point that your plans for the future of Union Theological Seminary become especially critical.
One small yet significant aspect of such a mighty spiritual project involves philanthropy. And more precisely, charitable gift planning as one aspect of philanthropy allows givers to share their plans, visions, and values directly with the future, in addition to their financial resources. Charitable deferred gifts—or planned gifts as they are often called—are designed via an intentional act of legacy planning before a person crosses the ultimate threshold of life yet gifted after they cross. These visionary written statements represent givers’ deepest aspirations for the future sustainability of the non-profits they love.
Practically speaking, naming Union as a beneficiary in your will, for example, or adding Union as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy, are constructive ways to link your personal legacy with your vision, plans, and values. And for those who have retirement assets or other investments, gifting a portion of these to Union could have substantial tax benefits. It’s important to know that no gift you give is too small when every dollar is precious. The biblical story about the widow’s two mites that were valued more than all the rest immediately comes to mind (Mark 12:41; Luke 21:1).
Our global Union Collective is a beautiful community of action and conscience. We extend sincere thanks to the nearly 250 alumni/ae and friends who have already told us about their legacy intentions. These individuals and families are special members of the Union Theological Seminary 1836 Legacy Circle—named to commemorate the year of Union’s founding.
Please, won’t you also consider joining this cherished group as we work to hear the future’s call?