Leaving a legacy
Some of us might shy away from thinking about leaving a legacy as it makes us think about death. But legacy is really about life and living. Thinking about our legacy helps us decide the kind of life we want to live and the kind of world we want to live in.
A dictionary would define a legacy as a bequest or a gift in a will that provides support to an individual or an organisation after the person’s death.
ithin the context of the Uniting Church in Queensland, all legacy gifts are expressions of our donors’ gratitude and thanksgiving to God for all that they have enjoyed during their lifetime. So I prefer to think of a legacy in terms of continued celebration of a life well-lived.
There have been many generous benefactors over the years to local and wider church mission. As head of fundraising for the Queensland Synod, I am always humbled by the legacy gifts we receive, whether large or small, as all gifts are welcome.
Final act of generosity
Recently the Uniting Church Foundation was grateful to receive a legacy gift that was a final top-up to a bequest fund that was begun by David and Helen James during their lifetime. I would like to remember David and Helen’s life and the values they cherished which were displayed in their final act of generosity to wider church mission across Queensland.
David and Helen were initially based in Townsville, where their three children were born. David was a civil engineer who worked all over north and western Queensland and on many occasions, Helen would accompany David on his trips. They were both keen campers and spent many holidays in the bush.
From this love of the outdoors was born a love for rural and remote mission and their legacy gift makes a perpetual contribution to rural and remote ministry in North Queensland, to aircraft maintenance of the Mackay Patrol and to vehicle maintenance of the Leichhardt Patrol.
David and Helen were also passionate about youth and children, and their legacy gift makes a further perpetual contribution to the Queensland Synod Scholarship Fund to enable annual bursaries for young people from rural and regional Queensland.
Celebrating the life of David and Helen James
David was a life elder of the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches, and was honorary project manager working with volunteer teams in the building of Aitkenvale Presbyterian Church, Upper Ross Presbyterian Church and Kirwan Uniting Church. He was also Chair of the committee that built John Flynn Memorial College, a residential college at James Cook University.
Upon retirement, David and Helen undertook a tree change to Montville and eventually, a sea change to Mooloolaba where they continued to participate in the leadership of the church. They are survived by three children, three grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.
If you would like more information about how to leave a gift that not only celebrates the life you have lived but continues to support the mission that is important to you, please get in touch by phone 07 3377 9777, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit missionpossible.ucaqld.com.au
Raushen Perera is the Queensland Synod’s Chief Fundraising and Marketing Officer.