Helping Members Leave a Legacy

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June 2020 marks the fourth anniversary when one historically black and two historically white congregations in Savannah merged to become ConneXion Church. Rev. J. Michael Culbreth, founding and senior pastor, shepherds this intentionally multiracial and multigenerational church which seeks to demonstrate to the world how racial walls causing separation can be destroyed.

Like any committed pastor, Culbreth is concerned about his flock’s current and future well-being. He recognized the need for a Wills Clinic after Rev. Steve Waldorf, former regional vice president at the Georgia United Methodist Foundation, provided an overview of GUMF’s training programs and ministries.

“When it comes to estate planning many of our members need assistance with their wills. Since a large segment of our congregation is elderly, there is also a need to address planning for long-term care, senior living, and other matters,” Culbreth said.

In December 2019, ConneXion Church invited other congregations and people from the surrounding community to attend a Wills Clinic led by Nancy Young, GUMF vice president of development. Nearly 60 people participated in the two-hour long program.

Culbreth noted that the feedback the Church received was positive and that all of the participants gained invaluable information on wills and the estate planning process, which they are planning to use as they prepare for the future.

“The primary takeaway was that everyone needs to engage in end-of-life planning. Everyone needs a will yet many people have neglected to prepare for the future. By having all the documents in place before a crisis occurs, family members can find important documents when needed, which lessens the stress,” Culbreth said. “GUMF’s Wills Clinic was extremely helpful because it challenged everyone to prepare a will, to take care of other important legal matters, and to consider what legacy our members will leave their families and the Church. This is important because leaving a legacy to the Church is an easy way for members to help the Church remain strong. It also enables the Church to engage in ministry and outreach.”

Culbreth believes having an estate plan in place is a sign of good stewardship because it enables a person to wisely use the resources God has placed in his or her hands. He also noted that having an estate plan is a great way to honor God with their resources.