Any legacy comes to us as a gift. We can’t earn it; we don’t deserve it. It is like God’s grace. We can receive it, but like God’s grace a legacy is not something to be kept to ourselves. We are to pass it along. A legacy is given to us to be cared for, cultivated, and passed on to others in turn.
We here at West End United Methodist Church are recipients of a diverse legacy centered on the loving light of Christ and anchored in the conviction that God loves everyone unconditionally. First, we tell another generation stories we received from the Bible and Christian history. Second, we teach prayer practices that have sustained the followers of Jesus across the centuries. Third, from our beginnings worship and music have been central to our witness that God welcomes all people. Finally, we serve the Nashville community and the world beyond so that our children will learn to serve “the least of these”.
The awe inspiring sanctuary, Reed Hall, McWhirter Hall, the 4th Story Theatre, our classrooms and even our offices are part of our legacy as well. Here is where we encounter God, learn about the way of Jesus, and practice following Jesus so we can go into the world connecting others to God and to neighbor. Our building is a legacy given to us by the generosity and sacrifice of previous generations.
In a sense our building is the “practice field” where we prepare to live out and pass along the legacies we have received from previous generations. The Legacy Campaign is simply one way that we can care for, cultivate, and pass along to future generations a place where they can all learn to share the loving light of Christ with a broken and hurting world. “Freely we have received,” now it is our turn to “freely give,” allowing the legacy of generosity and sacrifice that has come to us, to pass through us to the generations to follow.