Can You Inherit Generosity?
Note: Hi friends! I am on vacation for a couple of weeks. I’ve asked a couple of my friends to write the “Inspiring Generosity” blog in my place while I’m gone. Today, Rev. Karen Hernandez talks about how she inherited the “generosity gene” and how important it is to pass it along.
I can now understand that giving this way must seem strange to those who were taught to relate differently to money, but this is my experience. I appreciate the tradition of generosity that my family passes down by what I assume to be both nature and nurture.
As I think about it, generosity has been in my genes for generations.
These memories of receiving allowance and being taught to give now point out other things to me, too. First, I was born into privilege, which I surely take for granted. I’m grateful this privilege was always paired with responsibility: “From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from the one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded” (Luke 12:48b). My husband and I stretch ourselves to increase our proportional giving each year.
Second, those early lessons are so important! I don’t have children of my own, but I’ve got some fantastic young disciples in my church and neighborhood who are watching and listening far beyond the credit I give them. I periodically need to stop and reconsider how my words, actions, and lifestyle are speaking to the little ones around me. After all, I have a tradition—a family tradition and a faith tradition—to pass along.
Rev. Karen Hernandez is an ordained elder serving Kuna United Methodist Church in Kuna, Idaho. Karen traces her inherited generosity back to her family, many of whom remain in the Gadsden, Alabama area. From there, the wholesaler Puckett & Co., Inc. served northeast Alabama for three generations. And, yes, growing up in a family with a candy wholesale company is kind of like growing up in Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory!
Cesie Delve Scheuermann is a consultant in stewardship, development, and grant writing. Over the past decade, while working as a volunteer and part-time consultant, she helped raise over $2.5 million dollars for numerous non-profit organizations. She was the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference Lay Leader from 2008-2012. Her position with the Conference is funded through a generous grant from the Collins Foundation. She is available to consult with churches. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/inspiringgenerosity.
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Cesie Delve Scheuermann is consultant in grant writing and stewardship/development working with the Conference. From 2008-12 she was the Conference Lay Leader for the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference.