Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


An Immense Act of Charity

In a stunningly immense act of charity ultra-wealthy investor Warren Buffett is giving the bulk of his estate—$31 billion—to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The New York Times article is online, which say in part,
Warren BuffettMr. Buffett had insisted that he would wait until his death to make a sizable charitable bequest, but he told Fortune that the death of his wife, Susan, in 2004, his admiration for the Gateses and his certainty about how to dispose of his wealth had caused him to "get going" now...

Fred P. Hochberg, dean of the Milano School for Management and Urban Policy at the New School, which has a large nonprofit-management department, said Mr. Buffett's historic contribution to the Gates Foundation was in character. "It's egoless," he said. "Warren's name is not on the door."
As I wrote in a recent column for the Tribune & Georgian,
Jesus taught that, “Not even when one has an abundance does his life consist of his possessions” (Luke 12:15).

Jesus offers a way out, a way to have peace whether you have a lot or a little. Jesus answer is to realize that your life is not made up of the abundance of possessions.

Get the stuff you need. Take care of yourself and your family. But don’t bet your happiness or theirs on accumulating just the right stuff. Even if you get that whole living room you want from The Pottery or the bedroom set that would put the Dream House to shame, it will not bring you happiness. Stuff is just stuff.

Right now, as at the end of your days, what matters more than stuffs is relationships. Making peace with yourself. Working on relationships with family and friends. And yes, most importantly, making room for your relationship with God. These are investments of your time, energy and money that pay off.

Work on these relationships rather than amassing possessions. These relationships with family, friends and God will pay off whether your life becomes a financial success or not. For life consists of much more than the abundance of possessions.
It is Buffet's trust in his relationship with Gates that opens up this unprecendented deal.

This is, by the way, an areligious story. The Gates Foundation does not work with religious groups or causes. However, it certainly has a track record of looking out for the poor and the outcast, which as I recall were pretty high on Jesus' To Do List for each of us.

The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor + King of Peace Episcopal Church

PS: In the archives is a religion column on our largest philanthropist locally, Warren Bailey and how well St. Mary United Methodist Church handled his multi-million dollar bequest: Church's generosity is inspiring.


  • At 6/28/2006 9:42 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    Over at the blog for The Episcopal Churches of Augusta, the Rev. Steve Rice comments that while we can't give as much as Warren Buffet, giving as a much as a tank of gas would be enough to run our churches. His full comments are online here: A Gas Tank and Warren Buffett.



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