Beacon’s Blueberry Bush Program
Beacon’s Blueberry Bush Program is based on a poem written by Minister of Worship and Outreach, Rev. Robin Tanner:
I rush toward the short shrubs
Like puppies in a pen,
Wanting to pick them each up and snuggle the branches.
“What are these?”
A bittersweet excitement ensues as he says only,
I hold the hunter green un-budded branch.
“I need to cross pollinate.
Create a new plant,
Then plant the children of these
He motions across the rows of bushes.
My eyes are filled with the immediacy of the sweet, tart burst of a blueberry, the way the soft skin brushes the side of the tongue.
“Ten years to really produce.”
My eyes fall to the red clay earth
as the intimacy and importance of this small shrub falls over me:
A 82-year old man planting shrubs whose fruit is ten years off.
He coughs to disrupt the shear tenderness of legacy hovering about us.
I am relieved to not have to find the words to say:
“Thank you for the blessing of berries
For the generosity of this gift.”
The 82-year old lawyer turned blueberry farmer hands me the offering bucket
And we walk on in the sanctuary of shrubs
Quietly dreaming of the pie that will be baked
A decade from now.
This must be how hope feels,
The fruit of the ancestors dreaming
In the hands of the children.
A Legacy Gift to Beacon will:
- Sustain Our Shared Values
- Pay Forward What Others Have Given Us
- Strengthen Our Mission in the Community and the World
- Assure a Vibrant Future for Unitarian Universalism
- Lower Taxes on Your Estate
A gift to Beacon is both a spiritual and social investment. By virtue of your Legacy Gift, you allow our congregation to perpetuate its mission “to be a radically inclusive religious community that feeds the human spirit and heals the world.”
Legacy Giving in Brief
How Do I Make a Legacy Gift?
- In making a Legacy Gift, you typically make a gift from your assets—savings and investments– not necessarily income, allowing you to make larger gifts that often include significant tax benefits to your estate and heirs.
- A Legacy Gift can be made through a will and a variety of planned giving vehicles.
What is Planned Giving?
- Planned giving is simply planning on how one’s assets will be distributed at the time of death. Without taking an active role in determining how your assets will be distributed, state law will make the determination.
- Planned giving is anticipated during the lifetime of the donor and results in a charitable contribution upon the donor’s death.
Is Planned Giving for Me?
Planned giving is not just beneficial for the wealthy. Planned giving is for anyone interested in:
- how their assets are distributed,
- conscientious and intentional use of personal resources,
- lowering taxes paid to the government.
When a Legacy Gift is realized, typically upon the death of the donor, funds are allocated to the Beacon Endowment Fund. The Endowment Fund is invested in a variety of asset classes and managed to achieve returns in excess of inflation and target a 5% return consistent with prudent risk.
Income earned from the Endowment Fund is used primarily to help fund a portion of the congregation’s annual budget. According to Beacon’s Distribution Policy, 5% of the average of the total value of the Endowment Fund for the prior three years as of December 31 will be available for distribution to the operating budget for the successive fiscal year.
By increasing the Endowment Fund through the addition of Legacy Gifts, Beacon can enhance its ministerial programming, develop social justice initiatives, expand its religious education programming for children, youth, and adults, and fund other opportunities that align with our mission.
For more information on making a Legacy Gift to Beacon contact Beacon’s Stewardship Director at Stewardship@summitbeacon.org
Beacon, Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit
4 Waldron Avenue, Summit, NJ 07901
Tax ID: 22-1508563
Prospective donors should consult their own financial adviser, accountant, or attorney to plan the legacy gift that maximizes benefits to them and Beacon.