Grace Episcopal Church
A Lasting Legacy
By Rev. Caroline Osborne
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” – Matthew 6:21
As I write this, I am remembering yesterday when Grace’s staff shared stories about Don Hires in our staff meeting and then left staff meeting to complete the final preparations for his funeral that afternoon. There are so many stories that Grace members could share about Don’s love for Jesus, love for people, peace, and kindness! As we walked through the final months of Don’s life with him, it was so telling to see how he chose to spend that time.
One aspect of that time that did not come up in the funeral was Don’s generosity. When I remember his final months, I will always remember Don joyfully giving away his possessions and money. Without children of his own to leave things to, Don chose to use them to bless others instead. He was particularly generous to Grace Church: he left us his house, with the express desire that it be used for the residency program.
In a way, of all his acts of generosity, that one demonstrated most his love for other people. Don knew that, without Jesus, there can be no true joy, no true life, and certainly no eternal life. Don’s deep desire for people to know and love his Savior as he did made him care deeply about the ministry of the Church. He knew from his work as a chaplain that ordained ministry is both important and difficult, and he believed in the residency program as a means of helping new priests start their ministry in the best possible way. His gift will help secure that program for years to come.
As Grace’s first resident, I can attest that Don’s support of the residency program was not misplaced. I have been so blessed to have this opportunity to learn and be mentored while beginning my ministry. When I compare my time at Grace to the first years of ministry friends of mine have experienced, I know I can’t even calculate the worth of this gift!
Through Don’s choice to invest in what matters most, his legacy of faith and love will be felt well beyond the circle of those who knew and loved him personally. People who have never heard of Don Hires will be blessed by his legacy of faith through the lifelong ministry of the priests who pass through the residency program, living in his house, in years to come.