Thinking of making a real difference? The feeling is mutual

Read through the most recent copy of Fairlawn United Church’s annual report and two names come up again, and again… and again. Greig Clark, Chair of the Governing Council… Carolyn Clark, team leader of Girls Night Out…. Carolyn is also a member of the Helping Hands Lay Ministry Team; Prayer Shawl Ministry and is the Advent by Candlelight team leader. Greig is also chair of Lay Leadership Development; past chair of Property Council; and Stewardship Development team leader. Greig–who was also a trustee– plays with the Fairlawn Basketball boys in his spare time.

Additionally, both Carolyn and Greig are founding members of The Fairlawn Legacy Circle; members of the Outside Welcoming Committee; and the Christian Resource Centre (CRC). It’s through the CRC that the church supported those living in Toronto’s Regent Park who are less fortunate, providing men and women with more than 800 pairs of underwear and raising $3,316 to buy a closet-full more. Who organized the 4th annual Christmas campaign? Why, Carolyn of course!

Active in their church, Greig and Carolyn are also hugely involved in their community Toronto Christian Resource Centre where Greig was Board Chair and Carolyn started a much-needed clothing bank.

The Greatest Joy

Read through every annual report of any United Church and you will ¬ find similarly involved members. Perhaps you’re one yourself, or you were at one time. So what words best describe the Clarks, and equally committed Christians like you? Words like ‘membership,’ ‘fellowship’ and ‘stewardship’ immediately come to mind. And so does our highest calling: the call to ‘discipleship.’

People like the Clarks give of their time and talent and treasure in equal measure. Greig remembers when he was a teenager that someone told him “the greatest joy in life is giving.” Although at the time he didn’t believe it was true, he now realizes this is the highest order of calling and is much more satisfying than earning money. Carolyn nods her head in agreement and echoing these sentiments adds that, living a life of privilege, “how much money do you need?”

Matching the gifts their six children give to charities, Greig and Carolyn choose to give through shares and mutual funds because “it makes sense” and because they get a sizable tax benefit enabling them to donate even more. (The Clarks intentionally choose to give their annual gifts early in the year in order that organizations don’t have to wonder and wait; they can put the gift into action without delay).

When they revised their Wills the Clarks realized they also wanted to give generously while they were alive. Since then, they have wholeheartedly become involved with the causes they love, inspiring their kids to do the same.

Making a real difference starts with a simple decision:
How will you give thanks fort he blessings you have received? Join the Clarks and others like you; make your gift today!