In response to the difficult journeys of their own parents, Melody Miller, Scott Stuart, and Lois Williams met together with Larry Ayers and other church leaders with concerns about the older adults of Good Shepherd Community Church. Animated discussion, prayer, research, more prayer, diverse gifting, team work, still more prayer, as well as pastoral support all contributed to a successful launch of a growing ministry. Heritage of Hope is now a non-profit organization incorporated in Oregon but drawing participants from multiple states.
In 2011, we conducted a series of pilot workshops advocating estate planning, planning your own memorial service, adopting a biblical attitude about aging, and family meetings. The favorable response made it apparent we had identified topics of vital interest to our seniors and their families.
In 2012 we added event coordinator Bev Alley to our team and hosted a church wide conference with three plenary speakers, seven workshops and a workbook. Again, attendees and presenters responded enthusiastically. We discovered a broader audience than our own church and identified still more community resources.
In 2013 a lively series of panel discussions showcased additional expertise from the Portland community. Since videographer Lisa Clear had joined our team, we videotaped these events. Family historian Bill Leslie and logistics expert Dan Miller enlarged our team’s skill set still further. The Heritage of Hope Workbook continued to sell between annual events. Recognizing that our audience included several generations, we honed our mission statement:
Heritage of Hope inspires and equips adults of all ages
To identify crucial decisions and complete the essential tasks
To Finish Life Well
In 2014, we adopted a logo with digital appeal for our brochures, workbooks, and a banner as well. In the spring, the six part Heritage of Hope series was presented to a live audience at Good Shepherd and filmed against the backdrop of our Heritage of Hope banner.
In August, the eight member Heritage of Hope team convened for a workday. We reviewed and adopted by-laws and articles of incorporation, elected officers, and cast our vision as a Christian non-profit organization. Kent Shorthill, a visiting consultant, quipped, “Most non-profits would kill to have a board like this!”
In 2015, we achieved our non-profit status as a 501(C)3 thanks to Larry Ayers and Dan Miller. In addition, Lisa Clear edited our video collection into a Video Series that coordinates with the newest edition of the Heritage of Hope Workbook compiled by Melody Miller.
In 2016, with the technical assistance of Dakota Miller, we launched our website www.FinishLifeWell.org. We happily reached our goal—Heritage of Hope materials can be distributed anywhere, anytime – by means of our online store.
In the year 2017, Amazon.com began distributing both the Heritage of Hope Workbook and the Heritage of Hope Video Series on DVDs.
In 2018, a bi-weekly blog, The Finish Line, was launched. It’s initial purpose was to encourage HOH Alumni to implement the checklist on pages 22-23 of their Workbooks. The Finish Line has since broadened its scope to actually Finishing-Life-Well by sharing resources, biblical insights, book or movie reviews, and inspiring stories. Join our “community” by signing up at the bottom of this page.
Currently, all Heritage of Hope materials are minimally priced to cover our production and operating expenses as a Christian non-profit organization. Contributions are tax deductible and very much appreciated as a means of keeping our materials affordable. For income tax purposes, the Heritage of Hope federal tax ID number is 47-3889216. You may donate HERE by mail or by credit card. Thank you for visiting our site and supporting us.