O'Brien Estate Gift Blesses RB Community

O'Brien Estate Gift Blesses RB Community

We celebrate the blessing left to us from the Owen and Marilyn O’Brien estate. To our collective memory it is the largest single financial gift in RB Community’s history. A faithful member, Marilyn O’Brien, who proudly proclaimed, “I love my church” on most Sundays, directed 2.4 million dollars with no restrictions to the operations and ministries of our church through her will.

Owen was very active in the church before he passed, and Marilyn was a generous woman known to spend time with friends. Her annual Christmas parties were a high point for her church and neighborhood friends. Marilyn made a point of telling my oldest son, Cole, that she had lots of special candy, treats, bounce houses and a putting green set up for him at the Christmas party. She was one of the people he always looked for after the 10 a.m. worship service (Marilyn attended the 11:30 traditional service). 

Marilyn and Owen's kindness will live on beyond their names in this gift to ministries, missions and a new vision from a new Senior Pastor. Your Elders have smartly discerned the best use of these funds should go towards costs that are difficult for a new pastor to address. Accordingly, outlined here is the simple three-part plan for the Owen and Marilyn O’Brien estate gift. 

This is the recommendation presented by your Administration and Finance team to Session on Monday, January 25th. 

“The A&F Committee (A/F) was just informed about a very generous estate gift to the Church. What a blessing!

As a co-steward with Session regarding Church resources, A/F recommends that the large estate gift be handled as follows:

  1. Allocate $400,000 to address campus deferred maintenance items including the A/C system and its computer operating program, the elevator, support posts for second-story walkways, and the back stairs. Doing this needed work now will make the Church facilities ready when full on-campus activities are resumed. 

  2. Allocate $200,000 in lump sum to the unrestricted missions account to enable increased commitment planning and giving towards our supported missions.

  3. Place the remaining principal balance of the estate gift in Undesignated Endowment for future use consistent with the collective vision of the new Senior Pastor and Session.

A/F strongly urges that the balance of the estate gift not be used now for new ongoing operational expenses such as for additional hires, programs or commitments.  Generous giving from the congregation is currently covering existing ongoing operational expenses, which have been reduced or right-sized over the last few years.”

This recommendtion was turned into a formal motion, then unanimously approved. 

While we celebrate this moment, let us also remember the countless individuals who have left estate gifts to the church over the years. Each and every blessing, no matter the size, reflects a Jesus follower’s understanding that Holy Spirit’s work goes on and we are privileged to participate in it even after we’re resting in heaven. 

Your current giving matters. We are operating by a sensible, within-our-means spending plan because of your generosity. And your estate gifts matter. We can plan for the future even as we deal with the uncertainty of this pandemic and economic recovery.

As a reminder, most of our giving is happening online, through mail in checks, or recurring bank drafts. You can sign up on the GIVE tab at the top of this website. If you’d like more information about estate giving, please contact our Treasurer, Tony Cook ( 

God is good, God has a plan, and God loves a cheerful giver. I’m sure Marilyn is in the cloud of witnesses cheering us on, and with her usual gusto proclaiming, “I love my church!”

"Now I say this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one must do just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:6-7