Spirituality and Money? These two concepts don’t often rub shoulders. For spouses Fletcher Farrar and Mary Jessup, however, it’s a connection continually made.
Fletcher learned from his parents who were integrally tied to church and community in Mt. Vernon, Ill., where Fletcher Farrar Sr. worked as an oil producer. Frequently the product was a dry hole; at other times a stream of income for the family.
The senior Farrar was grateful when resources were available and treated his money as a tool for Christian stewardship. The Farrars were always willing to help others, knowing the “good life” did not require a lot of resources.
“Without the high hope of adventure, religion degenerates into a mere appendage of a comfortable life” Fletcher says, quoting philosopher Alfred North Whitehead.
Instilled with these values, Fletcher Jr.’s interest was piqued by an organization called Ministry of Money. Now called Wisdom and Money, it promotes a spiritual freedom that comes from giving of yourself and your resources.
“Without the high hope of adventure, religion degenerates into a mere appendage of a comfortable life” Fletcher says, quoting philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. Fletcher’s “high adventure” is linked to old houses. He loves everything about them: their stories, their architecture, and especially, their revitalization. This passion has filled his life with “high adventure” like providing affordable housing for low income families, encouraging and sustaining the Enos Park Neighborhood Improvement Association’s efforts to promote economic and cultural diversity, and supporting the Dominican Sisters’ ministry with housing.
The friendship between Fletcher, Mary, and the Dominican Sisters began in 1999 when the sisters asked Fletcher’s help finding rental housing in Enos Park, a place we hoped to contribute to the stabilization of the neighborhood. The providential result was the renovation of an historic home built by a member of the prominent Enos family—across the street from the Farrar’s home.
At first the sisters rented the property, enjoying the home, the friendship with the Farrars it afforded, and contributing to the life of the neighborhood. Influenced by the sisters’ emphasis on prayer and social justice, Fletcher and Mary gave them the house 10 years later. Now another transformative gift from the Farrars is making possible another Enos Park home, and a new ministry for young adult women, Cor Unum.
This connection between faith and stewardship of resources has helped the Dominican Sisters transform the Enos Park neighborhood and neighborhoods wherever we are. Thanks is due to Partners in Mission like Fletcher and Mary, and each of you! Without your support the desired impact would not be possible!
Learn more about the organization that supports Fletcher’s philosophy of living and giving, Wisdom and Money.