A Laurel Heights Declaration

by Rev. Paul L. Escamilla, Senior Pastor

 When young Francis of Assisi was seeking his calling in life, he wandered out of the village one day and happened upon a rundown church building. Stepping inside, he heard a voice say, “Rebuild my church.” He set about the work of rehabilitating that structure, then others like it in the vicinity of his Italian village. With time, of course, he realized that the buildings he was repairing were a metaphor for the church itself—the soul of the institution represented by the bricks and mortar. “Rebuild my church” meant “care for my people.” He devoted the whole of his life to just that work.

In the coming weeks Laurel Heights will endeavor to do both one thing and the other—refurbish our church buildings as a means by which to care for the people of God. The 107 year old sanctuary in which we gather—and gather others—in order that we might encounter God in community is in need of substantial exterior repair and refurbishing.

Just last week, following months of careful study, bid proposals, cost assessments, and resource evaluation, the Board of Trustees presented a plan for this refurbishment project to the church’s Administrative Council. The Council approved the plan unanimously.

Work on the sanctuary exterior is scheduled to begin in November.

In the meantime, funding will be secured for that effort from members and friends of Laurel Heights who want to have a part in “rebuilding the church.” I invite you to consider now what your part in that endeavor might be. In this newsletter you will find both an FAQ and an itemization of costs. I would suggest reading them in that order. One of my early mentors, Rev. Jim Laney, once said, “Every new building is a declaration.” I think he would surely have said this, too: “Every renewed building is a declaration.” What will this renewed Laurel Heights building declare? Perhaps this: “When we gather in this place we believe that God is near, relationships are formed, and lives are changed. All are welcome here.”

Grace and peace,