Giving Hope: These Are the Times

Sunday was a poignant celebration of the hope we are giving, and the hope we’re given, through our life together in Christ. In worship we offered our gifts and ourselves to God through the act of consecrating pledges and estimates of giving for supporting the mission and ministry of Laurel Heights in the coming year. Those present in the sanctuary brought
those symbols of commitment forward as an act of worship. And as is always true when God’s people gather in worship, whether in person or online, so many things happened besides. Hearts have been stirred, imaginations kindled, decisions made for seeking to live in certain deeper, more generous ways.

We owe a special thanks to our Stewardship Committee, and to Susie Guven, who has led that team. They have done excellent work guiding us through this special season of discernment and decision.

If you have yet to complete a pledge or estimate of giving for 2021, you can do so securely online or by mailing your completed card to the church office or presenting it in worship this coming Sunday.

Elections are upon us, and I hope all of us have voted by now, or will in the coming week. The atmosphere around this election has been particularly tense, and the challenges all elected leaders will face, daunting. I often consider Abigail Adams to be the proto-presidential candidate. Though her husband John was more inclined to muse and fret, ruminate and worry about the state of things, Abigail possessed a sort of chutzpah-hope that led her to see with a stalwart gaze the possibilities before her fledgling country. During a particularly troubling stretch of early American history she wrote these words to her son, future president John Quincy Adams:

“These are the times in which a genius would wish to live . . . It is not in the still calm of life, or in the repose of a pacific station, that great characters are formed. The habits of a vigorous mind are formed in contending with difficulties. Great necessities call out great virtues. When a mind is raised, and animated by the scenes that engage the heart, then those qualities which would otherwise lay dormant wake into life and form the character of the hero and the leader of state”.

Now there’s hope.

Grace and peace.

Rev. Paul Escamilla, Senior Pastor