God Gives Hope: New Beginnings
Driving around Schoharie Valley, I am certain many of you have noticed the lawn campaign-style signs, light blue-ish in color, with the phrase
prominently displayed. There is even one of these signs in front of our sanctuary building.
What is it? How did it get there? Let me tell you:
The God Gives Hope campaign is a Schoharie Valley clergy wide preaching and sermon series. Four consecutive weeks, those of us participating will be preaching on Hope, with a different focus lens each week. The first week is New Beginnings.
I learned of this campaign within my first month at SUPC. There I was settling in to a new situation, my own new beginning and yours, as we all started the process of adjusting to each other, when the idea of this preaching campaign was proposed. At a lunch with Pastor Colleen and Rev. Sherri and other Schoharie-area clergy, Rev. Sherri told us about an idea the Cobleskill Clergy group was playing with. The Cobleskill Clergy group meets once a month to plan valley-wide worship and service events and The God Gives Hope campaign bloomed from one of those meetings. The campaign itself is a preaching focus between the churches, and the point is anyone who enters the door of any of the participating churches will, on these four Sundays, hear a message around a common theme: New Beginnings, In Troubled Times, For the Future, For the World. As the new kid on the block, and after listening to the thoughts and prayers that had coalesced into this idea, I decided this would be an interested preaching series to participate in.
Hope, as an idea, a concept, threads its way through every element in our lives, so how can there be people who feel without any hope at all? How can someone move from a place of no hope of a better life to the fragile thread that there is something better in store to fully fledged joy, wonderment, and, yes, Hope?
I love watching superhero movies, science fiction blockbusters, even certain animated cartoons. A couple years ago, I watched, again, Star Wars: A New Hope. Shortly after, I watched episodes of the animated Avatar series where this little boy is the Hope of the nations. Then I started paying attention to how often in the media I consume this idea of "the only hope" or "keep hope alive" comes through. It is not just action hero or science fiction movies; the same theme and searching is on Hallmark movie station and other sources. We are constantly searching for Hope.
I invite you to spend these next four weeks searching with me.