Putting out a good Word in surprising places…
Signs of Hope – the Beloved Baptized
Pastor Robin Reeves began putting out a positive word “Hope” as an act of holy defiance in protest to the violence and hopeless news broadcasting after the Terrorist Attack in France.
Seeking to activate the Baptized to share the good news of Hope that is within them she began rallying members to use recycled wood for a new purpose. These old bits of wood took on new life and meaning as they became transformed into “Signs of Hope” to be planted in the world. They became a catalyst for anyone struggling with hopelessness whether it be coming back from a stroke or kidney transplant or for those with a wayward child or whatever area the painter was struggling to find hope. They were urged to claim what is already theirs in Jesus Christ – Hope for renewed strength, peace, goodness and love.
Each sign has the words: God loves you and so do we –StGeorgesTC.org after meeting a teenager in the Juvenile Justice system who reported she had only recently heard God loved her. She asked Pastor Robin wistfully, “Do you think it’s really true?” “You betcha!”
Since the early creation of these “signs of hope” others have joined us, a struggling Boy Scout Troop – took up the challenge to help us make 350 signs of hope for our annual fund raiser – they went on to develop a Brand with the word “Hope” and branded hundreds of signs of Hope. They are growing now as future leaders and as a troop. The Balderas Family took the challenge to new heights creating 80 Signs of Hope the first year and over 150 in 2017. We have hosted a table at the Art Walk and City Prayer Event each year so others can paint Signs of Hope and then share them with someone they know who needs Hope. Many of the kids who come to our cooking class take Signs of Hope to grandparents, teachers and neighbors. One said, “I’m taking this sign of Hope to give to a homeless person.” We have gone on to make them Ambassadors of Hope sharing it wherever they can.
In keeping with Eric Law’s Grace-economics we invite people to make a donation. One Christmas, Spiritual Director, Janet Davis bought 50 Signs of Hope to give to all her clients. The greatest amount given for one sign was $100 by our Cannon for Welcome and Evangelism, Genevieve Razim. These gifts help St. George’s continue to reach out to those in need of Hope in our hurting world and build sustainability for our small rural parish.
We also support at-risk youth by paying them to paint Signs of Hope. One youth painted signs as part of his court appointed community service. It provided a great opportunity to have conversation about making good choices. At the end of the day, choosing Hope is always a good choice and in our power to make. We hope you will help spread a good word in the world.
As believers in Jesus Christ, we are part of a bigger story than whatever this present moment presents. Hope lives within us in the Holy Spirit. Love is the bigger story. Love -- who is and will work all things together for good. Love will redeem even the worst of circumstances if we will allow it. Claiming Hope is a way of claiming redemption and inviting love into our darkest of circumstances. It is the gift we have through the grace of Jesus Christ – may we dare to share it boldly!