In this traditional “back to school” season, Bishop Ward encourages us to be involved with schools near our churches. Leave a comment below and let us know how your church is impacting the school system in your area.
It is our shared vision that as congregations of the United Methodist Church; we will reach out to the public schools in our communities. Methodists from the very earliest times have been engaged with children.
Some of the early Methodists said to John Wesley, “We have no gift for this”, and John Wesley said, “If you do not do this, you are not called to be a Methodist.” The spirit of his comment is simply this, that we are called to be engaged with children. To help them grow as Jesus did, in wisdom and in stature, and in favor with all humanity, as well as with God.
Many children are in school year round, and others approach the beginning of the traditional school year in this month of August. It’s a good time, as a congregation, to reach out to the school closest to your congregation.
The collection of books for the “Give 5 – Read 5” initiative of the Department of Public Instruction is one way to serve. Collect new and gently used children’s’ books, and be in contact with the school nearest you. The teachers and administrators there will be delighted to receive your gifts, and to give them to children who have few books at home. Backpacks full of school supplies are delightful gifts for children who, in impoverished households, do not have the things necessary for the start of their school year.
In other ways, the administrators and teachers in your local school will help you connect with children. We will be blessed as we do this together, forming a strong chain of partnership with those who administer and those who teach and those who learn in our schools.
May we be blessed as we grow in Christ, and as we reach out to help all children receive the light and love which God gives.