At the 2023 NC Annual Conference, we celebrated the tenth anniversary of Congregations for Children, a laity-led ministry with a mission to support public schools and help children affected by poverty. We honored the past, and now we look to the future.
C4C Areas of Focus
In his groundbreaking bestseller, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey coined the phrase, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.” C4C’s “main things” in ministry to public school children and educators are:
- Enhancing Kindergarten through Grade 3 literacy skills
- Providing for children’s basic needs
- Increasing parental involvement and interaction with positive adult role models
- Advocating for community and governmental support of public education
Charity and Justice
This month, churches throughout the conference are planning after-school tutorial programs for public school children to enhance their literacy skills and overall academic success. They are holding school supply drives to ensure that our children and educators have the tools they need for teaching and learning. Backpack Buddy programs, food pantries, and clothing closets are being stocked to meet children’s basic needs. And volunteers are offering their services to local schools to support teachers and children. These acts of charity are crucial. Additionally, we encourage churches to engage in efforts to advocate for community and governmental support of our public schools.
At a time in North Carolina when:
- public school funding is lagging dramatically,
- state-sponsored voucher programs allow parents to divert millions of tax dollars for public schools to pay for their children’s private school tuition,
- teachers’ salaries are the lowest in the Southeast,
- educators are leaving the profession in alarming numbers,
- and unfilled teaching vacancies are at an all-time high…
it is critical for us to advocate for our public schools!
How can your church advocate for public schools?
Learn and share information about public education issues;
- Form a public school advocacy group;
- Participate in public education advocacy events;
- Sponsor a letter-writing campaign to elected officials;
- Subscribe to reputable online public education information resources;
- Vote for candidates who support our public schools, regardless of their political affiliation or yours;
- Pray for our teachers, whose vocational calling is to educate our children;
- Pray for our children, who need all of us to be the hands and feet of Christ in their lives.
And in all matters, take advantage of the expertise of your C4C District Coordinators and C4C Committee Members, who will continue to be among your greatest resources for our work ahead.
Thank you for your active engagement in this vital, laity-led ministry as we move forward together into our next decade of ministry.
Written by David Rockefeller, Director of Congregations For Children