At North Carolina Annual Conference 2013, Bishop Hope Morgan Ward, along with Western North Carolina Conference Bishop Larry Goodpaster, and United Methodist layperson & NC State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Dr. June Atkinson, cast a vision of congregations connecting in ministry with schools across our state. They spoke of sharing love with vulnerable children and supporting the work of teachers. They painted a portrait of discipleship and love that will transform the lives of children and our communities and challenged us to partner with schools, teachers, and school children in our neighborhoods.
In this effort, we are responding to our Scripture which calls us to care for the poor in the context of caring for our neighbor. We are standing on our Tradition of supporting quality public education. We are using our Reason that calls us to focus on equality for all persons. And we are sharing our Experience of the Risen Christ which transforms us and calls us to share our love with others. For more information, please see: NC Conference Congregations for Children Web Site
Share your own story at Congregations for Children – NCCUMC.
Though you will be hearing much more about this over the next year, there are many opportunities we have immediately in front of us:
THREE AREAS OF FOCUS
1. Helping to improve K-3 Literacy rates …
- Check with your local school and see how you might provide literacy tutoring for children
- Sit with a child and listen to them read
- Connect with the local school to provide books and a reading library for a teacher
- Give 5 – Read 5 books can be given at any time during the year
2. Helping to meet the Basic Needs of students (food, clothing, supplies etc.)
- Backpack buddies … many children who get breakfast and lunch at school during the week need food to take home for the weekend (Great story of congregations in a backpack buddy ministry)
- Partner with a teacher and provide support
- Helping teachers with classroom setup, resources, treats, etc.
3. Helping to increase Parental Involvement
- Encouraging parents to be involved with their neighborhood schools
- Retired disciples acting as “grandparents” for school children … story telling, supporting, loving
- Walking across the street and asking “How can we help?”
Poverty Awareness training can provide helpful insights to churches working with schools that have a high concentration of children effected by poverty. Contact Kathy Duncan (919) 779-6115 ext 256 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jesus is calling us to stand for the children … and it is there, where we too will find Jesus standing. Congregations for Children … of course.
The link Congregations for Children Stories offers stories of how easy it is to partner with a neighborhood school … Being blessed by Jesus so that we may be a blessing! You can share your own story at our Facebook group site Congregations for Children – NCCUMC. Come and join us in the journey!
For more information, please see:
NC Conference Congregations for Children Web Site
Initial Blog Posting for Congregations for Children
Contact Information for the District Coordinator for Congregations for Children:
Rev. Elaine Lilliston, email@example.com
Rev. Scott Foster, firstname.lastname@example.org
Patrick Litzinger, email@example.com
*NC Conference C4C Point Person
Rev. Cathy Hoyle, firstname.lastname@example.org
We invite you to share your own story at our Facebook page – Congregations for Children – NCCUMC. Please join our group and share the joy and journey in our support for children, schools, and teachers!
Training & Coaching Available
The Congregations For Children initiative is a process driven model based on best practices. The model is designed to set churches up for success and avoid common missteps. If your church is interested in creating a new or expanding an existing Church / School partnership, contact Leadership Team C4C point person, Pat Litzinger, email@example.com, for information on what training and resources are available.
60min training webinars are also offered on a regular basis. This webinar provides an overview of the Congregations For Children (C4C) initiative and the “C4C 12 Steps To Success” process. It is designed primarily for Local Church C4C Coordinators and pastors of churches currently involved in (or considering the implementation of) C4C at their church.