Posted tagged ‘Partnership’

Taking Lunch to the Teachers

August 22, 2013

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                          August 22, 2013

                                      “Taking Lunch To The Teachers”

       For the past five years our congregation has taken lunch to the staff of Audubon School, the elementary school a half mile down the street from us, on the staff work day right before students return from summer vacation. We take lunch to them and we eat lunch with them.

We used to take lunch to a couple of other grade schools close by…but they closed.  We trust it wasn’t because we brought them lunch! Actually, it was a sign of the changing population base in our community..more seniors, less kids.

The reasons we take lunch to the staff are multiple. We want them to know that they are appreciated. We’re entrusting our children to them. If there was a scale that measured parental gripes versus “thank you’s” it would probably be tilted. You can make the determination which way you think it would lean. Providing lunch is an easy way…so easy…to just say thank you.

We take lunch to them because we want them to know that we’re in a partnership with them…that it takes a community to raise a child. Churches are a part of that, and schools are a part of that. In fact, although there are other participants in the raising of a child- namely parents- the two major players outside the family are the church and the school. Our church has worked hard at being a support for the school. It has now come to the point where the school has asked how they can help us. Last December the school choir came one morning and sang for our seniors’ group, and then we all had a pizza and salad lunch together. (Not much salad was eaten!)

We also want them to know that we are praying for them. I tell the staff that each year at the luncheon. I told them that I am fully aware of the separation of church and state. If they want to share a prayer concern with us, no student names, we will pray for them. At the luncheon one of the staff people told me of a student with a serious health issue. We prayed for the student…once again, no names were shared…but there’s a good chance that God is familiar with the child!

We take lunch to them because we want to reinforce the commitment to be there for them. “The Lunchroom Ladies” are usually the first ones to notice a student in need. They know that they can have the school secretary call us and request a winter coat for a first grader, or a pair of jeans for a young girl, or a pair of shoes. When the school social worker has a family in need of food we stock them up.

It has taken a few years, but the school staff sees us as their allies, not a threat. The result is a better community, a community that knows that we will help.

From The Fire, A New Kind of Community”

July 13, 2012

WORDS FROM W.W.                                                                        July 13, 2012

 

 

The fires here in Colorado Springs changed everything! In the midst of burned out homes, and neighborhood blocks that mysteriously now only have a third of the homes that were there a month ago, there has been the sprinklings of a new kind of community being born.

The community, however, is not new homes where charred remains lie. It’s not a new “development” with HOA fees, 30 year mortgages, and the sound of moving vans.

No…this new community is being born in the midst of newly created partnerships, shared resources, thousands and thousands of volunteers, prayer, tears, and a bonding together because of a tragedy that will, in some ways, change Colorado Springs from being a city filled with self-centered, personal agenda people to a community of people who are figuring out that the journey is to be made together.

Rich Blanchette, Annie Wamberg, and I went to the second meeting of the Waldo Canyon Long Term Recovery Group yesterday. We received an education in less than two and a half hours about disaster relief, available resources, what has been done already, but, most importantly, what is yet to be done. The “Yet To Be Done” is a long term journey that has the potential to solidify “community”.

Of course, it also has the potential to create a city of have’s and have-not’s. We are often people with limited attention spans. After the rest of the country returns to it’s routines, Colorado Springs will be dealing with clean-up, rebuilding, figuring out solutions of dilemmas that no one else cares about. What will build a city with character and caring is a citizen base that stays the course for the years that it will take to recover.

It was refreshing at yesterday’s meeting to see church representatives sitting beside denominational reps, who were sitting beside service organization people, who were sitting beside government agency reps. Catholics and Protestants working together, but also a representative from the Muslim community.

No political ads were voiced! No preference towards one denomination’s efforts! No “this is how we’re going to do it!” In fact, the sharing of past experiences from many of the participants was a guiding factor in helping this group figure out very carefully what our next step is.

On the sub-group that Rich and I are a part of called “Clean-up/Salvage/Trees/Mitigation” there are team members from Village Seven Presbyterian, First Baptist Church, Glen Eyrie (The Navigators), Mennonite Relief Effort, Salvation Army, the Director of Missions for the area Southern Baptist churches, and the two of us from Highland Park. The sharing of resources and the training of volunteers has already started. The Southern Baptist churches are sponsoring a training event in two weeks that will train volunteers in the task of “ash out” and “using a chain saw.” Other sub-groups were communicating opportunities and needs.

In essence, it demonstrated how a city can become a community. So many questions…so many situations…and we are prayerfully seeking the leading of the Holy Spirit for answers, wisdom, and new hope.

And God has prepared his church for such a time as this!