Grace and peace to you in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
Last summer I had the privilege of beginning to get to know some of you through cottage meetings. In addition to getting acquainted, we pondered the question, “What would it look like if we (Woodmar UMC) did something exceedingly great for God?” The response I heard most often was, “Reach out to our community.” WOW! What a blessing it was for me to discover that all y’all desire to be a missional church, right here in our community. In March Rev. Jeff Newton spent a weekend with us teaching us what it means to be a missional church in our community, and we are moving forward in the great adventure to which God has called us!
Where do we begin? As individuals, we can all begin right where we are…all day, every day! As a church, how do we begin to reach out to our neighbors? Through my prayer time, I was directed to volunteer at an elementary school, so on February 20th I began volunteering 2 hours per week at O’Bannon. I have the privilege of assisting with reading stations in Mrs. Parkes’ kindergarten class and assisting with reading and math in Mrs. Cookshott’s third grade class. As I was leaving the school one day, I noticed a poster on the wall stating, “GOAL: By June 2018, 70% of our students will be reading at grade level.” That poster knocked the wind out of me. Pastor Jeff taught us that children who are raised in poverty enter school with 1,000 fewer vocabulary words. This is due, in part, to the parents or single parent having to work two jobs to make ends meet and they are simply too exhausted to read to their children. God brought a question to mind: “What if we (Woodmar UMC) could help our neighbors by actively participating in their children’s education?” Pastor Jeff taught us that the #1 way out of poverty is through education.
This summer, we will be hosting a “Reading, Math, Music, and Dinner” Program for elementary aged children (K-5), from 4:30 – 7PM. The reading, math, and music portion will begin at 4:30 and conclude with dinner for the children and their families at 6:30. We will be inviting the families of the children to help us prepare and clean up the meals, so that we can begin building relationships with our neighbors. Beginning Tuesday, June 26th, we will meet every Tuesday and Thursday (4:30 – 7PM) for six weeks. In the 7th week (August 7th and 9th) we will have dress rehearsals for the musical the children will be learning. Will you please prayerfully consider walking alongside the children and families in our elementary schools? Adventure is out there, beloved children of God! Together, we can make a difference!
Living in the Grip of God’s Grace,