I really have to read my mail more carefully. A few weeks ago, I got a letter in the mail inviting me to come to a luncheon to honor NLR school’s Partners in Education. We become an “official” partner last year (see plaque in narthex), and I thought this was the annual gathering where volunteers were thanked and there were a few ra-ra moments regarding the NLR school system.
It was actually an awards luncheon. Each school in the NLR district honored a volunteer of the year and a partner organization of the year. What could have been yet another standard-issue community luncheon turned out to be an encouraging afternoon. There are a lot of people giving their time to help out in many different ways in the schools. Volunteering, launching programs, providing supplies, providing student incentives, putting on special events and donating much-needed funds. It was room full of helpers.
Turns out First Presbyterian was named “partner of the year” for Seventh Street Elementary. My first thought, was, “If we’re their partner of the year, we should really get them some better (meaning wealthier) partners.” I was a little embarrassed. After all, we really don’t do that much in the face of the struggles of the students and the teachers and staff at Seventh Street. But when I heard the presenter read the litany of things our church has done for the school this year–school supplies, school uniforms, prayers for the teachers, teacher treats, Christmas gifts, volunteers in classrooms and for special events, summer scholarship money–I realized that we have done quite a bit. They also honored three people from Lakewood Methodist as their volunteers of the year for their efforts in the school’s backpack food program. Good showing for the church folk.
The moral of the story for me this day is that even when you can’t fix everything, it’s important to start doing something. Our little church with the tight budget and historic (aka old) building is starting to make a difference in the lives of students and teachers down the road. May we celebrate what we have done, but always be looking for ways to do more.