Pastor John Elmore, Jr.
Let me just say it has been a busy summer for our church and for many of our families. We have seen a new Senior Pastor arrive, Rev. Steve Brown. We have seen a great VBS with over 350 children in attendance. We saw our people go and support 5 different Salkehatchie camps, including all the work our people did to serve at Emerald City Salk. I could go on and on about what you did through all of those and what we have seen God doing in the lives of those people involved. It truly is amazing watching all of it. I want to tell you about the big project at our Coronaca Campus, The Connection.
We have been working on a partnership with Rice Elementary School; it is the closest Elementary school to our Coronaca Campus. The goal is to help the staff at Rice Elementary to carry out their mission to educate and care for children. We are trying to help them by serving, giving, praying, and building relationships at Rice Elementary so that we can show them the love of Christ. Rice Elementary has 530 students, 75 staff, plus all the district employees and parents we can impact by serving there. Let me share with you some of what we have been doing over the summer. We sorted and delivered all the books to the classrooms. Several of our people painted a new school logo and several other college logos through the main halls. We delivered gift bags to the staff and personalized gift buckets with school "stuff" to the teachers and aides. Every gift had a handwritten note saying that they should and their school had been prayed for. We held a prayer walk at the school one night before the teachers reported. It was great to look around and see a few people from every service and campus represented as we were giving our instructions. We also fed the whole staff the last day before students reported. Several of us have been on campus since classes started back helping as the new school year has begun. A personal highlight for me was helping one of the kindergarten classes during the eclipse. I was able to help those kids see what God was doing, and keep them safe. Yes, I am still smiling about that afternoon.
How will this partnership progress? We have invited the entire staff to come and worship with us Sunday, August 27, so that we may pray for them and the school year. We are working with the administration to provide opportunities to help children: mentoring, eating lunch, helping with special activities, reading or being read. Plus, we will offer encouragement through activities for the staff, and we will meet the needs of children as we go throughout the year.
People ask me, how will this impact the school and the community. I don't know the exact outcome. What I do know is that when we walk into that school with our t-shirts on, people already know who we are even if it's your first time there. I know people are talking about what is happening. I received a note from a church member and teacher at Rice. I want you to hear two sentences from that note about the impact so far and what is to come.
"Dear Pastor John and Connection Members,
...The teachers have been saying wonderful things about how much we are showing God's love...I look forward to watching God's work!"
What I know is that by people going and serving and giving of themselves, we are seeing people receiving the love of Christ and opening up to that love. It is going to be a fun school year watching God work!