Brewing Connections in the Community

on Tuesday, December 08, 2015 Posted in Stories, Happenings, School Partnership Network

It's just a cup of coffee, but it communicates something pretty special to the teachers and staff at several Vancouver schools: something they won't find at a local Starbucks or Dutch Brothers. Once a week, the congregation from Northside Baptist Church, brings coffee to their schools. What started as a simple idea—to better serve their community—has now become Northside's most effective tool for building lasting relationships that impact their neighborhood for good.

Just after Thanksgiving, Vancouver's The Columbian newspaper featured an article about this compelling partnership. Over the past nine years Outreach Coordinator, John Martin, has led the church in finding ways to make a difference in their local schools. In addition to providing some warm and tasty refreshment for teachers and staff in five schools every month, church members are also volunteering in the lunch buddy program, as well as tutoring students, working with local PTA's, and providing food for school functions. But, John is quick to point out, it's the coffee cart that has opened doors to be truly welcome as family at these schools.

This expression of service and hospitality at Northside Baptist provides a picture-perfect example of how a local church can earn an authentic place of respect and acceptance within the larger operations of a public school. As needs arise within the school community, the administrators and staff of the school and the school district are much more likely to reach out to a church partner that has demonstrated this type of commitment.

It's gratifying to see the growing public awareness of church-school partnership. Thanks to Marissa Harshman of The Columbian for featuring this "percolating" friendship between Northside Baptist and their five adopted schools. Enjoy reading her article here:

(Used by permission from The Columbian)