Growing Partnerships Makes a Difference

on Thursday, August 27, 2015 Posted in Stories, Happenings, School Partnership Network

A few years ago the pastor of Portland First Church of the Nazarene awoke to a realization: Sylvan Middle School was just across the street, yet he had never personally met the Principal or any of the school staff or teachers! That convicting thought led him to walk across the street, introduce himself, and invite the Principal to join him for a cup of coffee at the nearby Starbucks. The pastor and principal enjoyed a great conversation that sparked an ongoing and growing partnership. The pastor has since moved on. However, the connection between PFCN and Sylvan continues to grow stronger each academic year.

This past May 21st, the long-anticipated "Principals and Pastors Gathering" took place for the Portland Public School District. The gathering presented another opportunity for Rob Garrison from PFCN to sit down with John Ferraro, Principal at Sylvan Middle School. Once again the meeting sparked new connections and developed into a lunch meeting between John Ferraro of Sylvan Middle School and PFCN's new Senior Pastor, Brandin Melton, along with Youth Pastor, Rob Gossen. Pastor Melton simply asked Ferraro, "How can PFCN best serve your school?"

According to Rob Garrison, "two really cool things came out of that conversation." First, PFCN agreed to host a training session for all teachers in their building. That meeting was held in early August and included a tasty breakfast and lunch served by the church.

Also established at that lunch meeting: PFCN will host the Sylvan Middle School graduation ceremony in their sanctuary next June (2016).

And, one more sign of the church and school connection and partnership: On August 22nd, PFCN led a summer grounds clean-up day. In fact, PFCN has been serving Sylvan School in this way three times a year for the past eight years!

Rob Garrison added, "We are really excited about how our relationship with Sylvan continues to grow along with John's trust." These are the kind of partnerships that truly make an impact. It's a "relationship" that both sides continue to invest in. At SPN our hope is that more churches will follow the example set by PFCN.