Pastor and Principals Gather in Three More Districts

on Friday, February 27, 2015 Posted in Stories, Happenings, School Partnership Network

Pastor and Principals Gather in Three More Districts
The rooms vibrate with energy from the conversations around the tables. Some are long time partners in serving the local community, while others are new acquaintances just getting to know each other for the first time. The one thing they have in common is that they all work within proximity of each other—some at the local school district and others in local faith communities.

The start of 2015 has been a busy season for the School Partnership Network. We've had the privilege of bringing together the Principals and Administrators of three different local area school districts with Pastors and faith-based leaders serving in that district's boundaries. The purpose of these Pastors & Principals gatherings is to begin or continue conversations on how local schools and area churches can work together to better serve their community. Like other such gatherings we've sponsored in at least 10 other districts over the past two years, these meetings did not disappoint!

We gathered in early January, in East Vancouver, with well over 125 pastors and principals of the Evergreen School District. Working once again in collaboration with Vancouver's Faith Based Coffee (which we had previously held in 2013 for the Vancouver Public School System Faith-Based Breakfast), SPN was able to help introduce and expand the idea of how local churches could serve without an agenda in the Evergreen Schools. Later in January a similar gathering was held with the Gresham-Barlow School District. And just last week we gathered with pastors and principals from the David Douglas School District.

The approach of these gatherings is simple: if we can convene folks around the table from both the schools and the faith community, we can create the opportunity to begin a discussion on how churches and schools can work together to meet specific needs in that community. It is our hope that at least some of these conversations will continue long after the meeting is over and lead to some sustainable relationships.

The ultimate value of a church-school partnership is limited only by the creativity of the partners involved. The reality is that every school has an abundance of needs that often go unaddressed simply because there are no resources or manpower to address them. Churches are filled with folks who are looking for meaningful ways to live out their faith and make a difference in their community. By combining the passion of those who want to serve with the needs of the families that comprise our local schools, the opportunities to truly "make a difference" abound.

Thanks to all those who participated in this latest round of Pastor & Principal gatherings. May this be only the beginning of some meaningful partnerships that will impact our entire community.