Superintendents Gathering with Faith Based Leaders

on Monday, October 26, 2015 Posted in Stories, Happenings, School Partnership Network

One thing we take pride in at SPN is bringing together local school officials with leaders from diverse Christian faith backgrounds. Even more exciting is to see these meetings continue independently of the initial meeting we helped to arrange. It's so encouraging to hear about ongoing meetings and partnerships that had their first introductions through the work of SPN.

Two examples of this came about this fall. Just one week ago the Beaverton School District gathered with their community partners, many of whom are from the faith community. These now quarterly meetings grew out of our very first "Pastors & Principals" gathering on December 7, 2012 at the BSD office. Though we expected a crowd of perhaps 25 principals and 30 pastors that day, we were amazed to see 52 of the 55 Beaverton district principals show up, along with about 80 pastors! Today, these community partner gatherings bring in about 200 faith, business and other non-profit leaders.

Within the next few days two significant meetings are about to take place in the North Clackamas and Vancouver public school districts. The Third Annual Faith Partners Breakfast at VPS is a direct outgrowth of SPN's "P&P" gathering in 2013. It is exciting to see how the school district office and local pastors are joining together to enhance and enlarge this meeting.

While the North Clackamas District had previously gathered once in year with local area pastors, something new and significant happened after we helped arrange the first "P&P" gathering. They launched a brand new collaborative effort called "AllOne North Clackamas." Modeled after a similar collaborative effort in North Portland, this two year old group recently held their first combined worship celebration which featured a message from Superintendent Matt Utterback. Across the board, churches, non-profits, and school personnel are actively involved in numerous ways to serve within the district.

Many more examples abound of superintendents and principals gathering with pastors and leaders of the local faith community. Many have grown out of SPN's involvement and others have been sparked by the growing awareness of opportunities to work together. We're honored to play a convening role, helping to bring like-minded school and church leaders to the table. We're convinced that more can be done by working together than any one of us can accomplish on our own.