Not too long ago, a meeting of area pastors and school principals to discuss how they might serve a school district together seemed unheard of. Now, in the Portland metro area, these gatherings are becoming a normal and vital piece of community partnership.
Centennial, a suburban community that bridges Portland and Gresham, is the latest district to host such a meeting. Led by Centennial Schools Superintendent Sam Breyer and SPN Director Larry Whittlesey, 37 pastors, principals, and other leaders met at Parklane Christian Reformed Church to explore opportunities for collaboration. Read More.
For many of these leaders, the gathering acted as a “match-making” session between school needs and church resources. Louie and Jan Hernandez, senior pastors at Gresham Community Fellowship, decided to attend after hearing about how Portland churches have been serving in the foster care system. The two sat alongside Lynch View Elementary School Principal Jim Mangan and discussed what kind of help the school needs and how the church might get involved.
While no specific program is outlined for everyone to follow, the resulting friendships consistently lead to a real partnership between a faith community and a local school. As one principal said, “This is incredible! We can serve our families so much better when we do it together!”