Churches Supporting Students, Families, and Educators
By Blair Boyd-Zant
How can churches support their communities during this season of COVID-19? Blair Boyd-Zant, Director for the Center of Congregational Excellence in the North Georgia Conference, shares some resources they have developed to help churches during these times.
"There are just no easy decisions right now." As fall 2020 approaches, these have been the words felt by parents, teachers, school administrators, childcare workers, and students of every grade level faced with difficult decisions about how to engage education during a pandemic. Trying to weigh health and safety against job requirements, knowing access to school-assisted services and social interaction means the risk of quarantine, and asking practical questions about equitable and reliable access to digital learning and the skills to use it effectively have overwhelmed many households. Yet, here it comes. The first days of school.
"What can we do to help?" We believe that this is the essential question people of faith can and should ask. At any time. Especially right now.
But how? And to whom? And what do we do with the answers?
The North Georgia United Methodist Conference's Center for Congregational Excellence developed the "Congregations Supporting" resource guides for congregations seeking to be Church for their communities. While the practical ideas came from NGUMC congregations responding creatively to school-related needs for fall of 2020, the process of how to partner faithfully can be applied any time, anywhere. And the key word is partner. CCE believes that at our best, our UMC is one church in limitless missional expressions. Our connectionalism is a strength we can leverage for our neighbors' good.
Church, how can you support the students, families, and educators in your community?