In Essentials, Unity; In Nonessentials, Liberty; In All Things, Love.
Are you looking for a mission project at your church in which members can plan and work together to serve a community need? If the answer is yes, a team at Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem suggests you try something they did—filling a need at a school. More than 200 members at Home Church have been involved in a wonderful partnership with a local elementary school.
It began when Brother Walt Schorer, a retired church member, looked for some way he could become a part of one of our local public elementary schools when he no longer had an office to go to or a business trip to take. This past year, Walt found Diggs-Latham Elementary School, an Arts Based and Global Studies school. It has a large Latino population and a populace where 95% are on free lunch. It is a school in need of parent participation, leadership and resources; not just money, but people who can assist in every aspect of a school program. However, Diggs-Latham has a dedicated principal, Ms. Donna Cannon, and staff, both faculty and support personnel.
Walt went to the school every day to assist with students in a second grade class this past year. He mentored, tutored, assisted the teacher and shared geography when he took trips. He soon got the rest of us involved and we all began to use our expertise and talents. This became an approved project of our Board of Elders and financing came through benevolent giving of a recent Capital Campaign.
Members of our church have been blessed to do many things through this partnership with the school. Throughout the past school year, our volunteers have worked in each grade as tutors working on remedial studies, math and reading and providing media center assistance. We had treats for the teachers most months and shared Christmas candles with the staff. We assisted with a Kindergarten Assessment for next school year, a first for this school. We provided and served pizza to parents and students of the third grade for an after school math event. We even have a member who planned a school lawn design of trees and shrubs, which members planted when the season was right.
We have worked together in assisting this school in becoming the best it can be. Plans are already underway to provide finances and people to strengthen the reading program at all levels as designated by Ms. Cannon and the School Improvement Team.
This is a partnership of people helping people. The Diggs-Latham faculty and staff assisted Home Church Women’s Fellowship with the Candle Tea in December. They participated in serving a pancake breakfast for the Prodigals Community a few months back. We are all very happy to be “doing” together.
Following this successful year, we will be continuing this partnership and have set goals for the next school year. The partnership is under the leadership of the Evangelism and Discipleship Committee but we plan to develop a separate committee to guide the project.
For us, this is an experience where the church is being the church. John Amos Comenius believed and taught us to educate all. We are sharing ourselves with children and families who need, but who smile warmly and hug strongly each day of the week. To God be the Glory !
Mallie Graham is a member of Home Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, N.C. She chairs the committee for the Diggs-Latham Project. Photos courtesy of Diggs-Latham principal Donna Cannon.
Monday, May 20 – Psalm 66:16-20
Proverbs 13; 1 Corinthians 15:42-58
You gave me room when I was in distress. Be gracious to me, and hear my prayer. Psalm 4:1
Jesus said to Peter, “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail.” Luke 22:32
Jesus, Savior, hear our prayers. You know our earnest desires, our deepest needs, and our unspoken cares. Keep our hearts and minds fixed on you so our faith remains strong. Amen.
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Count Zinzendorf speaks once again in this collection of sermons preached during his sojourn in Pennsylvania in the 1740s. These sermons, translated by Craig Atwood and Julie Tomberlin Weber, will touch your heart as they did those who heard them more than 250 years ago.