January 2017 E-Newsletter

 

 

Happy 2017! We’re off to a running start this year with a new focus, a new video, and a new leader!

1) In 2016, we focused on building strong relationships with school districts across Greater Houston. What we discovered is that their doors are wide open – in fact, school districts are asking for churches to partner with their schools! Unfortunately right now, we know of more schools asking for partners than churches stepping up to serve. Therefore in 2017, our new focus is on building relationships with churches. We’ll be reaching out to those of you who have come to our gatherings to see where you are in the church-school partnership process and how we can help. Associate Director Michael Kraxberger will continue to facilitate Equipping Sessions for churches interested in starting new partnerships, and will also begin facilitating Partnership Gatherings for churches in existing partnerships). We’ll also be talking with various church networks and new churches we haven’t yet met to learn about your visions for outreach in 2017 and to see if we can help you achieve these dreams. We look forward to working with as many of you as we can to reach your communities with the love of Christ in ways that are simple, powerful, and effective.

2) We have a new video! If you’re looking to cast vision with your congregation about partnering with a local school, we would love for you to use this video to show your members the need and the opportunity to care for children right in our very own neighborhoods. (Please let us know if this is helpful!)
Will You Believe In Me?
3) And finally, we have a new Executive Director! Marilyn Lee has a passion for loving our neighbors across Greater Houston with a foundation in the Gospel. Here’s an excerpt from what she shared at a recent community development conference:

We all know our world is broken. And unfortunately, so much of this brokenness gets in the way of people internalizing and experiencing the good news of the Gospel. We can share intellectual truths all we want – but if felt needs aren’t being met, there’s little chance that those truths will penetrate hearts.

These felt needs are often the result of a complicated web of factors – a web of factors caused by the fall and resulting in the absence of shalom, the absence of the fullness and wholeness God had intended for us to experience here on earth. This complicated web of factors is so much bigger than one pastor, or one church, or one nonprofit. It will take leaders from every sector working together toward a common agenda to transform our cities to places of flourishing and wholeness where hearts can be softened to fully receive and experience the life-transforming truth of the Gospel. It sounds complicated, doesn’t it?

But the awesome thing is that the Church – the Body of Christ – is made up of individuals in every single one of these sectors of society – every single part of our city. In our congregations, there are government officials and education experts and business strategists and nonprofit service providers and representatives from institutions of ALL types. What if we cast the vision and empowered each individual who is indwelt with Christ – the whole Church – to not only be lights for Jesus in their spheres of influence, but to go one step further and actually use their professional expertise and businesses and resource bases for city transformation so that whole cities can flourish and experience the fullness of the whole Gospel! Can you imagine?

“For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ… Since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, each of us is to exercise them accordingly.” Romans 12:4-6

Imagine if the members of churches across Greater Houston – all the members of the body of Christ in our city – were empowered and encouraged to use their gifts and abilities to care for and invest in our most precious resource: our children. Imagine how our city would be transformed and how differently people would view our God, both today and for generations to come!

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6


#PartnershipIdeas

Q: We’d like to partner with a school, but our church members work during the day. How can we get involved?

A: Great question! Here are some ways volunteers can help with a school no matter where they live or when they work…


Get Involved

With over 500 schools in our top 6 priority districts, we can’t engage and equip enough church partners on our own! Will you join us?

1) Pray. Pray for wisdom as we adjust our workshop modules to engage and equip even more churches in 2017. Pray that God will speak through us and that churches will follow God’s leading, whether or not He wants them to partner with a school at this time. Pray also for faith in God’s provision of our funding, and that God will lead us to the right people, churches, and foundations who will see the vision of our work and invest.

2) Share your story. We know there are partnership stories across the city that we don’t know about, yet! Do you have a video, blog post, Facebook post, or church bulletin article about your school partnership that you can share with us? We’d love to learn from you, celebrate with you, and share your story to inspire other churches to serve as well! Email us at info@lovinghouston.net.

3) Volunteer. We want to see many more churches reaching out to their local schools in 2017 and we can’t do this alone! We’re looking for help to make phone calls, design materials, help with event logistics, and more! If you, your small group, your Boy/Girl Scout troop, your Sunday School class, etc. would like to help, please email us at info@lovinghouston.net!


Thanks for praying for us! Can we pray for you? Email us at info@lovinghouston.net.
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