May 2017 E-Newsletter

Did you know that Loving Houston has some amazing board members? This month, we’ve asked two of them to share about their experiences with church-school partnerships. Read on to hear from our beloved Dave Peterson and Judye Hartman:

The history of the fortune cookie is rather murky. What seems clear, however, is that it is an American invention from the early 1900s. Here’s a sampling:
  • A smile is your passport into the hearts of others.
  • Land is always on the mind of a flying bird
  • Ignore previous fortunes
  • You will die alone and poorly dressed (How would you like to get that one?)
  • Help! I’m being held prisoner in a Chinese bakery
  • The fortune you seek is in another cookie
  • You’ll be hungry again in an hour
  • Don’t eat any Chinese food today
Recently it was reported that Donald Lau, who for the past 30 years has been the chief fortune cookie writer for Wonton Foods, has decided to retire. The reason for his retirement? Writer’s block. He says that after all these years he can’t seem to come up with more than a couple of new fortunes each month.
Did you know that the Bible contains some fortunes? Here’s one:

“For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope… I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.”

In my years at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church, I was inspired to see the way the fortunes of children were quite dramatically changed by relationships with mentors, tutors, and friends through the church’s partnerships with Housman Elementary, Spring Woods Middle, and Piney Point Elementary schools. These partnerships also provide the added benefit of relieving some of the burdens carried by teachers and staff in those schools.

Loving Houston ‘s compelling vision is to give momentum to God’s hope-filled future for children by bringing churches and schools together in serving partnerships. The community of these partnerships grows literally every week. We hope you’ll become one of Loving Houston’s bearers of good-fortune.

Dave Peterson

Pastor Emeritus, Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

An 11-Year Old Partnership in Houston ISD

On a very hot day in August 2006, a miracle occurred! As part of CityFest Houston, 400 volunteers from Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church showed up at an at-risk Houston ISD elementary school to “make-over” the old school building. While the volunteers spent 8 hours at Piney Point Elementary painting walls, building cabinets, shelves, and picnic tables, hanging blinds, replacing 30-year old air conditioners, weeding, and re-landscaping the grounds, God was doing a “make-over” of our hearts. This was the beginning of a beautiful church-school relationship that continues to grow and bless the church volunteers as well as the entire Piney Point community.

Being a volunteer for 11 years at Piney Point has deepened my personal faith and understanding of God’s presence in my life. I have learned, many times over, that God is already at work in schools like Piney Point Elementary, and is waiting for His believers to join Him in caring for these children, teachers, and families. Every time I am at the school, someone says to me, “I don’t know what Piney Point would do without your church.” They are so grateful for the love and help our church gives them. They have no idea how the lives of our members have been enriched and blessed by our work there. If you and your church are considering working with a school, Loving Houston would love to help you start a life-changing relationship.

Judye Hartman
Partnership Co-Chair, Piney Point Elementary / Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church

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