Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs” (Matthew 19:14). As our children prepare to return to school in the midst of a pandemic, we as Christ’s church have a profound opportunity to express Jesus’ love for them by doing as the Church has done for generations and finding ways to partner in their education. In so doing, we proclaim to our children that they are created in God’s image, claimed by Christ with a love that will never let them go, and gifted by the Holy Spirit with abilities and talents to participate in Jesus’ own work of serving the world.
The North/West Lower Michigan Synod is pleased to provide Education Partnership Grants to facilitate congregations in assisting with students, families, and educators for the 2020-2021 school year.
Grants might be used for technology: for example, expanding the congregation’s Wi-Fi network so the church parking lot becomes a place where students can safely get online; providing technical assistance as students and parents learn to use tablets; and providing a congregational tablet that students can borrow to take tests or write papers. Grants might be used to provide tutoring or a virtual study hall, giving working parents time when they do not have to supervise their children’s learning. Grants might be used to facilitate one on one relationships in which, for example, a child and an adult read a book together or work on mathematics together.
Since back to school plans vary across our Synod, congregations will convene groups of students, parents, and educators to assess needs and make plans. Congregations who receive grants will attest they are adhering to the CDC and State of Michigan guidelines governing the pandemic. Priority will be given to well-developed plans that evidence congregational participation.
Please submit completed applications to Pastor David Sprang, Assistant to the Bishop and Director of Evangelical Mission at firstname.lastname@example.org.