One of the most critical foundations of society is the education of its children. Public schools are today’s mission fields, providing a unique opportunity in our communities to serve children and their families.
North Texas United Methodists will encourage children to live into the abundant life God desires for them by mentoring and tutoring in one-on-one relationships between our parishioners and children in public schools. We believe our ongoing relationships can change the lives of children and United Methodists and transform communities.
The United Methodist Church has a long-standing history impacting education dating back to the founding of the “Sunday School.” Teaching children to read the Bible was foundational to the early mission of the church during the late eighteenth century. The church’s interest in education was also evident in their establishment of secondary schools and colleges. By 1845 Methodists, Evangelicals, and United Brethren had also instituted courses of study for their preachers to ensure that they had a basic knowledge of the Bible, theology and pastoral ministry.
Today we are recovering our roots by investing in the public schools in our communities. Through one-on-one mentoring relationships, we will embrace students to ensure the advancement of their higher education and join forces with local public schools in service of the communities where we live, work and play.
What impact could United Methodists in North Texas have on schools and students if each member of our churches fostered a meaningful relationship with one child in a public school? These kids, our kids, would know there is another adult who cares for them and believes that they can succeed. As Bishop Sally Dyck shared with us at Annual Conference last year, “If you want to make a difference in the world, teach a kid.”
The early Methodists in England made a lasting impact in the world. They made a significant investment in the education of children by teaching them to read the Bible. In fact, the early Sunday School was where many children learned to read. That was the day when people sought out the church. Now is the day that the church must seek people. What better way to invest in the well-being of a community and children than for United Methodists to give one hour a week during the school year to a student in a local public school? Not only will the students benefit, but those who take up this challenge will benefit from an impactful experience.
How will you impact the community for Christ this coming school year? I look forward to hearing how your life has changed and how you have faithfully impacted the life of another.
We believe that every person has the right to education. We also believe that the responsibility for education of the young rests with the family, faith communities, and the government. In society, this function can best be fulfilled through public policies that ensure access for all persons to free public elementary and secondary schools and to post-secondary schools of their choice. Persons should not be precluded by financial barriers from access to church-related and other independent institutions of higher education. We affirm the right of public and independent colleges and universities to exist, and we endorse public policies that ensure access and choice and that do not create unconstitutional entanglements between church and state. We believe that colleges and universities are to ensure that academic freedom is protected for all members of the academic community and a learning environment is fostered that allows for a free exchange of ideas. We affirm the joining of reason and faith; therefore, we urge colleges and universities to guard the expression of religious life on campus.