What If We Worked Together | Imagine The Impact

What if the churches in our community showed more love toward each other? What if the Church stopped competing against one another? What if the Church got outside of the walls of their respective buildings and served the community, together?

What if the Church is a movement of a network of churches in the Kansas City metropolitan area that have banded together to show their love for God, each other and our community by working together to bless ourneighbors. In 2012 more than 5,000 volunteers from 38 churches served together in more than 178 projects at 28 locations, investing more than $50,000 in cash and material donations, touching more than 10,000 individual lives. (Link)

“The focus of What if the Church in 2013 is to encourage our churches to develop meaningful and lasting relationships with neighborhood schools.  Most churches today could best be described as commuter churches, as people drive from any number of neighborhoods to attend the church of their choice. One effect is the loss of relevance for the neighborhood. Unchurched neighbors see the church as irrelevant. Through strategic initiatives to serve the needs of neighborhood schools, churches can re-capture the first century mandate to “love your neighbor.” –What if the Church

This is a letter from a teacher from Mark Twain Elementary School, one of the schools where USC and our partner church Servant Community Church serves every week.

“I am so excited that Mark Twain has been blessed to have the USC involved in our school. Just a smile from the volunteers was sometimes all the teachers needed to keep them grounded and focused on helping the children. The USC has provided wonderful gifts for my class – toys for recess and games for inside recess. My students’ faces lit up when they realized there are people in the community who care about them.

I appreciate the USC staff’s willingness to allow God to work through them to help our students. They are an example of what our students can be like when they get older. They provides a sense of calm and reason that not all students see from adults in their lives.

The USC has made a positive difference at Mark Twain. I look forward to the positive influence that they will continue to bring to our school. –Christi Clayton, Teacher

This is one example of how the Church and local ministries can positively impact a community.
Here are some ways you can get involved:

Scripture Reflection: Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all the strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Jesus Christ. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 4:11 (NLT)

Cheers, Tears and Shifting Gears

Last Friday, the USC hosted a Teacher Appreciation Breakfast for the staff of Mark Twain Elementary School to thank them for their dedicated service, reflect on the year and celebrate what God has done. Teachers and staff enjoyed great food, much laughter, and they even shed some tears as they affirmed each other and shared stories about the school-year.

As the Teacher Appreciation Breakfast was coming to an end, Ms. Egidy pulled some of the USC staff aside and shared a story from this past year. She told us that for the first time in her career she had students in her office fighting – not over nail polish or a soccer ball, but over a book that both of them wanted to read.  Ms. Egidy wisely set up a reading schedule so that both of the girls could read and finish the book.  She was outwardly stern with her discipline while internally cheering because this dispute was about a desire to read!  Ms. Egidy’s story emphasizes how the attitudes of students have changed to reflect a love for books and reading as a result of the thousands of books given to students in her school by the USC.

Our relationship with Mark Twain has grown stronger through the years as more families have been introduced to the USC through the school. There has also been an increased number of teachers and staff that have become advocates of the USC; several teachers now support our ministry financially, while others have become volunteers at the USC – serving at our summer community outreaches and even preparing dinner for more than 50 students in our Soul Food ministry! Mrs. Egidy is very excited to see how the relationship with the USC will impact more students and staff as they shift gears and move into their new building this fall – please pray for a smooth transition for the students and staff.

Next school-year, make time to bless the teachers in your area, not only with gifts, but also with your time – here are some ways you can help.

  • Pray often for each member of the staff.
  • Volunteer to serve in the classroom once a week.
  • Provide the staff with a special gift at Christmas and at the end of the year.
  • Help the teachers organize their rooms at the beginning of the year.
  • Mentor a student in the school.
  • Take healthy treats to the teachers each week to show them how much you appreciate their dedicated service.

“ If a doctor, lawyer or dentist had 30 people in his or her office at one time, all of whom had different needs, and some of whom didn’t want to be there and were causing trouble, and the doctor, lawyer or dentist, without assistance, had to treat all with professional excellence for nine months, then he or she might have some conception of the classroom teachers job.” – Donald D. Quinn

 

 

USC In Poland

“Blacks make up less than one percent of the total number (118,600) of U.S. missionaries.” Why so few? The needs are so great among people in urban communities,  of which African Americans and Hispanics represent the majority population, that they feel as though they are already on mission every day as they work together to provide for and support their families, both immediate and extended, as well as others in their community.

Being on mission is both caring for and sharing Christ with people in our local neighborhoods as well as those in areas outside of our community. The USC is broadening the perception of “missions” in the hearts of urban minority children and youth by involving them in ministry in our local community, and providing urban youth with opportunities to serve others abroad.

This summer, five students will go to PROEM Ministries in Poland. All of these students have served in many ways through the USC. Some serve meals to homeless alongside other adults. Others mentor students in our after-school program and read to children to help increase literacy. Still others lead segments of our Soul Food ministry and summer outreaches. These students have been serving in our community for years; going to Poland will allow them to be a light for Christ in another country.

Help us change the paradigm as it relates to African Americans and Hispanics serving as missionaries, both at home and abroad, by providing five students with the experience of serving others on a mission trip to Poland.

Scripture Reflection: But when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, you will receive power and will tell people about me everywhere — in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NLT)

Click here to support the students. Select USC Mission Group when making a donation.

Teachers Cook, Parents Serve, Students Lead

Last week marked the end of another great semester of ministry programs at the USC. Each school-year God does something new in the lives of those involved at the USC, and this year we have seen Him continue to bless us with strong community involvement .

Our year-end celebration really showcased this. First of all, more than 16 partner churches were reflected in the mentors and servers at the celebration. Secondly, staff from our local elementary school, Mark Twain, prepared all the desserts, and parents of our students worked alongside members from our partner churches to prepare and serve the appetizers. Furthermore, our middle and high school Indigenous Leaders led tours for parents around our facility and emceed the entire event.

Throughout the evening, USC students won awards for excellence in leadership, attendance, and Scripture memorization. To close the night, our top award, the Servant Heart Award, was given to Angie, a 5th-grade student who has a heart of Christian service and leadership. It was such an honor to see last year’s Servant Heart Award recipient, Anjilus, present the award and pray over Angie and her entire family.

At the USC, our mission is to develop socially responsible Christian leaders, and last week we saw our entire community rise up and reflect this in their actions and in the students’ accomplishments.

Scripture Reflection: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 2:4-5

Other News:

  • This summer, five students who have served in our ministry, in Wyandotte County, Kansas, will serve others in Poland through PROEM Ministries. Click here to support the students. (Select USC Mission Group)
  • USC hosted the KCK Alternative School luncheon at our facility for the second year. Congratulations to the graduates and praise the Lord for community partnerships!
  • Since 2010 USC has distributed more than 32,000 books to urban students. Thank you for donating books!
  • USC students will attend camps this summer – Music Art & Drama VBS camp, God’s Mountain Camp and Kids Across America
  • USC will launch a new Mentor Program this summer – Look for details in June.

Prayer Requests – Please pray:

  • That individuals will give to help send five USC students to Poland this summer. Click here to support the students.
  • Our community and literacy outreaches that begin in June will help students and adults grow closer to Christ
  • For our new indigenous volunteers and staff to get off to a great start this summer
  • Continued progress for the USC Christian Academy for Boys
  • The completion of our second Mission House that is being prepared for an indigenous family

Thank you for Journeying With Us!

Click here to support The Urban Scholastic Center