“A reading people will always be a knowing people.” – John Wesley
Question for the day: Are we living up to our Methodist heritage of educating the masses?
To be a United Methodist not only concerns my personal religious beliefs, but it carries with it an obligation to live my faith out in the world. Our founder, John Wesley, spent his entire life teaching that a true Christian meant a lot more than just showing up to church on Sunday. It means caring for those that cannot care for themselves. It means setting social wrongs right. It means standing up for those that cannot speak for themselves, like children.
For example, in 18th century England (Wesley’s time,) it was common for children as young as 7 years old to work 6 days a week in the factories to support their families. The children of the wealthy were sent to school, but the children of the poor were engaged to manual labor that would forever be their lot, because without an education, they had no other options. They worked when they were hungry. They worked when they were sick. And many died because of the conditions they were subjected to.
Enter a man named Robert Raikes, a publisher in London. He saw this travesty and was moved to create the first Sunday School in his church. Since Sunday was the only day the children didn’t work, the church was a natural fit. This school first taught the children the 3 R’s (reading, writing, and arithmetic) and then taught them about Jesus. It was a way of providing them with a way out of their current circumstances as well as changing their lives forever as believers in Christ. Sunday School provided hope.
Long story short, John Wesley went to see this school and thought it to be “the most gracious act of charity he had ever witnessed,” and the idea spread like wildfire throughout the Methodist denomination. From that point on, education has been a cornerstone of the Methodist church giving rise educational institutions, universities, and missions all over the world.
One of the ways we carry on this tradition at Liberty Crossings is with our support of Tarrant Elementary School. Tarrant is the 2nd poorest school in the Birmingham school district with 100% of their students receiving free lunches. As one of our major outreach partners, Liberty Crossings supports this school, and it’s students in the following way:
- Collecting boxtops
- Using the Publix Partners In Education Swipe Tags at the grocery store
- Our Annual School Supply Drive
If you have a heart for disadvantaged children, these are ways that you can help to supply them with the necessary items they need to get the education they need. As well, there are so many other needs the school has. If you would like to explore ways to deepen our support with them, you would be warmly welcomed.
Our annual school supply drive will begin in a few weeks. We still need volunteers to chair and organize this team. If you are interested in helping, please contact our Children’s Director, Laura Cox: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please see the link below for an update on our Nicaragua team. Please keep them in prayer!
You are a loving Father. And we know how much You love these children, therefore, we are to love these children. Help us, Lord, to see the true needs they have and be moved to action. Help us to look beyond our own children’s needs that are so well met, and to have a desire to see every child so provided for. Create in us, hearts of compassion and desire to make this world a better place, one child at a time.
In the name of our Savior we pray,