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Follow Up: School Partnerships at the LUTC Quarterly Gathering

On Thursday, February 18, around 120 pastors and leaders from Greater Seattle gathered to discuss how the church has an opportunity to assist and serve our schools. This year’s school partnership in Seattle was, in some respects,catalyzed by our Puget Sound City Advance in October 2015, in which we also discussed church engagement in the area of sex trafficking, foster care, incarceration, immigrants and refugees care, and homelessness. But at this Light Up the City Quarterly Gathering- our focus was on School Partnerships and it was also an opportunity to announce an effort for a Seattle region school partnership serve day happening in August. More to come on that later- stay tuned!

We heard from Be|Undivided, based in Portland, OR, who have years of experience in school partnerships. Over the course of the last two years Be|Undivided has worked to develop a intuitive database software to manage volunteers and the needs of the schools called Volunteer Resource Management. We are excited and thrilled to be allowed to utilize this great resource as we attempt to mobilize many volunteers this coming August. You can find more information about the software and dates for webinar training on the Be|Undivided website.

We also had a guest panel featuring individuals who have had success in engaging school partnerships including Roy Chang of Seattle Chinese Alliance Church, Principal Angela Sheffey-Bogan, World Vision’s Brian Boyd, Garrett Birkeland from North Shore Community Church, Brent Christie of Jubilee REACH and Kristine Sommer of Be|Undivided. They each shared inspiring stories of serving local schools and students and all of the panelists emphasized that relationships are key to having a greater impact. As Brent Christie added, “Relationships are key-it was the model of Christ himself coming down and entering in relationship with us that we should look to as we serve.”

The keynote speaker was Seattle Public School’s Superintendent, Dr. Larry Nyland. He shared ideas of best practices with regards to churches. and expressed a desire from administration for engagement in the schools. He was very emotional about his journey and drove home the point that the Church can be effective in helping to shape the lives of many by serving schools.

This gathering was particularly powerful and inspiring- we are so thankful for our speakers, guests and those who desire to partner with schools in their cities and towns. Light Up The City isn’t looking to start a movement, but we do feel it is our responsibility to tell the story of how the Church is engaging on many levels and to point toward God’s continual movement. We hope through partnering and fostering relationships with schools this day of service in August, many will see the love of Christ on display as we love our communities, schools and kids.


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