About nine months ago our Advisory Team sat around a table at Starbucks and asked this question, “If our church closed down, would our community cry?” For months we’ve wrestled with that question as we’ve worked hard to expand the influence of Jesus in our community by simply loving and helping people.
We’ve determined that one way to add value to the community and expand the influence of Jesus is to focus on two community organizations that are doing good work. Those two organizations are Ebinport Elementary and Pilgrims Inn.
Last week Alex (our Family Pastor), his bride Angela and myself met with the principle of Ebinport to ask, “In light of all of the cuts in the school budget, what can we do to help?” We had a substantive conversation out of which will flow a number of actions.
At the end of that meeting Principle Goodwin mentioned that we would be getting a letter in the mail.
We got the letter.
Here’s what it says:
Dear Mr. Peterson:
Rock Hill Schools annually recognizes businesses, civic organizations, individuals, and school improvement councils for significant contributions to public education. Recipients of the awards are among a select number of nominees in the district that demonstrate a commitment to excellence in our schools.
Mr. Peterson, Church180 has been selected by Rock Hill Schools to receive a 2010 Outstanding Business Partnership Award, for exceptional contributions to Ebinport Elementary.
[It goes on to tell when and where the award ceremony will take place]
On behalf of Rock Hill Schools, I congratulate you on being the recipient of this honor, and extend to you my deepest appreciation for the contribution you have made to our schools and students we serve.
This morning I shared this letter with our church. We broke out into applause. As we applauded I thought to myself, “I think that if Church180 were to shut her doors, there would at least be some moist eyes in our community.”
Thank you to each of you at Church180 who has served, loved, and prayed for our friends at Ebinport Elementary.
I am proud of you team, but I can’t imagine how proud Jesus must be considering that all of this is done in His name in an effort to expand His influence!