In the last couple months, many people have posed the question, "What can I do to respond to what feels like a growing atmosphere of racism, division, and hatred in our world?" In seeking to respond to this question as a church community, we are looking in multiple directions. Many are becoming more politically active or engaging the work of social justice in new or deeper ways. A good number of Fauntleroy Church members participated in the Million Womxn’s March, some joined in the first December discussion of a new racial justice group forming amongst U.C.C. churches in West Seattle, and a few attended, or have signed up to attend, a Bystander Intervention training to prepare for situations in which someone is being publicly targeted in our presence (the next one is here at Fauntleroy on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 6:30-8:00 p.m.). Beyond political or social justice engagement, many have also recognized the need to better educate ourselves on who Jesus was as we seek to better live into our commitment to follow him. Over 40 people are participating in the New Testament study that began Jan. 21, and about 30 participated in our perspective-seeking "White Privilege" fall education series. Numbers are beginning to grow in our Sunday morning Adult Bible study as well. In our personal practices of faith, I know many of you are giving generously to the church and other non-profits seeking to do good work while living a message of peace, justice, love, care for the world and one another. And, I trust that we are also praying as we seek to lean on God and gain both calm and perspective.
In worship and at council, we've talked about living love for all we're worth, trying to better come to know those who are different from us and living our mission and discipleship outside of the church doors. And, it is in these veins that I wish to invite you into new and important work. In cooperation with Alki U.C.C. and Admiral U.C.C., we are now looking at how we might further invest ourselves in local schools (beyond the great work that the Homelessness Task Force engages). In particular, Roxhill Elementary has reached out to us with the urgent need for volunteers who are willing to give an hour or more of their time each week in tutoring struggling students.
Roxhill Elementary is a very diverse elementary located just one mile from the church. Many of the students who attend there come from economically depressed families, and 80% qualify for the free or reduced lunch program. 80%! They are a local school facing great need amongst their students, but there is a lot of hope at Roxhill. And, we can help meet that hope with our love and collective U.C.C. partnership. Most of us live lives with lots of advantages, and we have much we can share with those who are disadvantaged. Donations to worthy causes and organizations are great (and needed), but we need interactions in our lives that aren’t just one-way, that push us outside our comfort zone a bit, that give us glimpses into lives different from our own. Tutoring disadvantaged students does that. As a pastor and former teacher, I can tell you that it is “God work” of the highest value.
Interested? Contact the church office or come by the Get-Involved table in the narthex for a detailed list of times, ages and subjects for which tutors are needed.
Let love flow, Leah