By Chris Markert, Bishop’s Associate for Mission
“We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us: prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.” Romans 12:6-8
As we enter into our sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic, and as schools re-open, it’s a good time for churches to develop plans to care for, and minister with, essential workers in your congregation and in your neighborhood.
This month, I invite you to consider ways you can support the educators in your midst. Here are 15 ideas for how you might show you care:
- Pray for the teachers and school staff in your congregation by name during worship;
- Have a Blessing of the Teachers during worship;
- Call your local school principal and find out what needs teachers have to stay safe from COVID-19 during the school year, and then have a collection of those items.
- Have breakfast tacos delivered one morning for your local school’s faculty and staff;
- Write and mail thank-you cards to the teachers and school staff in your congregation;
- Lift up in your daily prayers the teachers and school staff that you personally know;
- Make a donation to our synod’s campus ministries;
- Call the teachers and school staff you know and check on them, and ask what support you can give them;
- Make an Amazon list and have people buy school supplies that are delivered directly to the school;
- Pray for parents who are providing education for their children at home;
- Consider allowing small groups of parents and children who are being educated at home to gather in safe ways at your church for socializing (for example outdoors, on the playground, in the fellowship hall with physical distancing protocols, etc.);
- Ask the local preschool or day care director how your congregation might support them;
- Pray for the students, including college students;
- Ask your local campus minister how your congregation might support them;
- Provide lunch for your local school’s faculty and staff.
This list of ideas isn’t exhaustive; it is meant to help your congregation think creatively of ways to support teachers and school staff as they enter into a scary and unknown school year.