FOR... Cities - Day 2

Opening Prayer:

Lord, help me call on you when I begin to worry about something affecting our community.  Amen

Read: Jeremiah 29:6-7 (NIV)

 “Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

 

Reflect:

I had just moved to be the superintendent of a large, ethnically, culturally, and religiously diverse district in western Kansas, I found that the ACLU was challenging the district because they were having opening and closing prayer at graduation.  The community was committed to continuing the prayers at graduation.  This created a dilemma for the school board since the U.S Supreme Court had declared that it was illegal to have prayer at school functions.  How was the board going to please their constituents and still be within the law?

The answer turned out to be an easy one.  Many years before the district had discontinued the practice of having baccalaureate services.  If we reinstituted these services, we could legally provide the religious element the community wanted.  The problem was the school district leadership could not be involved with it.  I talked this over with my pastor and we brainstormed how it could be approached.  He called together the local ministerial association explaining the school board’s dilemma to them, and they were willing to assume the responsibility for developing a student-led baccalaureate service the day before graduation.  Attendance was voluntary and the first baccalaureate service had an 85% student participation rate. The student leaders did a wonderful job.

 

 Apply:

This demonstrates how the church and community can work together to meet needs and spread the Word.  The church and its members in the community stepped forward to help the school district when it was in a difficult situation.  How can we and our church be a blessing to the community around us?

Closing Prayer:

Lord Jesus, I am ashamed to say that too often my reaction to problems is to worry.  Help me to make my first reaction to call on you for guidance and comfort.  In your Son’s precious name, Amen

Terry Schneider