Brethren Church National Executive Board Member/Mt. Olive Brethren Church Executive Pastor Gail Heiston shares this story…
As students and parents began to move back to school, we asked ourselves as a staff how could we help them through this unchartered journey.
One of the ways we felt we could was to provide a video series for parents as their children go back to school either in person or virtual learning. We covered topics such as how to communicate with schools and teachers, how to help your child with Spanish if you don't speak Spanish, how to set up a home learning environment, how to help your children emotionally and socially and taking care of yourself as well. There are currently 7 videos and we are working on one more (health care).
Another way to help parents was to offer our WIFI in the fellowship hall for families who were having struggles with uncertain internet connection. We have set up stations with sanitizing supplies as well as wifi instruction and surge protectors for power. Parents are asked to be with their children during usage time.
We also reached out to Riverbend Elementary School, our local school partner, and asked how we could help them as about 20% of their students were going back. They needed 100 masks for students who didn't have one or forgot a mask. We asked two of our families, Laura Waldron and Lynn & Dolly Lilly who have been sewing masks to provide these masks in school colors and they were excited about the opportunity! They quickly were able to complete the task and we delivered 100 masks, 100 breakaway MASK lanyards and 24 laundry bags so each class could launder them.
This is exactly the type of ministry your church can be offering during the pandemic. Needs-based evangelism and care meets families where they are with a real value, and opens doors to share the love of Jesus Christ within your church at a non-typical time. Well done, Mt. Olive!